07 Jul Preparation Without Panic
One common question I’m getting is: how to prepare without the panic? How to get ready for a tough economic time without being Chicken Little?
✔️ Personally, I don’t think we’re headed into Mad Max or World War Z territory. Some people like to stir up panic because it gets views on YouTube.
✔️ You can find people on social media who’ll say anything and everything ranging from toxic positivity to total fear porn. If you can imagine it, it’s probably online somewhere!
✔️ Consume the news but do not allow it to consume you. Don’t ignore the great things in life and focus on doom & gloom.
✔️ Do you have a household budget set? Do you know your own financial profile? As GI Joe would say: knowing is half the battle.
✔️ If someone wants to judge you for setting a budget and calculating your groceries in the store before you reach the register, oh well. They’re not coming home with you and their snotty attitude does not matter.
Links I discuss in this episode:
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Transcription by Otter.ai. Please forgive any typos!
Welcome to the Causey Consulting Podcast. You can find us online anytime at CauseyConsultingLLC.com. And now, here’s your host, Sara Causey. Hello, Hello, thanks for tuning in. So I’ve had several people asked me, What’s the right balance here? How do I prepare that not panic? How do I keep an eye on what the markets are doing without going into a full tilt gloom and doom II or session. So today, I want to talk about how we can balance it out as best we can. I want to talk about mindset strategies, as well as tactical practical things that you can take a look at. I’m going to do my boilerplate upfront as so many of us who tried to publish anything op ed related have to do nowadays, I’ve got to give you my boilerplate. So here we go. Let’s just get it out of the way upfront. None of this is medical, legal, or financial advice. This is strictly an op ed. It is my opinion. And as Dennis Miller always says, it’s just my opinion, and I could be wrong. It’s for your entertainment, it’s information for your decision making only it is not to be considered advice. If you need medical advice, you need to go talk to your doctor. If you need legal advice, you need to go talk to an attorney. If you need financial advice, then you need to sit down with a professional certified financial planner or advisor who can get with you and look at your individual financial profile, because I have no way of knowing what your individual financial profile is, what makes sense for you and your investments and what doesn’t. So you need to talk to professionals. I am not holding myself out as any of that I’m not an economist, I’m not a professional financial planner, or advisor. I’m not an attorney, I’m not a doctor, I’m not an all seeing Oracle, I’m not like a psychic like Nostradamus or something trying to come out here and make big bold predictions about everything that will happen over the next 500 years of humanity. None of that. This is strictly an opinion piece with my best guesses and conjectures. And that’s all that it is. So now let’s get rolling. In my episode, quiet quitting, part two, I talked about getting strategic and conscientious about who you’re listening to. Because if you go on YouTube, and you just want confirmation bias, you want somebody to sit there and tell you something that you already think is true, or you’re looking for someone to reinforce a belief that you already hold, you can find it. Even if we’re talking about the economy, you can find people who will sit on YouTube and tell you anything and everything. On one side of the spectrum, you have commentator saying there is no recession, we’re not going to go into an economic downturn, that’s just a bunch of pigswallow, that’s not going to happen. We all know that homes hold their value. This is not 2007. There are so many more rules and regulations, people are not giving out weird loans like they were before with no money down there, everything’s a lot stricter, and there’s just no way that housing values are gonna go down those these homes, even though they may seem overpriced to you, they’re really not, they’re gonna always hold their value, we’re not in a bubble. So just keep doing what you’re doing. Keep living in FOMO, keep spending that money, keep going into credit card debt, just keep doing what you’re doing, and it’s all going to be fine. Okay, then you get on the other side of the spectrum, and you have people saying we’re all gonna die, we’re getting ready to go into Mad Max, we’re getting ready to have World War Z or Escape from New York or Blade Runner, robots are going to take over and we’re going to all have to go out and live in the woods, or we’re going to have Soylent Green, where we’re eating people and we’re in a dystopian hellscape. That’s 120 degrees your round. So just get ready, because society is going to collapse overnight. And we’re all going to die. I mean, you can find people on those opposing side of the spectrum, all over YouTube, and then everything in between it, whatever it is you’re looking to find on the internet, you can find it good, bad or neutral. It’s out there and you can find it. So you want to really get conscientious about who you’re listening to and for what reason. And you have to strike that balance. Yes, I do recommend keeping track of what’s going on in the markets, whether we’re talking about the stock market, the job market, the housing market, whatever is most applicable to your situation and your station in life right now. I think it’s important to just keep a general eye on what’s going on. And you may have to set a timer, you may have to say I will engage with content about the news and the economy for 30 minutes or for one hour. And that’s it. After that, it’s a wrap, I’m not going to continue to go into some kind of fear mongering gloom and doom cycle that ruins my entire day, or that ruins my entire night. And it doesn’t matter, it does not matter what side of the political fence that you sit on. I’m thinking of that spider man mean, where all the Spider Mans are standing there pointing at each other. That’s all you’re going to hear. The Republicans are going to blame the Democrats, the Democrats are going to blame the Republicans, you’re gonna have people that say it’s all Trump’s fault. People that say it’s all Biden’s fault. People that blame international politics, that and the list goes on and on. So if you sit and listen to that, you’re just gonna probably feel confused and pissed off most of the time. And that’s not where I think you need to be strategically, I think, in any economy. So here we go, I’m going to kind of marry a couple of different strategies together here. In any economy, I think it’s good to know your personal finances and to set some kind of personal household budget. Sometimes it shocks me when I go on social media. And I see people saying, like, I don’t know how to set a budget, I’ve never done it in my life, I just get to the cash register with my basket of stuff and hope that my credit card works, or I hope that the debit card clears. And it’s like, what? What? It’s difficult for me to comprehend that. Because I just I don’t, I don’t know how you have that much sort of fly by the seat of your pants energy. And it’s okay. In some ways, I guess I admire that. But in other ways, I’m like, what? So from a mindset perspective, the first thing that I am going to put out there again, just my opinion, in my opinion, it’s a smart idea to get your mind right. And to to frame the situation in context. I like how Tony Robbins says you don’t go out to your garden, see weeds and saying, there are no weeds? No, you stooped down and you pull the weeds, you get rid of them. But you don’t put all of your life’s focus on the fact that there were weeds in your garden, and then have some kind of breakdown because of nature did what nature is going to do and I had weeds in my garden, and it didn’t look like some beautiful, well landscaped thing from Instagram, and I’m such a failure. No, you don’t want to focus on the negatives. To the point where you turn into a giant Er, no one to ignore the fact that you have beautiful melons and tomatoes and peppers and a wonderful herb garden, I mean, that, to me, the smell of a nice fresh, homegrown herb, like some some basil or some oregano, oh, oh my god, it’s just so much different than what you get at the store. You don’t want to ignore the great things and just focus on negative all the time. In that same vein, you don’t want to get on YouTube, or television news or whatever, and just sit and listen to that junk over and over and over and over until you feel like your brains are going to start to rot out and we’d come out your ears or something. You want to set a news diet for yourself and say, I’m going to take this time, this set amount of time, where I will look at the weeds in the garden. And I will do what I can to pull up the weeds. But then I’m going to take my focus away from that. And I think one of the ways if indeed we are headed into an economic downturn, one of the ways that you can pull the weeds from your garden is by setting that household budget and sticking to it get real, you know, you need to pull everything out, sit down at the table with calculator pen and pencil, the computer whatever you need to do to take an honest appraisal of your finances and say, Are we paying for subscriptions that we don’t even use? Did we put things on a high interest credit card without really realizing it? Some companies will allow you to do a balance transfer. And I know some people who have used that strategy really well to pay off a particular card that had a higher interest rate. Then I’ve known other people who did that and said it didn’t work out well for them at all. consult a professional financial planner before you do anything like that. The first step however, is knowing knowing is half the battle. Because if you go into meet with a financial planner, and that person asks you Okay, well, you tell me about your expenses, and what amount of money do you bring in every month? And then how much do you have going out and your bills and your necessary expenses and you sit there and say, I have no idea and that person is going to expect you to come up with a coherent answer. They’re going to need to know the facts and you need to know the facts. So if you’ve been running and hiding from your own personal finances, it’s it’s time to drag everything out into the light and figure out if you have unnecessary expenses for junk you’re not even using if you forgot to cancel a subscription and it’s just draining your bank account month after month then If you consider getting rid of it, take a look at what your situation is, and set some kind of a budget. You know, earlier this year, I went into what I and affectionately call recession mode. Like I’ve had to do this before I know what I did to survive the last time, I can do it again. And some stores if you download their app, or if you pay some kind of subscription fee, then you can do like scan as you go. In a situation like that, where you’re going to have to do a paid subscription, I think it’s important to look at whether or not the components of that paid subscription are going to be worth it to you. In my case, they’re just not, I’m not going to use enough of the features to make it worthwhile to pay X amount of dollars per month, or X amount of dollars per year just to have access to the scan and go feature, which is what I really want. So I just take out my phone and pull up that handy dandy calculator app that’s mu free on any phone that you get nowadays, and start tallying things up as I go through the store. And if people look at you, like you’re a weirdo, or they don’t understand what you’re doing, who cares, cares, cares. I don’t give a rip. They’re not coming home with me as my I will never forget the day that I met Roger Moore. And I was kind of nervous about it. Because I just adore Roger. I mean, in for any of you listening out there that ever had the opportunity to meet him yourself? You know, exactly. Excuse me, you know exactly what I’m talking about. That man was just a doll. He was always so good to his fans. And so nervous about meeting him. And my friend Hal was like, You know what, if somebody doesn’t like me, I don’t care. I ain’t going to lunch with y’all. I ain’t going to bed with y’all. I ain’t married to you. So if you don’t like me, what do I care? You got to adopt that same attitude. If you’re going through the store, and you’ve got your calculator app out, and you’re calculating everything that goes into the basket, seeing if it is going to track with your weekly budget, and somebody looks at you like you’re a crackhead. Or oh, look at this peasant pee on calculating their total before they get to the register how Joe? Let them look. I don’t care about that. And you shouldn’t either, they’re not going to pay your bills. Okay, this is like what I’ve said about influencers can leave you broke, if you’re getting bad advice out there from some YouTube commentator who doesn’t care about you, they’re not gonna show up and pay your rent, they’re not going to show up and buy your groceries. So somebody wants to look at you funny because you are calculating things out on an app before you get to the register. Who cares, cares, cares, cares, cares. Let them look. The second thing I will say that’s kind of a mindset and tactical practical step all rolled into one is to keep everything in perspective. Do I? Okay, I could be wrong. I’m just going to put that out there. I could be wrong. Do I think that we are headed into Mad Max or World War Z territory, zombies are going to be out trying to eat your brains. And there’s going to be warlords out in the street, like in Mad Max, and you’re gonna have to turn into a road warrior? No, I don’t personally think that I could be wrong. I mean, maybe these people that really think that we’re headed into a serious dystopian hellscape. And all of society across the globe is going to collapse on the same day. Maybe they’re right and I’m wrong. I don’t know. I’m doing my best to keep everything in perspective. And I go back again to the Buddhist concept of the middle path. I don’t believe commentators who say, There’s no way that you could get upside down on a house. Hello, I bought a foreclosure home in 2007. Because somebody had gotten approved for a loan. And they, they weren’t really capable of making the payments, they got in on a crappy loan that they shouldn’t have been approved for. And they got foreclosed upon, and I bought a foreclosure because that’s all I could afford. At the time. Real estate that was on the market for newer construction or situations where somebody was not yet upside down on the house was just too damn expensive. So don’t think that it’s just so impossible that a house could lose its value, especially if it was way overpriced. When you bought it, you want it you want to think clearly. So I myself am not buying into these commentators who say, Oh, there’s no housing bubble houses are going to retain their value forever and ever, you should just keep getting FOMO and keep buying. A lot of those people have a vested interest in keeping you on the hook. So if a mortgage broker, a real estate agent, or anybody involved in the industry is like, just keep on by and just keep on truckin. Let’s do this. I mean, they’re probably wanting to put money in their own pocket. I’ve told the story more than once about the arrogant realtor who may have explained to me how the current housing market is nothing like it was in 2007 2008. People are not writing mortgages that are going to overload anyone’s but everything’s fine. This is great. These houses are going to retain their value For time in memoriam no matter how grossly overpriced they may seem to be, and I’m sitting there on the other end of the phone, like, either you’re dumb, and you’re getting high off your own supply, and you really believe the nonsense that you’re trying to tell me. Or, you know, it’s BS, but you think I’m dumb enough to buy it myself. Either way, I’m offended. And I would never do business with someone like you. So blah, blah, I don’t listen to people like that. I’m also leery of people on the other side of the spectrum, because some of these people are LARPing, they want to do live action roleplay, that society is going to collapse and they’re going to go out to the woods, or they’re going to go out on the road and be like Mel Gibson or Tom Hardy, in a Mad Max movie, it’s some weird fantasy that they have in their mind. Meanwhile, a lot of these people if society collapsed overnight, they would poop their britches. Okay, let’s let’s have some hashtag real talk, they wouldn’t know the first thing about going to live off the land, they wouldn’t know the first thing about how to be a road warrior. Like in Mad Max, they’re just LARPing. They’re playing it as a game. It’s their fantasy. And some people are posting that stuff is fear porn, they want you to be afraid. So you’ll keep coming back to their channel, they want to make sure that they’re getting those likes, comments, shares and video views. And they know that there’s a certain segment of the population that wants to hear society is doomed, we’re all going to die, zombies are going to eat your brains, you’re going to have to get your backpack put together of supplies, so that you can just go live somewhere in a riverbed or out in the woods, you know, and some of the people recording these videos, they may have the tactical and military type training that they could live that way, they may have done it in a state of warfare before, they may actually have the skill set to do that. Some of them do not. And they’re just LARPing. They’re just playing a game. So I stick to the middle path. I’m in the job market every single day and have been for more than a decade. Now. That’s the arena that I know the best. And I have seen things that have me concerned, layoffs, and companies going out of business hiring freezes, offers getting rescinded a fewer full time permanent jobs getting posted more and more temp work through third party staffing agencies little. So I’m concerned. And I’m concerned enough to feel like it’s time to pull the budget back and get into recession mode and just be ready for whatever. And I would say that that’s really my third suggestion in this broadcast. And it’s both a mindset and a tactical, practical strategy. Be ready for whatever, Come what may, I know that I can survive. From a mindset perspective, and really letting this get into your subconscious and marinate in there. There’s a guided meditation that I listened to from time to time by Brian Scott, of course, I’ll drop a link to it in the comments, or in the write up section for this podcast, so you can find it yourself. There’s a guided meditation called everything is working to my advantage. And in the meditation, like in the sort of introductory phase before the meditation starts, when he’s talking about what inspired him to create that he acknowledges sometimes things are going to be tough. And sometimes you’re gonna get blindsided by any event in life, or a set of circumstances outside your control, you’re gonna be like, I have no idea how this crisis or how this terrible event can ever be manipulated to my advantage, how can I ever utilize this thing or this set of circumstances to my advantage, and at the very least, getting that message into your subconscious, that everything is working to your own advantage, even in less than stellar economic conditions you can survive, you’re gonna make it you have that level of self confidence that you know, you’re going to make it through to the other side. That’s crucial. It’s so much better than running around like Chicken Little assuming that the sky is falling, and zombies are going to your brains that accomplishes a couple of things that aren’t good, in my opinion. One is it puts you into panic mode, you’re not thinking clearly, you’re not thinking rationally. So it puts you in a position where you’re not able to make the best logical decisions for yourself and your family because you’re panic stricken. The other negative consequence is it can put you into analysis paralysis. You’re so scared, you’re looking at every option. You’re listening to so many commentators, you’re going here and you’re going there, you’re in scurrying mouse mode. And so you’re not really doing anything to prepare. And whatever that looks like for you and your family. I don’t know it could be setting a budget and sticking to it. It could be working some extra hours and putting the cash and savings. It could be paying down a credit card. It could be buying extra food at the grocery store in case inflation gets so bad that it becomes really insane to buy food or in case we have food shortages. They’re already in the immediate media telling you that that could happen and whatever it looks cuz like whatever that preparation looks like for you and your family may be different from the guy down the road or this lady over here. But if you get into analysis paralysis and you get scared to death, you’re not going to do anything. And that’s not helpful. So I’d highly recommend listening to something like Brian Scott’s everything is working to my advantage. Now, we’re not saying that there’s not a poop storm a brewing, we’re not going out to the garden and saying there are no weeds. No, we’re acknowledging that the poop storm is brewing. But we’re somehow going to figure out the best way to use the poop storm to our advantage so that we come out of it. Okay. On the other side. If you’re not familiar with brian scott, he has such an interesting backstory. There was a time I think on like Superbowl Sunday, when he was the victim of a home invasion, someone broke into his house and shot him in the back. And he he could have died that day. But he survived. I think like, I don’t know, if the bullet didn’t hit anything critical, or it bounced off of them. There was some kind of miraculous situation there where he was shot, and it could have killed him, but it didn’t. And so he has become really passionate about trying to help people make the most of their circumstances, how to see that every crisis is an advantage. I know some of you are going to push back on that and say no, I’ve had traumatic things that happened to me, I can’t see any advantage in it. I will yet again say You know, I’m not a professional therapist, or psychologist, psychiatrist, any of that. I feel that mental health and mindset are so important to overall health and well being. So if you feel like something has happened, and you need some help working through it, talk to a therapist, a psychologist, a counselor, you I think it’s so important not to go into an economic downturn of whatever proportionate might be something short lived something long term, something kind of bad, but okay survivable, or something really bad. And and off that just is really draining and difficult to get through. You want to go into this situation in the best mental, spiritual, physical and financial shape that you possibly can. Don’t panic, but prepare, set some kind of news diet for yourself so that you’re staying generally aware of what’s going on but you’re not going overboard. You’re not listening to gloom and doom, fear porn over and over and over again. Figure out a way be open to messages from your own subconscious mind, your Higher Self, the higher power that you believe in. meditate, pray, do whatever you need to do to get in contact with that higher knowledge and determine what can I do to work circumstances to my advantage? What can I do to be in the best possible shape going into this that I can be? We don’t panic. We don’t assume that we’re going headlong into World War Z or Mad Max. We’re just being sensible and strategic. I’ll see you in the next episode. We hope you enjoyed today’s episode. If you haven’t already, please take a quick second to subscribe to this podcast and share it with your friends. Thanks for tuning in. We’ll see you next time.