Select Page

A recession is almost certainly on its way. We’re not officially in a recession yet (a recession is defined as two consecutive quarters of negative growth) but the signs are all there.

There’s lots you can start doing now to survive (and maybe even thrive!) in a recession. Here are some tips.


Be intentional with your money

The coming recession could last for as long as two years. Some of the questions to think about are:

  • How are you going to survive that time? 
  • How will you make sure you’ve got enough money to cover all expenses?
  • What will you do if those you rely on for financial support get into financial trouble? 

Budgeting is one of the first steps to help you manage your money intentionally. A good budget will show you what’s coming in and what’s going out, so you can see if you need to make more money or cut back in certain areas. Our budget calculator can help you do this.

Also, you can be proactive in getting more money! This can be finding an extra source of income (here are five ways to make money) or applying for some of the scholarships and bursaries out there. Whatever your situation, there’s sure to be something for you. Take time to research and put effort into making high-quality applications. The Scholarship Hub is a great place to start.


Get your debt in order

When interest rates are rising (as they are at the moment) debt becomes even more expensive, meaning you end up being charged even more to borrow money.

If you have any debt, try to move it onto cards or loans with a lower interest rate. This means you’ll be charged less for borrowing money and will end up paying back less overall. 0% credit cards are widely available and something worth considering. Read this blog to learn why just making the minimum monthly repayment on your credit card each month isn’t enough.

Also, be wary of Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) services. By using BNPL and putting off payments, you might forget and think you have more money than you actually do.. It’s best to only spend money on things you could afford to pay for right now.

To stay financially well, try to only take on debt as a last resort and when you know you are able to afford the repayments. . As mentioned before, finding an additional source of income or applying for funding can be good options to look at before taking on debt. Alternatively, see if you can lend money from a family member to avoid having to pay back a high-interest loan.

There’s lots more information about debt in the Blackbullion Debt pathway.


Ask for help and watch your mental health

It’s noble and always good to work hard to figure things out on your own – but sometimes it’s best to ask for help.

You probably haven’t dealt with an economy like this before so it’s natural to feel uncertain in these circumstances. Never be afraid to ask for help for anything you’re struggling with to do with your money. The Blackbullion platform can help a lot with this, with learning covering 80+ financial topics.

It’s also important to keep an eye on your mental health. Studying brings all of its own stresses and concerns, so facing financial difficulty and uncertainty on top of that can make things increasingly difficult and sometimes unbearable. 

Speaking to support staff at your university/college can be useful in getting help and assistance for anything you might be struggling with.


Wait for your mind to catch up with your emotions

When things are uncertain, it can be easy to act emotionally out of fear and worry. But emotional decisions usually aren’t best when it comes to money. 

As mentioned, if you’re unsure about anything, it’s great to ask for help. An additional benefit of this is that others usually think more rationally about our situation than we do as they’re less emotionally invested in the outcome.

Then, before making any big decisions, make sure you take a step back and try to think rationally for yourself about whether your choice is the best thing to do. Always give yourself space to think and really consider things, especially if it concerns a financial decision that could put you into financial difficulty. 

For example, seeing an asset market crash can be scary and it would be tempting to sell your assets as quickly as possible to salvage some of your money. But in most situations, this isn’t the best thing to do – it’s usually better to wait it out if you can because the long-term trend of most asset markets is upwards. 📈

Always give yourself space to think and really consider things, especially if it concerns a financial decision that could put you into financial difficulty.


Be strategic and proactive about your job search

Graduate jobs are one of the first types of jobs to go during a recession: companies have less money than normal, so they need to make sure that any new hires have a positive impact on the company – this means they prefer to play it safe and might prioritise someone with experience over a graduate.

This doesn’t mean it’s impossible to get a graduate job – it just means that you’ll have to do more to stand out. 

If you don’t have much experience in the field you want to go into, try and get more while you’re still studying. This will show employers that you’re interested in that field and have made an active effort to further your learning. Especially during recessions, you’ll need to consider taking on unpaid work experience – it’s definitely worth working for free now to give yourself a better chance of getting a great job in the future.

Growing your personal brand and online profile can really help you to stand out. You should think about growing your personal brand as early as possible so that you’re well set up when it comes time to apply. You won’t be able to create a solid personal brand overnight so it’s key to think ahead.

If you’re not on LinkedIn, set up your profile as soon as you’ve finished reading this. It’s by far one of the best platforms to use to connect with people working in the industry you want to work in.

Here are more tips for how to get a graduate job.

Alternatively, it might be better to look for jobs in other fields in the short term. You can still pursue your chosen career in the long term, but you might want to prioritise making money for now and doing something else for a year or two.


Be honest with yourself about your situation

We often hear about people who are too worried to open their bank account apps because they’re scared of what they’ll see, or not hoping that their money lasts until the end of the year without making a plan.

Money and finances can be worrying – but pretending that a problem doesn’t exist never made a problem go away! 🤷‍♀️

It’s much better to be honest with yourself about where you’re at and where you’re struggling. This will leave you much better able to deal with the situation, find a way out of anything negative and be able to thrive with your finances. 💪

No financial problem is impossible to overcome if you give it time and effort. Remember, ask for help if you need to – the Blackbullion platform is here if you need it and there’s lots of other help out there for you too, both in terms of advice as well as money help in the form of scholarships, bursaries, grants and hardship funding!


Here’s a link to our webinar, where we looked in detail at how to survive and thrive in this uncertain economy:


Related blogs

What’s happening with the economy? – Here’s some insight into what’s going on with the economy at the moment and suggestions for how to manage your finances well during these times. 

How to enjoy life without breaking the bank – Five low-cost night in ideas to make sure you enjoy life while also looking after your financial wellbeing, including hosting your own Come Dine with Me.

4 ways to invest in yourself and improve your life – Investing in yourself is extremely important throughout life. We’ve got 4 ways you can do this, with lots of resources to help you get started.


Further learning

Risk pathway – We explore types of financial and emotional risk with practical tips to make smart financial decisions.

Building an emergency fund – An emergency fund can keep you covered financially, no matter what awaits you. We look at how much you should have and how to get started.