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So you and your friends have gotten your jobs back – or you have at least have re-entered the workplace. It seems that the recession is over.

But is it really?

Experts have noted a few warning signs that a second, even more devastating recession could turn up soon.

How then is the consumer supposed to cope with an impending recession? Here are a few suggestions.

Save as much as you can. Common advice is to save before you spend, but if this is too unrealistic for you, then at least withdraw only exactly what you need each day to cover bills and daily household expenses. Don’t keep too much cash – or cards – on hand, so you can more easily avoid the temptation to buy on impulse. Remember, the money you save now may be your only lifesaver if recession hits again.

Live within your means. That means really sticking to a tight budget. Consider staying home on weekends instead of going to shopping centers. Buy takeout food instead of spending extra on drinks and tips at the restaurant. Better yet, eat in the comfort of your own home, and brown bag your lunch. Not only will you save money on food, you’ll be eating healthier and save money on future doctor’s bills as well.

Diversify your investment portfolio. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Invest in different types of instruments, such as government bonds (low risk) and mutual funds (medium risk). These have better yields than bank deposits, even time deposits! If you wish to invest in the stock market, make sure you only get stocks you are willing to keep for at least ten years. Playing the stock market is a highly risky activity and should be done only by professionals who have studied the market for a long time. It is not an amateur sport.

Don’t add to your bad debt. Avoid borrowing, even if you have sufficient home equity, as this only adds to your expenses. Any additional debt may also let you run the risk of eventually losing your most valuable asset should you be unable to repay your mortgage.

You can add to your good debt. Good debt is debt you incur in order to grow your business. Good debt, if taken prudently and managed wisely, can speed up your business development and grow your income. But even business-related debt, when used carelessly, can become bad debt. Always make sure of your returns before you borrow money to grow your business. And always pay your debts on time.

Prioritize on managing your liabilities. Non-payment of electric, water, Internet, and other monthly bills will cause interruptions and add cause you to incur penalties. If you are truly saddled with debt and clueless as to how to juggle between bills, consider talking to a Debt Management Company. The company can give you loads of good advice and in dire situations, can act on your behalf to deal with your debtors.

Stay positive. There’s nothing like a hopeful attitude to tide you over these difficult times. Find joy in little things. Your optimism will act as a cushion against another recession, should one really hit home.

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