Despite some bright spots like low unemployment and a slow decline in inflation, most economists still expect the United States to enter a recession before the end of the year, according to a recent survey by the Wall Street Journal.
While you may not personally feel the brunt of a recession due to a layoff or other major loss of income, those who are already financially behind are at greater risk than recession destroys their livelihoods. This could explain why women – who still earn less, on average, than men – are more worried than men about the onset of a recession, according to a recent Bankrate survey.
Not only are 74% of women (compared to 65% of men) worried about an economic downturn, but nearly half of women say they are unprepared if the United States enters a recession this year, revealed Bankrate in a survey of nearly 2,400 adults. .
Recessions can affect people differently regardless of gender, but Bankrate found several indications that women are at greater risk of experiencing problems in a recession. Many women take action to avoid potential disaster.
Increasing your savings or getting out of debt quickly might be easier said than done. One solution is to find ways to increase your income. Asking for a raise or promotion at your current job can work, but companies are also preparing for a recession and may not be eager to raise your salary.
Gailey says now might be a good time to find a better paying job and make the switch, but not to do it just for a raise.
“Money alone is not a reason to change jobs. It should also make sense for your short- and long-term professional growth,” she says.
Also, it’s important to keep your financial goals realistic. If you are not able to increase your income and it is not possible to save three to six months of expenses at the moment, you can take smaller measures.
“Putting as little as $10 or $20 a week into a savings account can make a significant difference over time,” says Gailey. “Plus, it gets you into the habit of paying yourself first.”
Although the cards are against women, they are doing their best to prepare for an upcoming recession. Women are more likely than men to report cutting back on discretionary spending, saving more for emergencies and looking for extra income, Bankrate found.
Additionally, only 24% of women said they were doing nothing to prepare for an economic downturn, compared to 27% of men.
Some women feel confident in their ability to handle a recession in the coming year, with 39% feeling somewhat prepared and 13% feeling very prepared for a recession before the end of 2023.
If you fall into this camp, now is a great time to focus on investing for the future. Increasing your 401(k) contributions, adding to an Individual Retirement Account (IRA), or opening a brokerage account are just a few ways to get started.
“Investing in the stock market is one of the most democratic ways to build wealth because the stock market doesn’t care about gender or race,” says Gailey. “Remember to maintain a long-term mindset, even in volatile markets. Historical data shows that staying the course is a winning investment strategy.”
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