Fellow Roscoeheads, lend me your eyeballs! Who here feels higher-than-gas about the supposed "recession" our talking heads keep babbling about? While crusing CL (some of the ads sound desperate) and noticing all the TB gear for sale to make ends meet, I thought it responsible to provide some insight gained in my professional life. What are the biggest buildings in YOUR downtown? Yup, banks and insurance companies. See, I knew that and I haven't even been to your city. Now, wouldn't it be great if someone told you what they don't want you to know? Here's how to keep your Roscoe & other sundry gear in your arsenal: 1) Spend less than you make. If all your earnings go toward living expenses, you'll never have extra to sock away or take care of incidentals. Sounds simple, but this is where it is easiest to get hung up. 2) Don't finance the difference between the gear you want and the gear you can afford. There's freedom in not owing your life away to Visa/MasterCard/Amex. 3) Save $50 each paycheck, even if that means paying late on the light bill. This develops the habit of saving. Then in 6 months, give yourself a RAISE and save $100 each paycheck. The exact figure is less important than developing the ACTION, pick a number that's comfy and stick to it! Setting unrealistic goals will only lead to frustration--which is the fastest way to get back to selling your gear to pay bills. Why am I telling you to save like crazy? Here's why, steps #4 & #5! 4) You'll quickly come to a place (about $500 for singles, $1000 for marrieds) where you have a buffer between YOU and "real" life! Imagine what that extra cash would do for your stress level (and/or marriage) RIGHT NOW--trust me, it'll feel the same when you reach that point in a few months! Having a pile of cash feels good--being emotional beings, you'll want to continue paying yourself FIRST! 5) Grow your buffer into an EMERGENCY FUND. This is 3 to 6 months worth of expenses. Note: expenses, not income. Don't be intimidated. This doesn't have to be an overnight thing, it is to prepare you for the unexpected. Your personal economy is up to you. If you are out of debt and have money in the bank, then the media can talk up a storm about a recession, but you won’t feel it. If you have a paid-for house, who cares if foreclosure rates are up? YOU are all right, and your basses safe in the closet. Most importantly remember that most people don't PLAN to FAIL, they only FAIL to PLAN. Roscoe fans, I don't know about you but if I don't write something down, it doesn't get done. WRITE OUT YOUR PLAN RIGHT NOW. Keep it visible, refer to it often. Procrastination is the only thing in your way now. Get out there and keep what you have already and enjoy!