It’s only a matter of time until the recession hits. For most millennials, it’s the first one in which they have experienced in the working world. And unless they’ve already lived through one, millennials have no idea what to expect with the time comes.

We’ve put together five ways tips that millennials can use to survive the upcoming recession.

Save, save, save

Remember that “emergency” or “rainy day” fund your parents warned you to start building when you got your first job? Well, now is the perfect time to build it up. Because, yes, as you guessed a recession calls for a rainy-day fund. You don’t know what is going to happen — a layoff, an emergency expense, etc. So it’s important to have a fund put in place to prepare for the unexpected.

To do this, look at your budget to see where you can be cutting back. Swap eating out for homecooked meals or brew your own coffee at home instead of stopping by Starbucks. Though this might not seem significant at first, you would be surprised how much money you’ll save.

Take risks at work

The word recession in equated in many people’s minds to layoffs. In order to stay in the game, you need to prove to your boss that you are valuable enough to stay. Take on extra projects or come up with a passion project of your own that can improve your department. This will show your boss that you aren’t going to let a recession get in your way of expressing your commitment to the job.

Risks are a win-win for both you and the company. You get a major self-esteem boost, while your company implements a new process. By taking risks at work, you can prove to your manager that you are capable of more responsibility.

Start (or grow) a side hustle

A side hustle is a great way to build your income. Maybe start your own business, check out task apps or apps such as NextDoor, or start driving Uber/Lyft. These gigs can help you rake in some extra money, which can add up significantly over a few months. Not only do these side hustles build extra income, but they can also help you develop an extra skill set.

Having a side hustle might just save your finances when times get tough. If worse comes to worst and you do happen to get laid off, you will have that extra money to fall back on. That being said, try your best to save that money. If you need to, open up a separate savings account at your bank (or another bank) so you’re not tempted to spend the money. You will thank yourself down the road if you do need to access those funds.

Invest in yourself

Use the recession as a time to invest in yourself. Work on things that you can do to further your personal development. Learn and master a new skill (which you can grow into a side hustle), go back to school and get a postgraduate degree, or take continuing education courses. This method can allow you to find the gaps in the labor market and get the skills to fill them. Not only can you pick up a new job, but you might also find something that can help you further your career.

While the sound of going back to school makes your wallet and your head hurt, it has the opposite effect. It can give you the opportunity to find something that you’re passionate about and have the chance to pursue. You can gain a new area of expertise that you can use to further your career or even make a career change.

Move to a new city

While the cost of moving can be expensive, if you move to a city with a lower cost of living, you could be saving money in the long run. During a recession, housing prices usually lower, so it’s a good time to buy, especially in a lower cost of living city. If you’re living in a notoriously expensive city such as New York, San Francisco, or Chicago, use the recession as an opportunity to move to a smaller city such as Asheville, Nashville, or Tampa.

Not only could a new city save you some money, but it might also be a better job market than the city you’re currently living in. Some cities have better job opportunities than others, especially in certain industries. Move to a city that is a booming hub in the industry you’re working in. Chances are, there are plenty of open jobs, which you can use to your advantage.


Just because a recession is bound to happen, doesn’t mean you are out of luck. As a millennial, you have plenty of resources and opportunities to tackle the recession head on. By taking proactive steps, you can make sure that you are prepared when the recession hits, both personally and professionally.

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