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I’m sure you’ve heard we’re headed for a recession.
But aren’t we already in one?
It sure feels like it!
Look, recessions are hard, especially for those living on a budget. Democratic socialists face a particular challenge, as their values often lead them to prioritize spending in certain areas.
So given the current economic conditions – how should a democratic socialist plan their household budget?
One of the biggest hits to the pocket book is mutual aide. When a recession hits, those less fortunate are hit the hardest.
Mutual aid is a key part of the democratic socialist approach to budgeting during a recession. This includes finding ways to share resources with those in need and helping those most affected by the recession. This could include volunteering time or resources to food banks, homeless shelters, or other organizations that provide aid to those in need.
That means shelling out extra for all your favorite orgs. Maybe even eviction representation!
And even if you’re more partial to time banks – time is money, too!
Collective Action & Praxis
In addition to mutual aid, collective action is an important part of the democratic socialist approach to budgeting during a recession. This includes participating in protests, boycotts, and other forms of collective action that can help to bring about needed change and provide support for those most affected by the recession.
A recession will disproportionately displace already marginalized communities, so it’s more important than ever to champion progressive causes.
Supporting Local Businesses
Local businesses are often an important part of a community, and democratic socialists will likely prioritize supporting these businesses over large corporations.
During a recession, this may be difficult, as local businesses may not have the same financial resources as larger companies. However, there are still ways to support them, such as buying gift cards for future use, or using their services for essential items.
Investing in Community-Owned Assets
Another important part of a democratic socialist budget is investing in community-owned assets.
Think worker co-operatives or community-run organizations.
Investing in these assets can be a great way to ensure that money is being spent within the community and that it is being used to benefit everyone.
Saving for Emergencies
Just be sure to secure your own oxygen mask before helping others!
Activism is a marathon, not a sprint.
Even during a recession, it is important to have some money set aside for emergencies. This could be an emergency fund, or it could be used to invest in stocks or bonds. A democratic socialist should prioritize saving this money as much as possible, while also making sure that they are not sacrificing their values in the process.
A democratic socialist should have a unique approach to their household budget during a recession. They should prioritize supporting local businesses, investing in community-owned assets, and saving for emergencies. By following these guidelines, they can ensure that they are able to weather the recession while still adhering to their values.
If you want to ensure you’re setting aside a portion of your budget for the causes most important to you, create a separate category in your budget! This can help keep you on track and your dollars protected and prioritized.