Financial expert David Gardner from the investment firm The Motley Fool and co-author of the book, The Motley Fool Million Dollar Portfolio: How to Build and Grow a Panic-Proof Investment Portfolio, gives his tips for surviving the recession:
1. Play financial defense
"Playing defense works, and especially in this time," David says. "Let's be really clear about this: you have to save money in an emergency fund, three to six months of your living expenses. That means you need to know how much you're spending in a given month, and you need to have that saved, because in this economy, that's bad news."
2. Keep saving for the future
"You've got to keep contributing to your 401K plan. The biggest mistake would be to stop now," David says.
3. Choose the Roth
"The Roth IRA, for a lot of us, if we can get into it, that's the one you want to be investing in, because taxes are likely to go up. With a Roth IRA plan, you're paying taxes up front. That means at today's prices. You want to pay taxes now at these lower prices before they likely rise in the future."
4. Don't owe anybody anything
"That's how America started. For a lot of us, we were taught financial prudence. Unfortunately, systemically, from our government right on down to each of us, the big story of our time, and the big problem we're having, and the reason President Obama is now fighting it is because of debt, and we really have to change that mentality," he says.
5. Hug your boss
"The reason is this: This is the most brutal employment environment we will see in our lifetime, I think," David says. "There are going to be a lot of jobs lost, so each of us needs to make ourselves invaluable to those that we report to. Hug your boss. Make sure that it's really, really hard for that person to say, 'We can't keep Dave along.'"