The negative economic forecasts have been flying around us lately. Although the consequences of the corona crisis are not yet fully understood, a recession seems inevitable. How can you organize your own finances in order to absorb the impact as well as possible? Erica Verdegaal wrote about this with Marieke Henselmans Crisis! What to do? From red to green . She tells NU.nl about it.
In mid-March it became clear that the Netherlands was also hit by the corona crisis, and this book was already on the shelves in June. Was the subject ready?
"No! We started very quickly then. And what we have been doing for a long time is writing about money matters: I myself have been doing this for 25 years. I have therefore experienced the credit crisis completely, and even before that - although a little less consciously - that of the early eighties. "
"When everything closed and Rutte said that he would support the economy with tens of billions, I immediately knew: this is a crisis."
"Why do people have twenty subscriptions, even for flowers?" Erica Verdegaal
You compare our existence in the world economy with life on a dormant volcano: "The longer the fire mountain stays still, we will think that prosperity and happiness grow to heaven." In other words, many people mess around a bit and spend what they want until a crisis arises?
"Yes. But I believe that it is not 100 percent the fault of the citizen. We say we are a knowledge economy, but we are simply a consumer society."
"Marketing techniques have become so much more sophisticated. Why else do people have as many as 20 subscriptions, even for flowers or cleaning the waste bin? You are tempted to do everything, but can get into big trouble. You can live a very prosperous life in this country , but that requires attention. "
"With our book, we first want to give people a test of their financial risks. By answering statements, you get a color code for your situation: green, yellow or red. For example, we recommend a buffer of four times your monthly income. have the savings account. "
One person's finances are very different from another's: just whether you rent or have a mortgage makes a world of difference. Are there certain ways of dealing with money that yield something for everyone?
"Certainly. There are actually three important things you can do. Be the first to have an overview. Write down what your money has been spent on over the past month. Distinguish between your fixed costs and the expenses you choose, such as for terraces and shopping. "
"Then you can do a stress test with that knowledge. Spend half a month of what you normally do for one month. You don't have to get that coffee at the station. How does that feel? If you have practiced that, you are also better able to cope against a sudden decrease in your income. "
"In addition, avoiding and reducing debt is very important, because you easily fall further into it. Making a list with 'earning opportunities' is also very useful, to see where there are opportunities for more income."
Nobody is going to make you rich just like that; you always have to consider what the person wins with it. ” Erica Verdegaal
You also warn against "deadheads and opportunists" trying to take advantage of the crisis. Is that happening now?
"Yes. They will have a chance if the fear strikes. Fortunately, the latter is not so bad now, but it can turn around. That also happened in the credit crisis, when three banks collapsed in quick succession."
"Opportunists will then sell gold bars, bitcoins or other things as a quick solution. But no one is going to make you rich just like that; you always have to think about what they win with it."
"And remember that you no longer think clearly when you are anxious. If you are in code red, do not get stressed. Realize: I am in the Netherlands, not somewhere where I will just be on the street. Ultimately, a crisis will pass. Then why not tackle your finances now? "