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Maintaining your finances can be an overwhelming business. Most of the time, everyday expenses, work, and family obligations command our attention, but it's important to also spend time on a financial plan for the long term. Few circumstances prove this fact better than an economic recession. Defined as a period of reduced economic activity, a slump in the economy could mean reduced wages, layoffs and financial hardship for millions of Americans. Don't rely on luck for financial stability. Recession-proof your finances today to ensure you survive the next economic downturn.

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1. Eliminate Your Debt

Debt is inevitable. From auto lending to mortgages to student loans, it seems that every major life event comes with a significant price tag. From credit card balances to large purchases, most of our monthly expenses are often liabilities. If you have substantial debts other than a mortgage, you should focus on paying off those balances first. When a recession hits, you'll need as much cash flow flexibility as possible, not outstanding balances. For substantial debts, consider debt consolidation. These loans pay off high-interest balances and restructure them into a single, lower-interest payment. Do your research, speak to a financial advisor if possible, and make sure the consolidation company is verified by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau before taking out another loan.

Eliminating debt secures future finances Geber86 / Getty Images
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