Daily Capital

I Was 14 During the Last Recession — Here’s What’s Going Through My Mind Now

I was walking the golf course with my dad in early fall.

It was 2008 — more than a decade ago, yet I still remember it like it was yesterday. He was teeing up his ball, as I asked him, “Are we okay?”

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I was 14 years old, in my first year of high school. My biggest worries were what part I would land in the school play, if I could make new friends, and my grades in math.

But I was old enough to know that something serious was happening. I didn’t understand the full scope, but my parents had clued me in enough to know what a recession was and why people were so scared.

I remember my dad pondering my question, and then thoughtfully responding — “We’re okay. We’ve lost a lot of money. But we’re okay.”

Now, it’s 2020. I’m 25, an adult and a business owner living in Seattle. And I’m scared.

All signs point to another recession. The coronavirus is tearing apart our economy — small businesses are losing much of their revenue, unemployment is reaching all-time highs since the Great Depression, and the stock market continues to be volatile.

It’s not looking good.

The worst part is the unknown. I’m sure many felt this way in 2008, but I feel like with the added weight of a global pandemic, we’re living in a constant rollercoaster of uncertainty.

For many women in my community at Her First $100K, that uncertainty is the worst part. Many of my followers are struggling — they’re out of work, constantly anxious — and they’re looking to me for advice. People are coming to me for answers, and because everything is so unknown, I don’t have a lot of them besides applying for government support, building what emergency savings you can, and cutting all unnecessary expenses.

For many of my friends, they’re facing the same struggles. Lack of work, lack of resources, lack of certainty. So many of my friends have no idea how they’re going to pay their rent this month. My entrepreneur colleagues are especially feeling the heat — we are not only responsible for our personal expenses, but responsible for our employees and the success of our businesses.

Much like my parents in 2008, I’ve lost a lot of money (almost a quarter of my net worth), but I’m okay. I’m lucky enough to be in a financial position where I’ll be able to support myself, at least for a while. I have a fully-funded emergency savings, I’ve built a largely online business, and I’m healthy.

I’ve felt this survivor’s guilt over the past month, especially living in Seattle. I almost feel badly that I’m financially secure, that my business is (so far) staying steady. It’s hard to watch chaos around you, and for me as an empath, I want to do everything I can to help.

I’m reminded every day how important my work as a financial speaker and coach is. Giving women actionable resources to feel financially confident and secure is my mission in life, and during times of crisis, it’s even more important to give nonjudgmental, compassionate advice.

More than anything, we will get through this. We’ve successfully rallied through our last recession, and the one before it, and the one before that. Whether you, a family member, close friend or colleague are looking to plan an emergency fund, keep track of your adjusted spending or net worth, you can use Personal Capital’s free financial tools to help get a clearer picture of your finances during this volatile time.

This is such a hard time for everyone. All we can do is support one another — lead with empathy and positive intent. Show up for our local businesses and entrepreneurs. Check in on family members and friends. Offer ourselves compassion.

And if I can do anything to help, please don’t hesitate to ask.

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*Personal Capital compensates Tori Dunlap (“Author”) for providing the content contained in this blog post. Additionally, in a separate referral arrangement between Author and Personal Capital Corporation (“PCC”), Author is paid $70 and $150 for each person who uses Author’s webpage (www.HerFirst100k.com) to register with Personal Capital and links at least $100,000 in investable assets to Personal Capital’s Free Financial Dashboard. As a result of these arrangements, Author may financially benefit from referring potential clients to Personal Capital and/or be incentivized to present blog content that is favorable to PCC. No fees or other amounts will be charged to investors by Author or Personal Capital as a result of the Referral Arrangement. Investors that are referred to PCC and subsequently subscribe for investment advisory services provided by PCC’s affiliated adviser, Personal Capital Advisors Corporation (“PCAC”) will not pay increased management fees or other similar compensation to Author, PCC or PCAC as a result of this arrangement. Additional information about PCAC is contained in Form ADV Part 2A available here.

The content contained in this blog post is intended for general informational purposes only and is not meant to constitute legal, tax, accounting or investment advice. You should consult a qualified legal or tax professional regarding your specific situation. Keep in mind that investing involves risk. The value of your investment will fluctuate over time and you may gain or lose money.

Any reference to the advisory services refers to Personal Capital Advisors Corporation, a subsidiary of Personal Capital. Personal Capital Advisors Corporation is an investment adviser registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Registration does not imply a certain level of skill or training nor does it imply endorsement by the SEC.

Tori Dunlap
Tori Dunlap is a millennial money and career expert. After saving $100,000 at age 25, Tori founded Her First $100K to fight financial inequality by giving women actionable resources to better their money. A Plutus award winner, her work has been featured on Good Morning America, New York Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, and more. An honors graduate of the University of Portland, Tori currently lives in Seattle, where she enjoys eating fried chicken, going to barre classes, and attempting to naturally work John Mulaney bits into conversation.

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