Things are a bit tougher, economically speaking, than is ideal.
Gas and groceries are more expensive, rent has been spiralling upward for years, and anyone who’s bought a home in the last few years knows that a big portion of their paycheque goes directly towards the mortgage – more than in their parents’ day.
In other ways, the economy is still chugging along, unemployment at record lows, wages rising (a bit).
But after every boom, there comes a downturn.
Which means now, when things are still reasonably good for most people, is the best time to plan and prepare.
For individuals and families that can mean simply making sensible financial decisions and saving what they can. But no amount of personal savings is sufficient to protect everyone when the economy decides it’s time to circle the drain again.
The best way to ensure we make it smoothly through the next recession, whenever it turns up, is to invest now in strong community institutions.
That means making sure that food banks have funding and volunteers, and that social service agencies have adequate resources. It means civic and provincial politicians working together to make sure that those programs get funded.
It means making connections – between religious institutions and community groups, between service clubs and arts organizations, between Scouts and Guides and local streamkeepers.
A dense network of connections makes a community under economic pressure stronger.
We don’t know that there will be a recession for sure, but we know that even now, the rising costs of food and fuel are putting pressure on the vulnerable.
It takes a whole community working together to ensure everyone has enough to eat and a place to sleep.
Nobody gets through tough times alone.