Are We Headed For A Recession?

Are We Headed For A Recession?

Are we headed for a recession? That seems to be a question you hear on the news, at work, or at the dinner table with relatives. How can one tell?

Welcome to the 15th FLA Guest Blog Post! This post explores recessions and the overall state of the economy. Thank you to Andrew from Gauss Money for sharing this helpful article.

Andrew helped develop a fintech app for paying off debt. He thought my readers might be interested to hear more about how to use Chat GPT for their personal finances. Recently, Gauss Money purchased the rights for their GPT tool that is 100% free to users, and has been created with the inputs needed to support even the most complex financial questions. They call it ChatPF (personal finance).

They’ve gained a lot interest from users dropping in all of their debts to create an optimized budget and payoff plan. They can answer which debts to pay off first and what strategies are the best for your specific budgets, goals, and debt amounts.

Gauss improves your credit score in most cases. Gauss prevents late payments and reduces the amount of debt on your cards, reducing their utilization, which has a great positive effect on your credit score. You can improve the score further by paying on time to Gauss. No fees are charged if you’re late with your repayments to Gauss, but your credit score will be negatively affected.

A recession, in basic terms, is a significant decline in economic activity that lasts more than a few months. It’s visible in industrial production, employment, real income, and wholesale-retail trade. The technical indicator of a recession is two consecutive quarters of negative economic growth as measured by a country’s gross domestic product (GDP).

Understanding the concept of a recession is fundamental to grasping the dynamics of the economy. It’s a natural part of the economic cycle, but it often instills fear and uncertainty. Amid a recession, businesses cut back on investment, hiring slows or even reverses, and economy’s output of goods and services decreases. In essence, a recession is the economy’s way of correcting itself.

However, not all recessions are alike. Some are brief and shallow, others are deep and prolonged. Their causes can vary, from a burst financial bubble, to a sudden economic shock, to a gradual build-up of imbalances. Hence, understanding a recession requires a nuanced perspective, acknowledging its multifaceted nature.

Understanding Economic Indicators

Economic indicators provide significant insights into the overall health of an economy. They are key statistics that signal the current and future health of an economy, allowing economists, investors, and government officials to make informed decisions.

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is a primary economic indicator, measuring the total value of all goods and services produced by an economy over a specific period. Other vital indicators include employment rates, consumer price index (CPI), business investment levels, and even stock market performance. These indicators can provide early warnings of a potential recession.

Economic indicators are not infallible, however. They are often subject to revisions and can sometimes give false signals. Nonetheless, they remain an essential tool for gauging the economic pulse and predicting future trends.

Recent Economic Trends: Are We Headed for a Recession?

Given the current economic climate, the question on everyone’s mind is: “Are we headed for a recession?”. The answer, as with most things economic, isn’t straightforward.

Various economic indicators present mixed signals. While some economies have shown signs of slowing down, others still demonstrate robust growth. The global economy is, in a sense, on a tightrope, with various factors tipping the balance towards growth or recession.

However, several indicators suggest that the chances of a recession are increasing. Rising levels of global debt, escalating trade tensions, and the increasing geopolitical uncertainty are among the factors that could potentially trigger a downturn.

The Role of Government in Preventing Recessions

Government plays a crucial role in preventing and mitigating recessions. Through fiscal and monetary policies, governments can stimulate economic activity and prevent downturns.

Fiscal policy involves government spending and taxation. In times of a looming recession, governments can increase spending or cut taxes to stimulate economic activity. Monetary policy, on the other hand, involves controlling the money supply and interest rates. Lowering interest rates can encourage borrowing and investment, thus stimulating the economy.

However, these policies are not without limitations. They can sometimes result in unintended consequences, such as inflation, or growing public debt. Therefore, their implementation requires careful consideration and judgment.

What Happens During a Recession?

During a recession, economic activity contracts. Businesses cut back production, resulting in layoffs and rising unemployment. Consumers, fearing job loss, cut back on spending, which further depresses economic activity.

Recessions can also affect the financial markets. Stock prices often fall as investors anticipate lower corporate profits. Moreover, during a recession, interest rates usually fall, which can lead to a decrease in the income of savers.

However, not all effects of a recession are negative. Recessions can create opportunities for innovation and reorganization, allowing more efficient firms to thrive.

How Businesses and Consumers are Affected by a Recession

During a recession, both businesses and consumers face significant challenges. Businesses may see a drop in demand for their products or services as consumers cut back on spending. This can lead to layoffs, reduced profits, and in severe cases, bankruptcy.

Consumers, on the other hand, may face job loss or reduced income, making it more difficult to meet financial obligations. This can lead to a decrease in consumer confidence, further suppressing economic activity.

However, businesses can also use recessions as opportunities to restructure and become more efficient. Consumers can benefit from lower prices and interest rates, making it a good time to save or invest.

Fear of Recession
Image Source: cottonbro studio by Pexels

Can We Predict a Recession?

Predicting a recession is notoriously difficult. Economists use a wide array of economic indicators to forecast downturns, but these predictions are far from perfect.

Despite their limitations, economic indicators can provide valuable insights into the health of the economy. By closely monitoring these indicators, it is possible to anticipate economic downturns and take preventative measures.

However, it’s important to remember that while we can anticipate recessions, we cannot entirely prevent them. Recessions are part of the natural economic cycle, and while they can be mitigated, they cannot be entirely avoided.

How to Prepare for a Potential Recession

Preparation is key when facing a potential recession. Both businesses and individuals can take steps to mitigate the impact of a downturn.

Businesses can focus on improving efficiency, reducing debt, and building a cash reserve to weather a downturn. They can also diversify their customer base and product offering to reduce reliance on a single market.

Individuals can prepare by building an emergency fund, reducing debt, and diversifying their investment portfolio. It’s also a good time to focus on improving skills and education, as job competition often intensifies during a recession.

Past Recessions and Their Impact on the Economy

Past recessions have had significant impacts on economies worldwide. The Great Depression of the 1930s, the recession of the early 1980s, and the 2008 financial crisis are among the most severe economic downturns in modern history.

Each recession has its unique causes and effects, but they all result in a general contraction of economic activity. However, they also provide valuable lessons on economic resilience and the importance of sound fiscal and monetary policies.

Conclusion: The Economic Outlook

The question “Are we headed for a recession?” is complex and multifaceted, with no definitive answer. While several economic indicators suggest an increased likelihood of a downturn, the future remains uncertain.

What is certain, however, is that economies are inherently cyclical. Recessions are inevitable but are also followed by periods of growth and expansion. By understanding the dynamics of recessions and preparing accordingly, businesses and individuals can mitigate their impact and seize the opportunities they present.

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Disclosure: Fresh Life Advice is an opinion-based website. I am not a financial advisor, and the opinions on this site should not be considered financial advice.

What are your thoughts on recessions? Let me know in the comments below.

January Side Income Report | 2024

January 2024 Side Income

Welcome to the 2024 January Side Income Report.

Let’s start this post with the obligatory caveat:

FLA’s side hustle income reports are not for the purpose of bragging. This side income amount of money is by no means impressive. The sole purpose of this series is to inspire you to create diversified income streams in order to help you achieve your financial goals faster.

I began this tumultuous F.I.R.E. (Financial Independence – Retire Early) journey almost immediately after graduating from college and shortly realizing it is never ideal to work for someone other than yourself.

After withdrawing from the corporate world, I plan to fully indulge in my mission of helping 10 million people with their own path to financial freedom. I’ve discovered a wonderful community of people with shared mindsets. So I’m currently on a journey to see if we can turn FLA into a little business that supports the mission.

The reason I’ve decided to publish these income reports is because I want you to be a part of the journey.

After aggressively saving 50%+ of my annual income year after year, I’m approximately 35% of the way to retirement with 9 years to go. I’m aware that side hustles may never fully support one’s expenses, but I’m willing to try.

At the very minimum of making $1/month (what one may consider failure), I am ecstatic as I realize this can be considered supplemental income that will be able to be reinvested into this blog to enhance your reading experience on FLA.

Through my arduous journey, I’ve learned to focus on the future value of money. One dollar to you may look like a standard George Washington-faced bill, but to me, I see its potential.  Accounting for 3% inflation, investing that dollar could return 5 times its original value in 25 years. Yes, that’s like putting $1 into an ATM and having it return a $5 bill back to you. How amazing is compound interest?! Hypothetically, you can increase that principal amount, and you’ve got yourself some unbelievable returns.

My hope with these income reports is ultimately to present some transparency for you. By showing it doesn’t take much effort to earn and save, I may motivate you to chase one of your biggest dreams. Dreams may originally sound outlandish, but they all need to start somewhere, right? Without further ado, here is FLA’s January 2024 Side Income Report.



The best way to make money is to have various streams of revenue. The best way to protect yourself in the course of ill-fated events stripping you of some of your main sources of income is to diversify.

We have all heard the pragmatic advice of “Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket.” Well, put this theory into practice. The following is my best attempt to develop additional sources of income. Below are the six ways I attempted to make money from my side hustles in the month of January.



Stocks are my absolute favorite money-making assets. Your money can make money for you with the click of a ‘buy’ button! Sure, there are ups and downs in the stock market, but if you look historically at the S&P 500 Index or the Dow Jones Industrial Average, your investment generally grows over the long term. Remember, investing and gambling are not the same thing.

“If you aren’t willing to own a stock for ten years, don’t even think about owning it for ten minutes.”

-Warren Buffett, American Investor/Business Tycoon/Philanthropist/Chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway

Investors and analysts contend that conducting research on which stock to buy may be active work, but it is a generally held credence that dividends are passive income.

What are dividends?

Simply, they are distribution of some of a company’s earnings to a class of its shareholders. In this case, you are the shareholder. Yes, I know it’s hard to believe, but the company you invest in will reward you with bonus money!

Let’s take a look at the aftermath of the stocks that paid out dividends this month:

January Side Income 2024 Stock Dividends

Which stocks have I invested in? I have a few individual stock picks, but the finance community knows this is a loser’s game. I mainly hold VTI, the Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund, which allows you to be diversified and capture 3,525 different stocks with a minimal expense ratio, or annual fee, of 0.03%. Index funds will often take you to the promised land in the long run.

Typically, you have 2 choices with dividends. You can either accept the dividend as cold hard cash or you can choose to reinvest the money back into the same stock automatically. It’s as simple as clicking the ‘yes’ button when prompted with the question on whether or not to re-invest dividends.

I strongly recommend you to reinvest your dividends and capital gains. Why? Well, look at this way: you didn’t have the earned dividend money to begin with. Do you really need it at this moment? Why not let your additional money grow even more? Open up an investment account and enjoy the magic of compounding interest by increasing your principal investment.

January Side Income – Stock Dividends / Interest Total: $45.25


In my free time, I participate in paid surveys. It’s one of my other sources of income. The surveys are mindless and allow you to temporarily escape from life’s struggles and reality. Oftentimes, you have a chance to play your part in society and provide meaningful feedback on hot topics that may be decided by top companies and government officials.

The 3 survey programs I use daily are:

  1. Prolific
  2. Pinecone Research
  3. YouGov

I strongly recommend any of these three survey websites because of the higher payouts. Our time on this planet is valuable. Always consider how much time you are trading for money.


Prolific seems to have the highest quantity of surveys available. Each survey also previews an hourly rate to the user. This significantly helps in determining if the survey is worth your time. I’ve seen them range from $3/hour all the way up to $30/hour, but on average are $8/hour.

Pinecone Research

Pinecone Research surveys always reward you with $3 for every survey. Since each survey is typically around 10 minutes long, the site has a pretty standard hourly rate of $12/hour. However, the frequency of surveys is much less than Prolific.


Finally, YouGov’s typical survey lasts for 10 minutes and will pay out $1.50, translating to an hourly rate of $6/hr. Even though it is the lowest payout, it still helps to have supplemental income. Again, always consider the balance between time and money.

YouGov is an eclectic group of the media, nonprofits and companies that congregate to find out what the world thinks. YouGov happens to be one of the most-quoted data sources in the US and across the world.

Prolific, Pinecone Research, and YouGov offer all kinds of rewards, but I normally recommend cash payout via PayPal. The transfer is usually instantaneous. Prolific does pay out in GBP, but the money is translated to USD when conducting a bank transfer in PayPal.

In fact, Prolific does not have a minimum payout, Pinecone’s minimum payout is $5, and YouGov’s minimum cash payout is $50, albeit YouGov offers the option of a $15 Amazon gift card.

January Side Income 2024 Survey Earnings

January Side Income 2024 Pinecone Research Cash Out

January Side Income 2024 Prolific Earnings

January Side Income 2024 Prolific Earnings Conversion

January Side Income – Surveys Total: $216.12


An additional passive income stream is selling your old goods or unused consumer products. Simply list your items with competitive pricing on Amazon and/or eBay, sit back, and let the buyers make you offers.

I often notice friends, family, and even co-workers constantly looking to throw out items that are still in perfectly good condition; it drives me nuts! Why not let someone bid on the product? Worst case will be that it doesn’t sell, and then you can throw out the item. No harm, no foul.

At the very least, donate your stuff. I typically enjoy donating old apparel to the Salvation Army and other charities. It always feels good to know your treasured clothing is not going to waste.

This month, there were a few strangers that bought items of my personal inventory I was looking to discard. After fees and small shipping costs, I usually still walk away with a hefty profit.

January Side Income 2024 Seller Earnings

January Side Income 2024 eBay January 10

January Side Income 2024 eBay January 11

January Side Income – Selling Total: $58.28


As a blogger, I would like to keep the user experience as clean as possible. Therefore, I have chosen to keep all Google AdSense ads from my website. I am an avid reader of many other blogs, and I can truthfully admit it retracts from the reading experience. I am very proud of this decision and will continue with this route.

January Side Income – Google AdSense Revenue: $0.00


I published my first eBook titled How I Launched, Marketed, and Promoted a High-Traffic Blog in Under 15 Days last year. I only promoted the book as part of the launch, but several people found their way to the sales page. Again, this is a learning process to convert the views into actual sales. As Robert Kiyosaki alludes to in his book Rich Dad, Poor Dad, it’s all about being a best-selling author, not a best-writing author. There is a subtle yet significant difference.

January Side Income – eBook Blog Startup Manual Sales: $0.00


Who would’ve ever thought that spending money would actually earn you money? Well, with cash-back credit cards, now it’s certainly possible. With my Capital One Venture Card, I can now make this dream a reality.

Depending on the card you have, you’ll score 1-2 miles with every dollar you spend. Capital One Miles can be used in a variety of ways and are generally worth between half a cent and one cent apiece.

Earn 50,000 bonus miles (equivalent to $500) once you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.

Although I’m still trying my best to limit opportunities to throw away those hard-earned paychecks, the positive result is that I earn more in cash back from the credit card rewards.

January Side Income 2024 Capital One Credit Card Cash Reward Cash Back

After looking at my monthly expense report, I saw that I earned 3,985 miles, which is equivalent to $35.83.

I now have a Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card.

Earn 80,000 bonus miles (equivalent to $1,000) once you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.

June Side Income 2022 Chase Sapphire Credit Card Bonus

When you use points to redeem for cash, each point is worth $.01 (one cent), which means that 100 points equals $1 in redemption value. Each point you redeem for travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards is worth $.0125 (one and a quarter cents), which means that 100 points equals $1.25 in redemption value, and points are worth 25% more than if redeemed for cash. For example, 20,000 points are worth $250 when redeemed for travel purchases, or $200 when redeemed for cash. The cost of travel is based on the rates and fares available through the Ultimate Rewards website and travel center, and may not reflect all rates and fares that are available through other sales channels.

If you choose to use points and your Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card to pay for your purchase, each point will be worth $.0125, but your credit card will be charged the full remaining dollar amount.January Side Income 2024 Chase Sapphire Credit Card Cash Back

After this month, I was able to earn $30.41 this month from the Chase card.

January Side Income – Capital One & Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card Cash-Back Rewards – $66.24


Well, that’s it for this month’s side income report! Hope your 2024 is going well.

In 2023, I was able to max out my Roth IRA and 401k – I highly recommend you do the same in 2024 if you have the option! In January, I immediately transferred the maximum $7,000 limit from my taxable brokerage account to the tax-deferred Roth IRA for the 2024 year, with most of it invested in January. The sooner, the better since time in the market often beats timing the market.

Investing is always a great time but keep in mind we are near all-time highs in 2024 so stocks are not on sale yet.

Thank you for taking the time to read through my latest January income report and thank you for contributing if you have previously purchased something through one of my affiliate links!

If you wish to support this site, but don’t have a need for any of FLA’s affiliate products, you could simply do your regular Amazon shopping through any of the links on this site that lead to You won’t pay any extra and FLA will receive a small commission. Thanks so much if you do so!

That’s a wrap for this income report! I am looking forward to earning more money on the side in the future. Stay hustlin’, my friends!

January Side Income 2024 Summary

Total January Side Income: $385.89


How was your January 2024 side hustling? Let me know in the comments below.


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