HONOLULU (KHON2) — While politicians argue over whether the United States is entering a recession, KHON2 wanted to know if there is anything locals can do to prepare for challenging times.

Prices are up and uncertainty is high for the economy, but those in the world of finance said it is no time for panic and short-term decision making.

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“For a lot of times we’re making short-term decisions that impact our long-term plan in a negative way and if we can get back to understand what your long term plan is,” said Caine Nakata, founder of Milestone Wealth Management, “a lot of times we’ll realize it’s not nearly as bad as we believe it is.

The Better Business Bureau said one way to keep track of spending is by going over current bank and credit card statements.

“From 2021 and compare them to now and see what has increased,” said BBB Hawaii marketplace manager Roseann Freitas, “from your rent to the utilities, but then also looking at some of the expenses you have that might be optional.”

Those optional expenses can range from online subscriptions to that extra cup of coffee, but wasting energy can thin out your bank account as well.

“I remember when I was young, my parent’s would always be like, ‘Turn off the light,’ and I’ve been like, ‘What’s the big deal?’ But you know, you realize that turning off the light, turning off the water, those little things make a difference.”

Caine Nakata, Milestone Wealth Management founder

Another thing to watch out for in the grocery store is “shrinkflation.”

“They’ll maintain the price, but they’ll reduce the quantity that you get,” Freitas said, “and they do tell you on the package what the quantity is, so look, see, is it compared to what you used to buy?”

Economists at the University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization said the financial crisis in 2008 is vastly different than what the economy is going through in 2022, but it is still good to plan ahead.

“Hawaii is headed for a much slower economy,” UHERO Executive Director Dr. Carl Bonham said, “that basically means it will, you know, at some point over the next year or so, it’s going to get harder to find a job.”

“That means it’s kind of a time to be frugal.”

Dr. Carl Bonham, UHERO executive director

Everyone is feeling the budget crunch, but experts pointed out that locals are lucky to live Hawaii; Take time to enjoy the free things in life like walking in the park rather than driving to a movie.

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“Enjoy that time with family and friends that don’t cost extra money and actually some of those times will be your best memories,” Freitas said.