With so many publications, television and radio promoting so much doom and gloom I thought it might be prudent to give some advise on how to protect yourself from the recurring nightmares that are being discussed. If you have forgotten or walkthrough life with your head in the sand, let me remind you of the big four. Let's start with the one that can affect everyone, Inflation. Currently consumer products are already rising 4% ,more than double the rate in early 2004 according to an article in Money Magazine. We are talking about all those things that you use or eat on a daily basis. Take a look at what you can cut back on to help you afford the basics, ie food in the refrigerator and fuel for the furnace. Next comes the big R- word, Recession. This can affect your earning power and the ability to keep your job. Stock up on cash and increase your emergency fund to hopefully 6 months or more. Rome wasn't built in a day so if you haven't started yet, do something about it today. The third catastrophe is a collapse of the dollar. How does this affect you? First of all it affects the cost of everything that we import. Again, this affects our ability to save and purchase goods to survive. Again, evaluate what you are spending and prioritize your financial commitments. Lastly is the credit crunch. It's not just mortgages that are harder to get, but also auto loans or credit cards even for those individuals with good credit. If you are shopping for one of these items, it will behoove you to get pre-approved before you sign on the dotted line or you may be in for a big disappointment.