Tips to Survive Hard Economic Times
With the DOW falling steadily, the unemployment rate rising, the prices of staples increasing, and the ability to borrow money getting tougher and tougher, what can you do to survive in these tough economic times? I think just about everyone is feeling the pinch - my church was even talking about it during the sermon on Sunday. There are things you can do immediately that will help you manage during this tough time.
I know that it wouldn't be best for the economy to stop spending money, but it would be best for you and your family to stop spending money. Holding on to more of your money each day, week and month is something you can do right away to help improve your financial situation. The more money you don't spend, the more money you have in savings to weather a financially hard time.
There are many things you can do to hold onto more of your money. Don't spend money on things that are "wants" right now. Stick the money in savings and take a wait and see approach about the economy. Wait and see how it all shakes out in a few months, you can always purchase that "want" then. Don't spend money on unnecassary items. Think before you automatically go through the drive thru or purchase that magazine while in the check out line at the grocery store. The little things do add up each month.
I think it is time for people to evaluate their monthly bills. Can you cancel that extra movie package or drop some expensive options on your phone? Can you consolidate your student loans? Can you call your credit card company and negotiate a lower interest rate or transfer your balance to a 0% interest card? Can you pay off that car loan quickly to free up hundreds of dollars each month that you don't have to pay someone else? The goal is to see where you can hang onto more of your money instead of it all being spoken for by someone else before you even get paid.
Sometimes, though, you just can't cut anymore and that is when you need to start thinking about how to earn more money. Work overtime if you can, try to find a part-time job (now is the season for stores needing extra temporary workers), or do some online surveys to bring in some extra cash. Anything you can do to increase the amount of money that you have will help you handle any financial problems that might arise. With the tough economy, financial problems are more likely to arise, so you need to work harder to be prepared.
Speaking of being prepared, having an edible emergency fund is a great way to reduce your stress level regarding hard financial times. Having a large stockpile of food and toiletries (bought on sale with coupons, of course) will ensure that no matter what happens, that at least for a few months you will have food to feed your family.
If you can payoff any debt that you may have, that will do a lot towards improving your financial situation. I know it isn't money in the bank, but by reducing the amount of minimum payments you have to make each month you will be better prepared to handle the things I mentioned in the first sentence.
Times are tough right now, there is no doubt. Being prepared and being proactive will help you and your family in the long run. Make the tough choices now and not when you are forced to down the road. It will only help you.
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