No announcement yet.

A survival guide for tough times

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    A survival guide for tough times

    Here is my survival guide for getting through these tough economic times

    The first thing not to do is panic. Don’t make any knee-jerk reactions or decisions regarding your finances. Take the time to think about your particular financial situation and act accordingly. If you haven’t in the past take the time to watch the financial news stations a couple of night a week. Stay in touch with what’s going on with the economy. Pay attention to any new tax laws that might help you. With a new administration coming into office make sure you know how any new laws affect you. Click Here To see Barack Obama's proposed stimulus package and if it may affect you.

    Getting as much information as you can before making decisions about your finances will better your chances of making the correct ones. If you have an Individual Retirement Account or company 401(k) investment plan, check to see what funds you are investing in. make sure that they are right for the times. You can easily and immediately change your fund mix. Check with your company’s human resources department if you are unsure how to do this. Diversify the mix of your funds. That is a good rule and should always be your goal, whatever the condition of the economy. Diversification simply means to spread your investments between stocks, bonds and cash. It could also include international funds, indexed funds and fixed-income funds.

    Manage your credit wisely. Try to use less credit when ever possible. Check your credit report often. Find out how you can keep your credit score high. Doing this will help you can get better interest rates if you need to obtain new credit in the future. Pay bills on time. If you are out shopping and have the cash or means to pay, stick to that. Don’t open an in-store account just to get a discount.

    Credit-card rates continue to soar, often in the 20 percent neighborhood. Pay attention to your bill card issuers are changing the rates they are charging their customers. The rate change is generally higher. If this happens to you, call you Credit Card Company and complain. Let them know you plan on closing the account if the rate is not lowered if you have had the account in good standing for a long period of time they should comply.

    Be aware of the ATM withdrawal fees charged by your bank. While some banks waive fees for all ATM transactions on any ATM machine, most don’t. So be sure to use only those ATM machines where your bank will not charge the fees, or withdraw directly at your bank. Avoid credit cards which charge an annual fee Credit cards with their cash back bonuses and reward points are a great way to save some money. Just make sure that the card does not charge you any annual fees! There are many card offers that offer no fee, so there really is no reason to pay one.

    In a downturn, however, families in shaky financial condition or uncertain employment may have to make a difficult choice. If your paycheck is steady and secure, then continue to whack away at credit-card debt. For people with unstable incomes or a chance of being laid off, try to find a way to put away more emergency savings. Continue to spend and invest, but be more cautious about it if you fear that your job or your company may be at risk. The shakier your job, the more cautious you should be.

    Pat attention and be adaptable Change often comes with trying times. Be someone who moves easily through change. The more you stay in touch with the news and information around you the easier this will be. Try to have a backup plan no matter how prepared you think you are sometimes, unexpected changes can happen.

    Ways to save.

    1. Spend only on the needs, not wants. This is a hard thing for most but be realistic with your self you know what you really need from what you just want.
    2. If you don’t already track your money. Twice a day take the time to write down how much you have spent that day and on what you brought. This is a good way to see if you are making unnecessary or wasteful purchases.
    3. Take the time to read your bills, such as your cell phone bill, cable, and utility bills. This is another area to find savings. Cancel any cell phone services you don’t use or could get by without all together. Learn your utility bill so you will be able to notice any strange charges, same with the cable bill. Look for new promotions with your cable company or your cell phone provider.
    4. Set up a budget. Once you have been tracking your money for a couple of weeks you will be able to set up a good budget. You will have a better understanding of what it is you spend. You will be able to make a budget you can stick to.
    5. Stop paying for things you can do yourself. If you need some work done around the house or to the car make some time and do it yourself. The most expensive part of home and car repairs is the labor. It might take away from some of your relax time but it will be more money in your pocket.
    6. Plan your errands. Try to do as much in one outing. The more you can do the more efficient it will be on gas and time.
    7. Change your entertainment. If you normally go out, find tings to do inside. Rent movies instead of going. If you really like the movie experience go to a matinee. Find new bars or clubs that have no cover charge. Drink a few less beers. If you go out a few nights a week stay home one extra night. If you smoke think about quitting. Not only will it have a tremendous health benefit, but also it is a big saving if you’re a heavy smoker.
    8. Clip coupons when going grocery shopping. This can be a big savings. When you don’t have a coupon consider buying the generic brand instead of the name brand. Try to load up on bargains especially if it is a non-perishable item. Buy in bulk when possible. Clipping coupons extends beyond groceries there are coupons for just about anything you need to buy. You just have to take some time to find them
    9. Take your lunch to work a few times a week. Instead of wasting those leftovers bring them to work and save on buying lunch each day. Buy sodas and snacks from the grocery store and bring to work instead of buying them

    These are some things you can incorporate into your daily life that can help you have more money in your pocket. Times are tough right now and you should make every effort to conserve even if you don’t feel the effects right now. If times get worse or if you situation changes, you will have a process in place that will help. Always be on the lookout for opportunities that may help your financial situation.
    Last edited by sweeps; 12-16-2008, 11:53 AM. Reason: link removed

    Sounds like you are on track to me.
    "Those who can't remember the past are condemmed to repeat it".- George Santayana.


      Very interesting.


        I think these are all great suggestions. Of course, the ways to save should all stem from budgeting. If you budget a certain amount for each category, including eating out, going out, etc. You could still afford these things to a certain extent without worrying about spending money you don't have or that should be going somewhere else.

        Hopefully those most feeling these hard economic conditions can take this advice to heart and still come out of it just fine.


          Great tips.


            Thank you. That helps!


              This is some good advice.


                Nice Article, some real good advices to be taken care of during such an economic crisis situation.