With banks going under, companies filing bankruptcy, unemployment rising, I have developed a game plan for dealing with financial situations in this present economy. Here is how I plan to handle the economy:
1) LIMIT RESTAURANT MEALS
OK, I know a lot of people that know me personally is probably like, "yeah, OK" because this is my biggest, biggest hurdle. I probably go out to eat an average of three to four times a week. I spend an average of $20-$25 dollars on a meal. But as many of you know, this is a trap: I am gaining more weight...lol...and my funds get thinner. Solution: Go grocery shopping for the whole month and keep your house stocked with healthy and easy to create meals.
2) DO NOT GO TO THE SHOW
I believe that I am a very well-rounded and intelligent individual. I like going to the movies and purchasing the latest DVDs when they come out. I like buying the latest Cd's and gossip magazines. The money that I am spending on my "luxury" items can be used towards my gas tank! Solution: Go to the library. You can rent out the latest movies (VHS and DVD), magazines, and even music Cd's for free. And most importantly, you can search the web. Trust me, I just found out recently that it is the best kept secret there is.
3) RETHINK YOUR COUPON STRATEGY
I used to be one of those persons that dreaded the older lady in front of me sorting out her coupons at the store. I just thought that I would never be the type of person to collect coupons. I thought I was too good for that. The realty is that if there is a chance to save fifty cent to a dollar on a product then you should. Solution: Get the Sunday's paper (see below) and clip out coupons. Look for the best ways to stretch your dollar.
4) HOUSE SHOP OR BULK SHOP ONCE A MONTH
Whether you live in a house, an apartment, or share a room in a dormitory, you know what your regular living needs are. You already know that you can not just go into Walgreen's or Walmart to simply get some toilet paper without being tempted to purchase four other things. Solution: Make a list of your monthly needs for your entire household. Try very, very hard to shop once a month. Check your local newspaper for savings. Do not be afraid to use coupons.
5) CLEAN YOUR LIFE
Go through your closet and see what you can where and what you can no longer where. Do not through anything away. Go through your home and see what you need and what you no longer need. Solution: You can sell all of your discarded clothes to a consignment store. You can sell all of your discarded home items on craigslist.org and make you some money.
6) SAVE YOUR CHANGE
Solution: Every time you break a dollar, put your change into a jar. Do not open up your jar until the following month and you will see how much you save!!!
7) DO NOT SELF-PENALIZE YOUR FINANCES
Before you just pay your bill, take a real good look at it. Are you being overcharged for something? What is that surcharge for? With the state of the economy, did you know that if you try to threaten to discontinue your service with a company such as Comcast or Ameritech, that they might be subject to help find you a better savings opportunity. Solution: Look at your bills and see what you are paying for. Often times we have signed up for a small recurring services that don't cost much but we hardly use - eliminate that expense and find a way to save money. If you do not see away, call your utility providers to make them tell you how you can save your money. Also, eliminate late fees and late-registration surcharges. Don't let the disorganization of your finances carry a penalty.
8) BACK-UP PLAN
Please do not wait until you lose your job and worry about a back up plan. If you were unemployed today, what would you do. During this hard economic time, Internet businesses are flourishing. Solution: Figure out your speciality. Become a LEGAL freelancer. Have a side business for yourself. It takes a little research and someone to give you a little push. THAT PERSON IS YOU!!! Also, continue to learn. There are millions of programs able to assist you with expanding your knowledge. Whether you need an undergrad to graduate degree or need to take a blog class, it is up to you.
9) DON'T BE STRESSED, BE BLESSED
Did you know that negativity and stress can play a big role on the state of your health? Look for that light at what seems like a very dark tunnel. If you know that there is a like, encourage someone else to do the same. After that encourage that person to share that with someone else. Solution: Have a "POSITIVENESS" buddy. Inform your negative buddies that you only need "POSITIVE" buddies in your life. Do not let negative people destroy your outlook on life. Think of it this way, you will spend a lot less time from needing that aspirin or staying out of the hospital.
10) WHAT WOULD YOU ADD?
You have heard a lot my survivors guide in this post about recession proofing your life - but what would you do or add to the opinions and ideas expressed above? Please comment and sign my guestbook. Thank you.