As the recession lengthens, we’ll be hearing contradictory reports that it has eased, ended even worsened. There are a number of different metrics used to determine when a recession ends with most of these tools not able to do so until months after a recession has ended.
For cash strapped consumers, finding ways to save money during a difficult economy is challenging enough itself. But there are ways you can save money even if your income is down and your finances tight:
Don’t Buy Anything – Seriously, you have to purchase food and you may need some new clothes, but when it comes to mostly everything else, do you really need a new car, television or video game right now? Delaying your purchases until a later date will leave more money at your disposal. Try not to purchase anything but the bare essentials for three months to see how your finances shape up. Likely, you’ll have some cash left over and you won’t miss what you didn’t buy.
Cut Your Expenses – There are some simple ways for you to trim your overhead. If you have cable, phone service and an internet connection, consider bundling these services to one plan. If you have low deductibles on your car insurance, consider raising these levels to $500 or $1000 in order to lower your premium. Run your air-conditioning on 78 degrees and run your heat on 68 degrees. Cancel unneeded magazine and newspaper subscriptions, buy generic drugs, clip coupons. You get the idea — pay attention to your outgo and you’ll preserve more of your income.
Avoid Credit Cards – Unless you’ve already been paying off your credit cards every month, then using credit cards can do a number on your finances. Even then you may find yourself spending more on something then if you had cash on hand, so why not try making all of your purchases for the next month with cash and/or your debit card?
Deduct Money Automatically – One of the reasons that so many people have a tough time saving is that once the money is in their hands, they’ll spend it. Some of the ways you can build savings is by automatically transferring money from your checking account to a savings account on a periodic basis. On a weekly basis, transfer a set amount of money from your main bank to an online institution where it’ll take an extra step to get your money out. Money will accumulate steadily and before you know it, you’ll have a tidy sum of cash on hand!
Expand Your Income – Trying to get a raise in this economy is difficult to do, but not impossible. If you have been working hard and producing measurable results, your boss may be willing to share some of that profit with you. Naturally, if your company is reporting record losses and threatening lay offs, then waiting until after things settle down is wise. But, even during tough times companies find ways to retain their best help which means that you may have some leverage the next time you seek a pay raise.
Finally, if you’re the type of person who is new to an austere way of living, then not buying anything can seem dull and unrewarding. So that you wont’ flag in your zeal when it comes to your finances, why not reward yourself on a periodic basis especially as you reach one or more of your clearly defined goals? Dinner out, taking in a concert, a quick getaway to the beach or some other splurge type event can help you stay right on course.
Adv. — Everyone wants to save money, but we’re often hesitant to ask for a lower price from merchants. You may be paying too much for your mortgage even with rates at historically low levels. Why not seek to refinance your loan or pay off your mortgage sooner, if possible? Please visit SayRecession.com for timely tips on how to stay ahead of the game during trying economic times.
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