Thursday, October 23

Economic Turmoil

The StormAlthough nobody has ever cited an actual source it has come to be understood that there is an ancient curse that involves living during interesting times. Well, these are certainly interesting times.

So, what should we do now that there seems to be an impending economic storm?

My first suggestion is that you review the Financial Risk Advisory System. Look at stages that are worse than where you are now and make sure you are ready for an "involuntary transition".

To avoid such a transition consider ways to reduce spending and increase income. It's not usually as hard as it may seem, but you may have to change your comfort zone a little bit. For example, to cut back on food expenses consider making rice a staple of your diet. For more ideas go through my Extreme Frugality Meal Plan and pick out portions you can adopt now, if you are trying to put a little money aside in case of future need. It probably goes without saying that now may not be a good time to buy gadgets and toys that require data plans or other ongoing payments.

Increasing your income can happen several ways. For example, you may be able to rent out one or more rooms of your house to students or relatives. Some of you may find that because companies are not hiring right now that there will be periods of overtime availability that you should take advantage of. Obviously, you can always look for a job if you aren't working now. If you are working there is often a better job or a second job out there if you look for it.

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Of course, the steps you take will be based on how secure you feel your income is and how deep you think the expected recession may be. For a few more ideas about raising revenue see this recent post about becoming debt free.

Personally, with a new child in the family, I'm more concerned about financial issues than usual. Frugal Mom is going back to the workforce after staying at home with Frugal Baby for the last while. Luckily, she'll be working for the government in a fairly recession proof capacity.

On the frugal front we decided to elope when we were married. We saved all the time, expense and hassle of a traditional wedding and are much happier for it. When asked about the possibility of wedding gifts we've decided that perhaps what we would like most would be a little help with an educational savings plan.

In any case, no matter where you are or what your situation, it's a good time to take a look around and make sure the decisions you are making are good for you and your family right now and for the foreseeable future.

Finally, take a look through the archives as there is plenty of real world frugality advice available here...