Ten Tips to Survive a Tough Economy

If you and your family are struggling to get by, use these tips to survive a tough economy.

During hard times, everyone needs to know how to live with less.

It’s a hard cold fact that you need to face when so many people are living day to day.

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It’s always hard to tell your family members ‘no’, but there have been many times during my life, that my own family had to find ways to get by with less money. You must figure out what’s necessity and what’s not. What you want won’t be always what you can afford. Use your common sense to make decisions about purchases. Common sense has lost its luster over the years but is truly the most practical way to handle the money you do have!

Ten Tips to Survive a Tough Economy

  • If you don’t need it, don’t buy it. That may sound like an obvious tip but many people continue to buy things they want but don’t need, just because it feels good. The simple truth is that it might feel good before you pay for it, but afterward it can lead to feelings of guilt and remorse. Emotions should never drive what you buy. Keep emotions out of it and only spend your money on ‘needs’.

  • If you won’t eat it quickly, don’t put it into your grocery cart. In the past, many people got used to buying much more then they needed, only to throw away those spoiled foods later. Americans represent 5% of the world's population, but generate 30% of the world's garbage. They also toss roughly 40% of the foods they buy. That’s a lot of waste! To spend less money on food, plan meals ahead of time, make a detailed shopping list, don’t allow yourself any impulse buying, and eat your leftovers. Freeze items to preserve them as long as you’ll remember to eat them. ‘Waste not, want not’ should be your mantra!

  • Energy waste continues to happen even during the toughest times. Turn lights off in rooms you’re not using and utilize the sunlight when you can. Keep the thermostat turned down in the winter months and turned up in the summer months and be sure to keep your thermostat at an even temperature all year long. To survive a tough economy, keep the thermostat on 78 degrees during hot summer months and wear fewer clothes when you’re home. In the cold winter months, set it on 68 degrees and use blankets and warm sweaters to help keep you warm. In the fall and spring, open your windows and turn the thermostat off altogether.

  • Special occasions happen all year long. Birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, and other special events happen. However, you don’t need to spend a lot of money to make people happy. If you want to give big-ticket items, plan ahead and save the money for them instead of charging them on a credit card or spend the money if you have it to spend, but don’t buy other gifts too. In a tough economy, keep it simple and sweet. Utilize ‘dollar stores’ for items you can use for parties!


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  • Desperate times call for desperate measures. Have a yard sale if you can or gather up items to sell on ebay or other auction sites. You might not get the price you want, but some money is better than no money at all.

  • Use a craft or hobby to earn money online. If you can make anything, you can sell it. One of the best sites to use is Etsy.com/. You can sell and list your items at low prices and keep the profits. If you’re an artist, try Artfire.com/. The site is an ideal place for artists around the world to open up shop and sell their handmade items and artwork.

  • During a tough economy, its hard to keep a positive attitude but its necessary to keep your chin up and your focus on your goals. If you can’t get a job, you must reinvent yourself. I’ve had to do this several times in my life and you can do it too! If flipping burgers is the only job you can find, then do that. If what you’re doing isn’t working, then don’t beat a dead horse and keep trying the same thing. Know when its time to ‘move on’. The health care industry is a great place to get training and find work right now. Nurses are a huge commodity right now and are needed worldwide.

  • Recycle and reuse! If you buy things that can be reused, don’t throw them away. Wash them off, dry them, and then use them again. Replace paper towels and napkins for cloth towels and napkins that can be washed and reused. Plastic bags, even trash bags, can be washed and reused. Think outside the box and be willing to do things you’ve never done before to save money during a tough economy.

  • Use less of everything. Serving sizes have gotten too large over the years. Trim down the amount of food you eat and you’ll lose weight naturally. Once your stomach shrinks, it takes less food to fill you up. Drink water to replenish your body and save money on sodas and juice. Add flavored powders to your water to help change things up. Instead of buying soda’s, try Kool Aid again. People in general use a lot of products that are a total waste. Use half the amount of shampoo and conditioner you usually use and wash your hair less often. If you use a lot of makeup but never leave your home, try going natural a few days a week. Stretch everything you buy so you’re buying things less often!

  • Stay home more often and cut down on the amount of times you eat out during a tough economy. Its good to support the local economy to sustain local restaurants, but tone it down. Only order food you’ll eat while you’re out. Taking home doggie bags is a good thought but most people toss these out once they’ve been in the refrigerator uneaten for a few days. Split meals to save money and forego appetizers.

    Even in a tough economy, your health is one of the most important investments you can make. Even though prices are higher than they used to be, keep taking key antioxidants that preserve your precious health. The longer you stay healthy, the more you can avoid having to spend money on prescription medicine’s that in many cases, cause more health problems and cost way too much! You can get through a tough economy by making the best of what you do have and not concentrating on what you don't have!



    Related Pages on This Site

    How to Save Your Money During Hard Times

    Manage Your Finances to Save Money

    Using Debit Cards – The Advantages and Disadvantages

    Increasing Income to Save Money in the New Year

    Seeking Work in Tough Economic Times

    Supplement Your Income - A Green Alternative



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