As prices for consumer goods increase and more people are finding themselves without a job or at risk of being laid off, there are a number of things you can do to try and salvage your credit score and make it through the recession. Saving money even during hard times is a necessity, you never know when it could get financially harder and having some money saved can give you a slight cushion for emergency situations.
Put Your Savings On Auto-Pilot
Have you ever driven home from work or some other location that you drive frequently, only to arrive safely at home and not remember the entire drive? This is because you are so used to making the trip that you could (almost) drive the route with your subconscious – or like driving on auto-pilot. People need to put their savings on auto-pilot, too. Have a small amount of money taken from your checking account each pay period and moved into a savings account or investment plan. Stretch it as much as you can but don’t save so much that you can no longer make ends meet and pay your bills on time, because saving $40 or $50 a month isn’t worth if it causes you to pay $100 in late fees on your credit card bills. There are ways to increase your income or reduce your expenses that can make it possible to save money each month, keep reading to find out some of those methods.
Cut Back on Clothing Costs
Sometimes it is shocking to hear how much money people spend on clothing on a regular basis. It’s true, for most of the country having clothing is a necessity – but do you really need new clothes every month or two? Sure, the Sex and The City girls are always out buying expensive shoes and clothes, but they’re fictional characters who don’t have real budgets and debts to worry about. Before buying new clothes, figure out if you really need new clothes or you just enjoy wearing something new. When times are tight, you can really save a fortune by putting a stop to unnecessary clothing purchases. If you have clothes that are presentable, wear them. Yes, you really can wear the same suit to work more than once in the same month! If you are in need of new clothes (we know the difference between needs and wants, right?) then consider consignment or thrift shops before hitting the mall and you might get three or four very nice outfits for the cost of one full priced, new item at the mall.
Go on a Diet
Not everyone needs to go on a diet, but even people who are eating healthy and far from overweight could still put their food budget on a diet by watching the sales fliers and using coupons. Coupons that let you save 20 cents off an item don’t seem like much, but combine your coupons with buy one get one free or other sale prices, and you can really reap the rewards of careful shopping in the form of smaller grocery bills. You can also choose to eat out less, or reduce the number of times per month you order take out and see a substantial savings in your food budget.
These are simple suggestions for helping you reduce expenses and save money during the recession. Every time you’re able to reduce your expenses, consider putting that money into an interest earning savings account for emergencies. That way, if you lose your job or need to make car or home repairs – you’ll have the money available and not need to use credit to pay for it.
This is a guest post from Trisha Wagner. Trisha is a freelance writer for DepositAccounts.com, where you can compare rates from dozens of banks in one place. /em>
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