Recession can affect not just cities and countries, it can also affect individuals and families on a more personal level. Here are personal anti-recession steps you can do: |
Plan your purchases.
By planning your purchases, you're effectively planning your expenses. This will help eliminate the danger of impulse buying and unnecessary spending. Try to look at the bigger picture when it comes to your basic needs.
Plan for a week's worth of groceries, for example, so you'll have an idea of which items you truly need (and want) and which items you can do away with. To make sure that you maximize your planning efforts, consider incorporating items on sale into your planning. If there are foods on sale that week, for example, why not plan your week's menu using what's currently on slashed down prices?
Implement the 'B' word.
Budget, that is. If you want to be able to save money during a recession, learn to discipline yourself and your family. Using your plan as a reference, come up with a weekly or monthly budget and then stick to it. If you must overshoot it, you should have a very good reason to do so. Otherwise, don't spend.
Keep an eye out for bargains and discounts.
Learn to monitor stores for seasonal sales. You'll save a lot of money by buying items on sale than in their regular prices. During a recession, that's considered wise spending. Check out store or newspaper ads and don't be shy about asking for cheaper alternatives, getting store rebates or using discount coupons. Consider buying at discount stores as well. Each dollar you don't pay is a dollar you save.
Buy in bulk.
If there are items in your house that are often in use (paper towels, canned beans, yoghurt, etc.), consider buying in bulk. Many stores offer items in packs, which means you'll save money in the long run if you buy them instead of paying for individual items.
Put off bigger purchases.
A good rule of thumb is, if you can't afford it, don't buy it. If, for example, you have enough money for a downpayment on a new LCD TV but will have to borrow money off your credit card just to tide you over for the next few weeks, it would be really insane to make a purchase. Wait until you can truly, comfortably afford something. The worst you can do during a recession is not just failing to get money saved but also going into debt.
Practice prevention, not cure.
If you look closely, there are many things you do in your home that are siphoning precious dollars from your wallet. Simple steps such as repairing and maintaining your home and appliances, using more efficient equipment and cutting down on unnecessary consumption can do wonders for your wallet and piggy bank. And what better way to treat a recession than to be prudent?
Earn extra money.
If, after all your efforts, the money you have saved is still not enough, don't let recession get the better of you. There are times when your efforts are just not sufficient – mostly because you don't earn enough. Instead of asking for a raise that might never occur or waiting for a promotion to drop on your lap, consider finding other means with which to earn (and save) money.
Consider getting a part-time job, work extra hours, do selling on the side or offer your skills as a freelancer. The extra income you earn, along with your recession-powered money-saving plan, will help you make enough until after the tough times are over.
Take big chunks out of your debt.
Your debt can get you down and it will not hesitate to do the same thing to your credit score. During a recession, a bad credit rating is just not something you want to have. If you have debts in some form (loans, credit cards, mortgage, etc.), try to pay off as much of your debt as possible. The earlier you do this, the better it will be for your finances.
Clearing your debts is an excellent anti-recession step because it helps save you money in terms of interest. It will also give you peace of mind and the personal satisfaction of being in charge.
Consider investing? Ask a professional.
An experienced financial adviser can help you understand the kind of options you have, given your own resources and the type of risks you are willing to take. Recession can make investing much more of a challenge, particularly for the uninitiated. That is why you'll need all the help you can get in order to find the best places where to put your money in.
Know your deductibles.
Review your tax code for the types of items that you can include in your deductibles. Remember that not all expenses can be used as deductions. Only if you can prove them 'ordinary and necessary' will the tax man consider them.
Keep all receipts for deductions.
Audit or no audit, it pays to have documents that support your tax claims, especially if they refer to deductions. Get organized regarding your files, particularly those that pertain to your business or work. Keep things where you can readily access them and use for reference later.
Consider leasing your business vehicle.
If you want to give yourself better tax performance, a good anti-recession tip to follow is to lease that car of yours. This will help get you better deductions compared to what you'll receive if you purchased the vehicle.
When in doubt, always refer to a professional.
The personal anti-recession tips you obtain will usually work seamlessly but some steps involving taxes might have certain limitations. Before implementing these steps, you might want to consult a basic taxation guide or see an accountant or bookkeeper. They can guide you on what you can and should do based on your own unique circumstances.
Make Your Own Meal.
If you have the time, learning how to bake can be one great way to spend your free time. Aside from saving money, it can also be one fun way to relieve your stress. Fast food restaurants can be very tempting but if you have the skills (or not, since you can learn to cook), then why not prepare your own food from your own grown fruits and vegetables and home-baked bread. If you think your skills are too limited, the Internet offers gazillions of simple recipes that even kids can make. Make your own coffee and you can also brew your own beer if you want.
Improve your grocery shopping habits.
With the right shopping attitude, you can reduce unnecessary cost. You can prevent yourself from succumbing into impulse buying. You can do this by creating a list of items to buy before going to the supermarket. One tip is to not go to the grocery to shop when you are hungry. Yes, hunger causes you to buy items you do not need. Buying all the items you need in one go can help avoid using gas for unnecessary trip and also get rids of temptation. Also, before you unloading your cart, check again which items you can do without. You will be surprised that there are just so many of the items that you picked up that you do not really need.
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