Friday, November 14, 2008

How can we survive the economic crisis?

I guess we'll step off the soap box now and get back down to earth and it's practicalities. Some of us are feeling the economic pinch right now and some will feel it in the short-distant future. I expect that most of us will feel it before this crisis is over. How can we survive the hard times that we face now and will face in the future? What can we do to keep afloat financially? Where can we cut back?

Here are a few ideas to think about as we trim our budgets:

  • Gasoline - for some of us this is one of the largest expenditures in our budgets other than housing. Although prices have recently gone down, don't be fooled into thinking they will stay for long. Now is the time to prepare for when the prices will go back up. Is carpooling an option? Walking or riding a bike? I'm always surprised at how fast the miles rack up in the car even just going short distances. Save money and walk (or ride a bike). The perk is you get your exercise at the same time!
  • Food - trim your food budget by cutting back on expensive snacks and packaged foods, try not to eat out much and cut back on expensive meats and comfort foods. By simplifying your meals and returning to basic foods, you'll not only save significantly on costs but start to eat healthy as well!
  • Limit Shopping - plan ahead and only go to the store once a week (or once or twice a month if possible). It's a fact that the fewer times you go to the store, the less money you will spend. If you run out of something that you use, try to do without until your next planned shopping trip. As you limit the number of shopping trips you make, you'll also cut back on the amount of money you spend on gasoline and food.
  • Utilities - think in conservation mode as you use utilities. Turn your temperature down and put on a sweater or an extra blanket at night. Lower your water heater temperature. Turn out lights that aren't being used and switch to florescent bulbs where possible. Don't run the dishwasher until it's full. Take shorter showers. And so on. Doing this will not only save you money, you'll be preserving our natural resources as well.
Well there's just a few basic ideas to start with. Do you have more ideas? We'd love to hear your comments.


Cherylyn said...

These are great suggestions. One that seems glaringly obvious, but I'll share anyway, is to not use credit to buy things. Live within your means, which means to only buy things you have money to pay for. You might be surprised to learn what you can do without. I know it's old fashioned, but if the past few generations had stuck to this old fashion we wouldn't be in the mess we are in now.

B&H said...

Yeah. Use it up, wear it out, make do or do without. If we all followed that we'd be doing pretty good I think.