Top 10 Personal Finance Tips in a Recession
By Pete Schilling
Think creatively and use available tools not only to survive the recession but also to add a more colorful dimension to family life. Bright ideas, online tools, and taking better care of health, debt, and personal possessions help people face any type of economic slowdown.
People need not accept traditional thinking because successful people find their own solutions to live better lives. Ten ways to buck the odds and handle living more modestly include the following tips.
- Shop Smarter
Shopping smarter begins with planning. Browsing aimlessly leads to impulse spending. Make lists of necessities and try to find the best bargains for things the family needs.
- Use coupons only if they save money on needed items.
- Shop for clearance and sale items and buy necessities in bulk.
- Consider Insurance for Risk Management
Dropping insurance coverage seems like an obvious way to cut back, but this could be the worst decision possible. Managing risk becomes tremendously important when financial troubles threaten stability.
- When people compare vehicle insurance online, they find savings.
- Raising deductibles and co-payments could reduce premiums without risking disasters.
- Combined plans and overlooked discounts could also save money.
- Research Lower Utility and Cable Bills
People save money by cutting their energy usage, but they could also find lower utility rates. Consumers have the right to shop for utilities, cable service, Internet connectivity, phone service, and other services.
- Work to Improve Credit Scores
Improving credit scores might seem like a sure way to get in trouble, but credit scores affect interest rates, insurance premiums, and the cost of other services. People with good credit qualify for better jobs.
- Any boost in credit score will help reduce interest rates, or better credit offers become available.
- High-interest credit card balances could be transferred.
- Live a Healthier Lifestyle
Overweight people typically spend thousands more yearly for health care, clothes, and special accommodations.
- Quitting smoking could save $6,000 or more each year.
- Better health means fewer sick days and loss of income from missing work.
- Overweight people spend $6,400 more for health care annually.
- Creative Ideas Save Money
Online resources offer many ways to save including buying second-hand goods, selling unwanted items, finding coupons, and comparing prices. One frequent traveler used his credit card rewards in unique fashion. The man found a deal offering one free night at any Hyatt for each two paid stays.
According to U.S. News, the traveler paid for cheap rooms near his home, averaging $50 per night. The traveler accumulated 20 nights that he redeemed at the luxurious Park Hyatt Sydney. The result was 20 free nights in a hotel where rooms cost as much as $1500 per night.
- Buy Quality Consumer Goods
People think they must buy cheap merchandise to save money, but inferior craftsmanship always demands a toll. Shopping for bargains does not mean lowering quality standards.
- Online auction sites offer quality merchandise at bargains rates.
- Local farmer’s markets could save cash on fresh and sustainable produce.
- Bakery thrift stores offer top-brand bakery products at great prices.
- Set Aside Some Mad Money
Nothing causes people to spend more than the perception that they cannot have any luxuries. Put some money aside for treats to keep spirits high.
- Visit the Library
Libraries offer many forms of entertainment free of charge. People can borrow books, movies, recordings, and even enjoy Internet access.
- Pay Down Debt or Refinance
Debt interest on loans and credit cards costs families a big part of their disposable incomes. Cutting interest saves thousands of dollars, and people with good credit could refinance their homes to take advantage of record-low interest rates.
Pete Schilling is a writer for AutoInsuranceCenter.com who specializes in personal finance and insurance topics.