8 Ways To Survive Hard Economic Times

Americans face several conditions today that are sending many to food banks and soup kitchens for the first time in their lives, simply because they can’t afford both food for their families and the costs of living in the modern world. But what if you could make your money go further by cutting down on modern day living expenses? For those of you with money, concerns about that money’s worth in the days ahead are well founded. By now it’s common knowledge that our nation’s titanic-size debt, as well as several other factors, put the U.S. dollar in dangerous territory. Nations like China — who may one day decide to cash in on the enormous amount of U.S. debt they have purchased into — are currently keeping us afloat.

Start Living Frugally

The first step to getting control of your money is to look at the things you purchase each week, making a list of each and every item (food, beverages, etc.), and then crossing out every thing that you could actually survive without.If you look at your bank statement for the previous month, you may see a handful of purchases for $3 – $10 at your local gas station and convenience stores. For some of you this may easily add up to $100 – $150 per month. “Convenience” is the drain on your wallet in this case. Stop buying food and convenience beverages on the go. Just stop. Money saved: $100 – $150.

Can You Bring Home More Bacon?

It’s important to say early on in this article that while dwindling finances can motivate us to change a lifetime of poor spending habits, we should also consider additional ways that can start bringing in more money, residually. Did you know that a YouTube video could earn you $1,000 or more a month, with enough views? Do-It-Yourself videos are a popular draw nowadays. Your first Do-It-Yourself video may lack some luster, but in time you may finally get the formula right for creating a video that draws views and passes on compelling instruction.Or did you know that there are a lot more opportunities to work from home, some that can apparently generate a significant income in time? Opportunities like the carbon credit business are promising. In essence, you can build a business helping companies in the modern world “go green”, earning these companies tax breaks, etc. So, essentially you’re a paid consultant.

Stop Going Out

Recapping what’s been said up above, you need to start thinking frugally, and should consider new ways to bring in more income.You also need to be willing to make a few sacrifices. For some of you, this is like the world coming to an end. But really there is life outside of the social scene, the weekend bars and nightclubs or restaurant outings that drain wallet’s of $100 – $200 every weekend. Some of you in some states may be spending even more in casinos.So how do you redirect this energy that drives you every week to head to the bars or casinos with your friends? Choosing a new hobby is a great way to redirect this energy. Fitness, for example, and the many reasons to be fit. Many people who pursue fitness in fact willingly choose to forsake the bars and drinking for the sake of trimming body fat and getting their health in order. A dedicated Saturday and Sunday workout routine can help you break the chains that pull you toward the bars and / or casinos where so much of your income may be going currently. Or there’s also this: Life in the great outdoors. We’re talking hiking, camping, fishing, or canoeing/kayaking, as just a few examples. Each of these can be a drain on wallets though, but do you really have to shop at high-end sporting good stores when there is plenty of great second-hand equipment in the world being sold on sites like Craigslist or in local thrift stores?

The Groceries You Buy

Your local grocery store down the street may have higher prices than a bigger store like Wal-Mart or even Target (those that sell groceries nowadays). Big box stores in the business of selling groceries nowadays are saving families money. You may have to drive a few miles out of your area, if one isn’t handy, so buy enough groceries to last 2 – 3 weeks and it should be well-worth the trip. Invest in an additional freezer, and buy certain foods in bulk that you can freeze.

The Foods You Eat

We’ve had it ingrained into our heads that a healthy adult needs 2400 calories a day approximately. You know what? There’s a good chance that you can live off 1000 – 1200 calories a day and be in the best health of your life. That’s half of the calories that are pitched by some people as being necessary to a healthy life. Think about what’s being said here. You can save a lot of money on a typical grocery bill by cutting calories and ridding your daily diet of junk foods. If you have a sugar tooth at the least discipline yourself to go Monday – Friday without the treats, leaving them as a small reward (keyword is small) on the weekends. Most Americans who embrace this for the first time are going to start saving money — money that adds up week after week.

Buy Clothes At Thrift Stores

Do you want to save money? Do you need to save money? Stop shopping at the expensive malls and other stores for your wears. Most cities have thrift stores nowadays, and these thrift stores typically carry donated goods that come in from people within their own community. Here’s a tip for finding clothing that may fit your personal style better: On a map, which cities in your state have the most well-to-do families? Shop those thrift stores if “style” is important to you, as it is to many. These are the thrift stores you may be more likely to find clothing that’s been donated that has not been worn much and is brand-name, yet is now being sold at thrift store prices.

Save Money On Utilities

Cable / dish – Start by calling the cable company. Drop excess channel package plans, even if that means cutting back on television. Switch to a new cable or satellite provider.Here’s a suggestion that may shock several readers. If you’re married, and both own cell phones, one of you turn off your mobile phone (saving $50 – $100 per month). Cell phones are an incredible convenience but the fact is life moved just fine in the 1980s and earlier, before cell phones appeared everywhere. Do you need a $400 phone? There are plenty of great $30 phones out there. Heat / Power – Look at your heating bill. What can you do to trim $80 – $100 per month in what you’re paying for heat? Turn back your thermostat a few degrees and during the winter months wear long sleeve shirts and pants around the house. Shorts and t-shirts are for summer. Finally, for extreme heat savings, another way to save money is to turn your thermostat down to something as low as 58 degrees and then invest in low-cost, portable oil-based electric heaters. They’re designed to heat small areas.

Negotiate Lower Payments With Creditors, IRS

During tough financial times, be up front with your creditors and even the IRS, letting them know about how little you have to work with, and how bleak things are at home presently. Be honest and sincere, and patient, with whatever customer service representatives you have on the phone. Request a lower monthly payment. A lot lower. In regards to the IRS, you may have to prove how much you’re bringing in before they’ll work with you, but do know this — they’re likely to work with you, if you can show them what you’re bringing in and what your expenses are.If you’re self employed, keep up on those estimated tax payments. A lot of self employed people fall into tax debt for failing to make estimated tax payments.

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