While many argue that money doesn’t buy happiness, money does in fact buy food and shelter, which you generally need in order to survive. With the recession we’ve been experiencing over the past few years, however, money is becoming harder and harder to come by. Here are some ways you can keep more money in your wallet and your head above water even during these tough economic times.
For reasons mentioned above, the prospect of losing your job or house can be insanely daunting. Even if it happens to you, however, don’t panic. You can do this! Your lifestyle might change, you might have to relocate, and you’re going to have to do some major readjusting, but if you look at all of these things as an opportunity, rather than a punishment, you’ll learn and grow and become a better person for it. You’ll find out what’s really important to you, and discover how scrappy you really are. And, most importantly, you will get on your feet again. So don’t despair, you got this!
Cut Back on Non-Essentials
If you’re like most Americans, you probably have some non-essentials in your budget that you could eliminate. Are you signed up for the deluxe all-access five thousand channel plan with your cable provider? Consider downgrading, or better yet, cancel your cable all together and use online services (Netflix, Hulu) to access your favorite TV shows. Does part of your grocery budget consistently go toward beer, wine, or liquor? As much as you might not want to admit it, these are non-essential items that can be quite costly, and while you don’t necessarily have to eliminate them completely, it’s definitely time to cut back. Breaking down every aspect of your budget is a good way to identify all the potential ways you can cut your spending.
Find Ways to Maintain Sanity
While it’s important to reduce expenditures in order to keep your head above water, you should also remember how essential it is to find ways to stay sane. For example, vacations are a crucial part of modern existence for many—they give you time away from work, time to see new things, and time to relax. So while you might not be able to go to Tahiti on your newly restricted budget, you can get away without breaking the bank. Try looking closer to home for your excursions, or go camping instead of paying for expensive hotel rooms. You could try out a stay-cation, during which you would stay at home but do all the fun touristy things in your area and treat yourself to some R&R.
Diversify Your Portfolio
Your investments undoubtedly took a hit when the market plummeted downward, but there are things you can do to help get your portfolio back on top. One of the best ways to make this happen is by diversifying your investments. Precious metals investing offers a great diversification opportunity; gold and silver tend to perform well in downward trending markets because their tangibility and durability makes them attractive to worried investors. Talk to your financial advisor about the best options for you.
Brett Welsh is a freelance writer making ends meet just outside of San Francisco, CA.