In a tough economy everyone must make lifestyle changes. Only those who are smart about cutting back will survive a recession. It isn’t just the middle class that needs to cut back either. Those who are used to a lifestyle complete with personal shoppers, personal chefs, and chauffeurs may need to learn to shop alone, cook, and drive their own cars. These measures need to be taken both to save money and to learn how to live with less, should financial hardship become reality.
For those who don’t have chauffeurs and personal shoppers, what can be done to cut back? Carpooling to save money on gas, rented movies instead of the theatre (or better yet, library rentals), and cutting back on telephone, electricity, internet, water and gas bills are all things that you can do now. A lot of small sacrifices add up to a whole lot of savings.
During tough economic times, many must also look into secondary income sources such as moonlighting or self-employment. Above all else, it is important not to become dependent on a single source of income, be it from a job or a business. Spreading your income sources over several baskets is less risky should one of those sources cease to make money for you. Be careful when working extended hours at multiple jobs; your health will suffer if you do not continue to eat regular meals and exercise. Poor health equals more doctor’s bills so it makes sense to be proactive.
Just Starting Out
The middle of a recession is a terrible time to be graduating from college and looking for work. Recent graduates and young people just starting out can easily become discouraged when the only job prospects are those several rungs beneath their qualifications. Many of these graduates have encumbered themselves with student loans that they are unable to pay back and even more are putting off further studies in favor of working to pay off the loans already accrued.
What can a recent graduate or job-searcher due to improve prospects in a tight economy? Research market trends and determine which sectors of employment are increasing or likely to remain strong. Fields such as education and healthcare may be less volatile than business pursuits during a recession. Although taking a job that you are overqualified for may seem like a bad move, getting your foot in the door in an organization in which there is potential for advancement is usually worth paying your dues initially.
The most important thing to remember during a recession is that there are people who are still doing well and thriving. Discover who those people are and what they are doing. There is only so much cost-cutting that you can do before you need to find a way to increase income. Know that it is still possible to grow wealth and seek it out.