As the economy worsens we have to make adjustments, to the comfortable lifestyles that we were once accustomed to. The days when we could spend like there was no tomorrow are long gone. In these tough times, money is tight and hard to come by. Making a few adjustments to our lifestyles can make a huge difference in our finances. Here are a few tips on how we can make smart financial choices during the recession.
1. Avoid signing up for store credit cards no matter how good the offer may seem. Store credit cards have very high interest rates, and at the end of the month if you don’t pay off the money that you owe in full, you’re going to end up losing much more money than you were supposed to save when you first made the purchase, from the high monthly interest charges.
2. Clean your garage and closet out. You’ll be shocked at how much stuff you’ll find that you no longer use. Have a garage sell or put it up for sell on eBay to generate some extra income.
3. When shopping online always use coupon codes. There are a lot of coupons online that you can take advantage of. You’ll be surprised at how many promotional offers you can find online that are not offered in store. Shopping online also offers you the opportunity to compare prices at the click if the mouse.
4. Make a habit of purchasing your clothes, appliances, and furniture from outlet stores and thrift stores. You can get good quality clothes and sometimes even name-brand clothes at unbelievably low prices. These stores regularly offer sales and discounts.
5. Don’t make the mistake of going grocery shopping with an empty stomach, at least eat a full meal or have a snack and drink a large glass of water. This will prevent you from being tempted to purchase unnecessary snacks, which will help you cut down on impulse buying. Also always remember to carry an energy bar with you at all times, just in case you get hungry and need that quick energy boost while your out shopping.
6. If you really must eat out at restaurants, only do so on special occasions such as Birthdays, Anniversaries, Mothers Day, Fathers Day and Valentines Day. Eating out frequently is too expensive; you save so much more by cooking your on meals.
7. If you are a parent try trading babysitting nights with friends, family or neighbors. Child care is so expensive these days, a lot of parents will be more than happy to do this with you. Doing this will help you save on childcare expenses and you’ll at least be getting someone whom you know and trust to watch over your kids.
8. Be smart about your cable television package. Do away with the HBO, HDTV and movie on demand purchases and stick to the basic package. Believe it or not those little extra charges add up! I mean is having all those channels really necessary?
9. If you have credit cards and have made all your payments on time, consider calling your credit card companies and ask them to lower your interest rates, they just might agree to do so.
10. Make a habit of paying more than the minimum credit card payment each month, and remember to pay off your high interest rate credit cards before the low interest rate cards.