It never fails. Everytime I turn on the TV, I hear more depressing news about how bad the economy is. Much as I try to ignore it, I just can't get away from it. Even when I'm not watching TV, I can see it all around me. Not only is it the rising gas prices and rising prices on food (due to the high gas prices), it's also the numerous foreclosure and "for sale" signs in my neighborhood and my shrinking 401k balance.

I personally feel that things will get worse before they get better. I don't think sending out a few hundred dollars will stimulate the economy. If you are already behind on mortgage payments and barely making ends meet, this money will help but it probably won't turn things around that much.

I can't control the economy, but to an extent, I can control how I handle my finances in a slow economy. I've decided I'm going to make a few changes to things I do and try to save a little extra money just in case. I feel my job is safe but things can change. If my company decides to reduce the workforce, and I am part of that reduction, I want to be prepared.


Some of the changes I am making include:

Eating Out. My friends and I usually go out and have dinner and drinks at least once or twice a week. This can add up pretty quickly when you eat dinner and have a few drinks (or alot depending on how work is going). At our last outing, we were discussing how hard it is to make ends meet. We decided that in order to save money, we would start getting together at someone's house each week instead of going out to a restaurant. We'll buy and make our own drinks and someone will cook. We all live pretty close so this will work out alot better and cost less money.


Extra Money. I posted the other day about Revolution Money Exchange. It's a money transfer service similar to Paypal but without the fees. If you sign up before April 15, 2008, you will get a $25 signup bonus. $25 won't pay the mortgage but it certainly helps. Every little bit helps. If I see a service that offers a signup bonus and I don't have to pay for it, I usually take advantage of it. I also use survey sites like PineCone Research and programs like Mypoints and Upromise to bring in a little extra cash

Putting Off Purchases. There are a couple of minor home improvements that I want to do around my house. They aren't necessary and are wants instead of needs. I've saved the money to make these improvements but I think I will hold off a little while longer to see how things play out in the economy.

Are you handling your finances any differently in this market?

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4 comments

  1. Mrs. Micah // April 14, 2008 at 4:18 PM  

    Just sticking to our budget and looking for more ways to get income.

    The idea of doing it at friends' houses is great! Means you don't have to worry as much about dividing the check, staying at the table too long, and I've found it so much less expensive. We hardly ever eat out, but we have friends over a couple times a month (and go to their places too).

  2. Paul // April 15, 2008 at 2:17 PM  

    In addition to Upromise and Mypoints, use your debit card as a credit card that directly debits your checking account rather than using cash (if possible) for more benefits:

    1. No additional fees. Sometimes banks charge a $1 or so extra to use the debit portion like an atm card,
    2. If the card has the Visa logo, sign up for Visa Rewards points, and
    3. You're covered by Visa for the purchases made with your card. By using the debit option, you are not covered and grabbing the numbers is easier for identity theives. Debit cards do not have the same qualifications as complying with PCI (the payment card industry standard for security).

    Great posts all around though. My wife and I routinely go to "dinner parties" at friends houses - it rotates around through the 5 families and has worked out perfectly for more than two years.

  3. Mark Krusen // April 15, 2008 at 4:18 PM  

    My wife and I enjoy eating breakfast out on Saturday's. We either go with friends or by ourselves. It's our one vice. Ok we have more buy really. Ok I agree. It is something to think about.

  4. Rachel @ Master Your Card // April 16, 2008 at 11:04 AM  

    We are cutting down on eating out and getting take outs too. We are also cutting back on presents for each other at the moment.