Preparing for Tough Financial Times

In the event you find yourself unprepared for the financial hard times we are facing right now, Don't panic, here are some things you can begin to do to help weather the storm.

  1. Don't PANIC. Panic always leads to poor decisions
  2. Stay invested. Markets fluctuate. Always have, always will.
  3. Don't obsess. DON'T check your balances every day. This will help keep you sane.
  4. Live within your income, spend less than you take home.
  5. Create a written budget.
  6. Stick to the budget, avoid impulse purchases.
  7. Save something each pay period (even if it is only $10). This will allow you to build an emergency fund to avoid financial catastrophes that are sure to make an appearance in the future.
  8. Limit your use of credit cards and other debt vehicles.
  9. Buy used (clothing, card, etc).
  10. Remember that GOD really owns it, he is just letting you manage it for awhile!

By Diana from Prospect, KY

Editor's Note: What are your tips for surviving tough financial times? Feel free to post them below.

November 19, 20080 found this helpful

I totally agree!

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November 19, 20080 found this helpful


Great tips and how made the same comment about God owning it and we are just managing it for a while that we heard in the sermon on Sunday! So true, so true.

Also, good advice on not checking the market everyday or your portfolio. I used to do it and it absolutely would put me in a tither.... especially if you are in a plan that would charge you a huge penalty if you change it before it's maturity date. There is nothing you can control about it and you just have to wait it out. Worrying about it won't change a thing.

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November 20, 20080 found this helpful

I have been Poor But Proud all my life. In fact, over the last 30 years I have only made 159k dollars!

That was a bit of a shock, to be sure. But, knowing I have survived has been a comfort, and I have a lot to share with others.

I have bought 125.00 worth of new things in the last 4.5 years. No really, I am serious. If I have to buy it new, utilities, rent, insurance, food, etc, then I buy it used. I also barter a lot.

Craigslist is a great place to check that out, and there are other websites you can check out by just googling "barter Salem OR" or your city.

I make almost everything I need for Christmas, so I can afford the blasted postage. In fact, for my "away" people, I always make something flat that I can put in an envelope.

I have found that most places can allow you to pay some of your bill, as long as you let them know something happened and you do what you can. Your local energy assistance office can help during this time of the year with utilities, too.

"Got too much stuff"? Sell it on CL or have a sale. It's good for the pocketbook and for the inner clutterbug in you.

Entertain yourself at home. A second hand espresso maker can be found for about 15.00 and save you tons. Rent movies for 1.00 at the Big Red Box. If you have to dine out, make sure you do it when you have 2 for 1 coupons. Buy or make for just the kids till things lighten up. Check out books at the library and yes, buy at the thrift shops. Not only can you get some fantastic bargains, you help support folks who may not be able to get a job anywhere else.

The advice about saving when you can is good. In business, my philosophy is that I try and sell things that people can afford. My motto is "fast nickles are better than slow quarters".

When saving, even if it's 5.00 a day, it adds up with interest.

And yes, be kind to your self. Don't panic. Let friends help. Let strangers help, it does them good, too.

Then, when things are back to "normal", remember what happened and take steps to lessen the severity and shock if and when it happens again.

Lessons we learn are worth more than any money we can save.

Poor But Proud

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November 20, 20080 found this helpful

And remember to give when you can. If you give with an open heart, it will come back to you. I was given a frozen turkey I then gave to a local church recently and when I opened my mail, I had a $5 off coupon from Walgreen's. Life is not a balance sheet, it's better than that. Give with love when you can, and it will come back to you.

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November 23, 20080 found this helpful

Hi Diana, Thanks for sharing your tips. This really helps

Filipina living in Sweden.

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