Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Recession-proofing Yourself

I've been reading a lot of blogs lately on how people are cutting corners to save money here and there. One of the best posts I've read is called Surviving a Recession: Lessons From our Ancestors on beingfrugal.net.
I’m not going to speculate on how long the bad economy will last, whether an economic stimulus plan will help, or if we’re in a recession at all. None of that matters when it’s your family facing cutbacks and job losses. What matters is what we can do in the here and now. And instead of trying to reinvent the wheel, some of the best ways to survive a recession can be found from our ancestors, who often had very little, but made do with what they had.

Lynnae brings up the Little House on the Prarie series in her blog and how they got on without any income. One of my favorite books as a child, I remember in Little House in the Big Woods Pa butchered a pig and blew up the pig bladder and tied it with a string for Laura and Mary to play with. Who needs toys when you've got a pig bladder?

But seriously.

Since I live on my own and pay all the bills (including the ones for my expensive brain) I have had to cut back. Someone told me once that they couldn't believe I didn't have an Internet connection in my apartment. Well, I don't. I figure if I NEED to check something online I can walk up the street to work. But I'm on the computer all day at the office and find "unplugging" on the weekends to be worth it. I also don't have cable. And I do laundry at my parents' house. And I shoot squirrles from my bedroom window and make pot pie out of them. Just kidding on that last one there...

Something else I am doing more and more these days is making presents for people instead of buying them. I've been crocheting hats for all the new babies in my life and making jewelry, magnets, and cards for friends. Luckily I surround myself with people who appreciate these homemade things so it works out well. Just getting a card in the mail is exciting for most people...and only costs me 42 cents! Since when did getting snail mail become a luxury?

In any case there are lots of personal finance sites out there and most of them tell you the same thing. How you cut costs is a personal matter and no one formula is right for everyone. What works for you probably wont work for me and vice versa. For example, while you may love butchering a pig and playing with it's bladder I'm not that into it. But I am into ideas on how to make my money work for me so if you've got any insider tips...send 'em my way!


Elizabeth said...

These are great ways to cut costs, but if I have a secure job with scheduled raises (I'm a teacher) and no debt, shouldn't I be keeping my cable, etc. to keep the economy moving as much as possible?
I do all of the cost-cutting measures I learned from my Depression-era parents, so the only thing left is cutting "luxuries". But why, if they fit my budget and I'm still saving?

jbs said...

i'm wicked jealous of scheduled raises... and no debt... and for that matter a secure job! kudos to elizabeth and 'heck yea' keep the good stuff!
on another note... snail mail really is the most wonderful thing :)

Mimi said...
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