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10 steps to protect your money -- and sanity -- in a tough economy

Trim the fat, pay down debt, and other strategies

by Silicon Valley Blogger  |  4229 views  |  0 comments  |        Rate this now! 

As gas and food prices rise, house values fall and governments continue bailing out major corporations, we may wonder where all of us regular folk fit into this picture. Regardless of our financial standing, we’re all feeling the financial and emotional crunch during these difficult times. So how do we protect our money and sanity during this current financial crisis?

1.) Trim the fat. You may be used to dining out every Friday night and getting a manicure every week. But if you decide to do these things yourself, you could save a bundle. How about polishing your own nails and making a delicious meal at home complete with candlelight and silk flowers? I’ve tried these myself and found that it felt great to make my own home an oasis! My family loves it whenever I declare a “pajama” day, during which time I spoil them with scented baths, a home-cooked meal and board games.

2.) Pay down your debts. If you’ve got debts, pay them down or manage them well. If you’re having trouble paying off your credit cards, let the credit card companies know. Often, they’re willing to develop payment plans to help you work out your problem. With so many people struggling to cover credit card and loan payments, there are more ways to handle them than ever before. By communicating with loan companies, you can protect your credit rating so your phone stops ringing with collection calls. I recently worked out a deal with my husband's creditors and got rid of all late charges and over the limit fees, saving us almost $100.

3.) Work harder and smarter. Companies are letting go of employees to trim the fat so to speak. Now isn’t the time to have an unfavorable attitude towards our work responsibilities. Employees who are flexible, hard-working, and willing to go the extra mile will maintain their jobs during these difficult times. So it’s a great idea to learn new skills, refresh the skills you already have and be a valued asset to your company in order to improve your job security. If you find yourself unemployed, take work anywhere to remain employed. You can always look for a better job when the economic outlook improves. And who knows? You may even develop a new career by performing a job you wouldn’t have otherwise taken.

4.) Supplement your income. If you need the extra income, consider freelancing on the side. I know several people who use their evenings and weekends to pursue a variety of freelancing opportunities to improve their financial situation. Check out eLance or Get A Freelancer for jobs and projects in many different areas.

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