Money management is becoming more important in today’s downward spiraling economy. Government figures for inflation don’t seem to match up with the reality of the checkout line at the grocery store. This year has proven to be a real challenge for many household budgets, mine included, to make ends meet. Personal finance has become a focus for most Americans and making money mistakes can’t be tolerated.
There is no way to know what will happen in the future but I am certain we must prepare for it. I made the decision, this year, to start living as if hard times are already here. With austerity being the key word my personal finances have improved dramatically and the more I implement better money management ideas the better I feel about the future.
Pay Off Credit Cards and Cut Expenses to Minimum
I saved a lot of money by paying down the few credit cards I have left. Next year I will be able to pay them down faster since there is less I owe on them. Expensive cable programming is history. By keeping my Internet connection I watch TV programs and Movies via the Internet. I no longer use a conventional TV set and replaced all my computer monitors with power saving LCD monitors.
I eliminated the cloths dryer with a solar unit. A few poles and a cloths line. During bad weather I wash all the cloths and take them to the Laundry Mat where they have energy efficient gas dryers that can be payed for upfront without being on the power bill. The trip can serve double duty since I pass by several grocery stores.
Grow Your Own Food
I have always planted some food, but this year my garden area expanded several times over. Next year I plan to double it. One mistake I made was to buy a new tiller on credit. I should have saved the money and bought a used one, but felt it was needed sooner to get the garden started. The garden did very well this year and there were enough vegetables to give some to neighbors and relatives. Next year I plan to grow more and sell the surplus at the local farmers market.
Grocery Coupons and Sales
I used more store coupons this year and bought non-perishable items in bulk. This served several purposes; preparation for unknown future events and having what is needed at hand without extra trips to the store. Everyone should be storing food and water for emergencies, it is almost foolish not to. If bad times hit fast and hard it is difficult to make rational decisions on an empty stomach.
It wasn’t that hard making drastic improvements to my budget and personal finances. If I am wrong about the economy and business situations get better instead of worse, then great. I still saved money and better for it. Using the US dollar to pay off debts and buy commodities, such as food, gold and silver, is better than letting them sit in the bank and get eat up with inflation. If hyperinflation is in the cards I want to be the one chasing my banker down and paying off my mortgage with near worthless paper.
Sources: personal experience and common sense.