While we may be in a current financial situation that is being compared to the Great Depression, it is important to remember that most people survived that crisis. Fear of those times occurring again can cause a lot of people to react in a manner that could make things much worse. Most people during the Depression years managed to stay above water and actually made it through those extremely rough times with a very simplified lifestyle.
There are a number of things people did during the depression years to survive and most involved making changes that simplified their lives and saved money in the process. They avoided needless expenditures in order to conserve their resources and saved whatever they could whenever it was possible.
Ten Simple Tips for Surviving During Financial Hard Times
1. Always put something extra aside. Even with limited resources, you should always make an effort to save a little something for later, just in case that rainy day becomes a flood. It could be as simple as a few extra can goods, an extra set of clothes or just some spare change.
2. Plan and prepare simpler meals. Most people consume way more calories each day than they need to survive. There are many simple one-dish meals (soups, stews, etc.) that can be both nutritional and satisfying. Save the elaborate meals for holiday celebrations or special family gatherings. You may even want to try making a sack lunch instead of eating out at an expensive restaurant or fast food place when at work.
3. Buy used whenever possible. The cost savings can be enormous if you avoid buying new items. There are numerous bargains that can be found at garage sales and thrift shops if you take the time to look for them. Always be on the lookout for a bargain.
4. Make your own repairs whenever possible. Learning to do simple repairs will always save you money. You avoid having to call the repairman and may even learn a few new skills that can be of value to you later. Simple things such as doing your own oil changes on your vehicles will save you lots of money.
5. Purchase only what you need. It’s very easy to spend money on things we don’t actually need. Quite often we buy things merely because we want them. Learn to recognize the difference between what you need and what you want.
6. Avoid debt at all costs. If you can’t afford to pay for it up front, you’ll be better off if you wait until you can pay for it. The last thing you will need during hard times is extra debt to worry about.
7. Eliminate needless expenses. Quite often money is spent on expenses that can be eliminated. Simple things like turning a light off when not needed or using less energy to cook simpler meals can save you money. Don’t make extra trips to the grocery store when a little planning ahead of time can help you get everything you need in one trip instead.
8. Look for sources of additional income. This could be a part-time job or simply doing a few handy-man type jobs to create a little additional income. Having a yard or garage sale to sell some of the excess items that you no longer need can also create some additional revenue.
9. Use alternate forms of entertainment. Try reading that book you’ve had sitting on the shelf forever or playing a simple game of cards. They will occupy your time with little or no cost.
10. Be prepared to change to an even simpler lifestyle. If things should get really bad, you will need to be prepared to make drastic changes in your lifestyle to simplify it even more.
Staying above the water line!