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Help Yourself

Recession proof your lifestyle by doing what it takes to make and save money.

We all know that we, as individuals, can do just a little bit more to make and save money. Every dollar you save counts towards making you financially sound and the ultimate goal should be to keep as much of your money as possible. Saving money may not be a priority for you, and that's fine, but even the wealthy are not totally immune to the recession. You see it on the news everyday where certain well-to-do people are having hard times paying their bills. Like everyone else, they are losing their homes through foreclosure, their cars are being repossessed, and some are filing bankruptcy.

Times are tough right now and they may get tougher before things get better. You, even if you are financially okay right now, may hit a rough spot in your financial health, so it may be a good idea to start a serious savings plan by putting a little money aside for a rainy day.

There are literally thousands of books and articles written on how to save money. You can read them on the internet, the newspapers, magazines, and you hear them daily on television news and talk shows. People know how serious this recession is and they are trying to help people, the rich, the poor, and the middle class, get a grip on their spending habits.

Not all savings techniques will work for everyone, but, after looking at as many as them as possible, try those that you think will work for you. Simple things like changing the type of light bulbs you use in your home, creating a workable household budget, scaling back on certain high cost activities, and cutting down on your driving are all ways to save money. And there are many more things you can do to save without becoming a miser.

Try saving your lose change. Some banks have developed ways for their customers to save change by rounding up to the nearest dollar any purchases made on their ATM cards and then putting that money in a savings account. It doesn't appear to be a lot of money saved, but, at the end of the month, the customer may accumulate an additional five, ten, fifteen, twenty dollars or more in their savings accounts.

Other banks offer money back when you spend. When using your ATM card, you use it as a credit instead of a debit thereby building a points total in which the bank refunds you in the form of redeemable gift cards when you reach a specified number.

Are you paying two car payments when you are only driving one of the cars? If so, get rid of the one you don't use. This is even more pronounced if you have a car that is just sitting in the garage or driveway taking up space. Sell it and put the money in a money market account or a certificate of deposit.

Go through your closet and donate the shoes and clothing you no longer wear to the Good Will, Salvation Army, Churches, or any other charitable organization. You can write the donations off on your taxes while helping others who are in need. The same applies to working appliances and other items.

Clean out your garage and back yard. Metals, such as iron nails, screws, and washers, bicycle frames, tire rims, old iron weights, aluminum siding, aluminum cans, copper and iron pipes, and other materials can be gathered together and sold at recycling centers. So can newspapers, magazines, cardboard, plastic containers, and glass wine, liquor and soda bottles.

These are just a few ways to save money and there are many, many, more. All you have to do is closely examine your spending habits and your lifestyle. You will find ways to save that are so obvious that you will be amazed that you hadn't thought of them before.


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