2010 is gone forever, so it’s time to focus on Health Wealth and Happiness in 2011 and take the proven steps to improve your finances in this economy! Job losses were at an all-time high during 2010, the housing market continued its downward spiral, gold went up, and the dollar went down. There are a lot of people talking about how to hedge your bets against this economy. How recession-proof are you? What proven steps have you taken to be a little more prepared if inflation hits, if the costs of goods and services go up and your dollar doesn’t go quite as far as it used to go?
Although there isn’t a lot the average family can do to protect themselves from the possibilities of inflation, there are some good, proven effective steps to improve your finances in this economy. Obviously, the ability to weather any financial storm depends on how prepared you are when the storm hits.
Are you and your family willing to make some proven steps to improve your finances and get on the right track to Health, Wealth and Happiness in 2011?
Small Steps, Big Rewards!
Instead of going to dinner and a movie, pick up a take-n-bake pizza and rent a movie. Or, make a “do-it-yourself” pizza and let the kids pick the toppings. Not taking a family of four to dinner and a movie each week frees up a lot of cash in a month. This is cash that can be put into savings, or used to pay down some of your current debt.
Are you using your credit cards like an extension of your paycheck? Cards are emergency money only! Pay your balances down so that you have some reserves in the event of an emergency. Pay down the highest interest rates first, and pay down as much as you can every month. Make yourselves a deal: If you can’t pay cash for something and it’s not a “need” then save up for it. You don’t want to be in a situation where you can’t get something you need because of things you “wanted!”
Can you purchase certain foods in bulk and store and rotate them? This could save money on items as food costs rise. Food storage is becoming a huge trend for a reason. Do you have a bartering network in your neighborhood?
Can you trade services for labor or vice-versa? Does your neighborhood have a network for swapping gently used toys, books, clothes, furniture, etc. If you don’t have one, is it feasible to start one?
Are you a successful gardener? Do you can your fruits and vegetables? Can you sell those at a farmer’s market or farm stand? Not everyone is a successful gardener and people love canned fruits and vegetables. Is this a viable option for you to make some additional income?
Are you crafty? Can you for sell or barter some of your crafts? If people tell you how much they love the items you’ve made, look into selling them. Can you sell your items at craft shows, farmer’s markets, online?
Do you eat lunches out often? Are you buying lattes and coffees every day? You could be spending $15-$20 every week for these extras. Examine your petty cash expenditures and then cut back. That $80.00-$100.00 will go a very long way toward paying down your credit card balances!
Could one of you possibly start a business from home? Is it a financial possibility? A work from home business saves money on child care, dry cleaning, gas for the car, purchased lunches, etc. Imagine, no commute and no child care expenses!
Take these small but proven steps to improve your family’s finances and your own Health, Wealth and Happiness in 2011. Adopting better spending habits will not only help you through this economy, but it can be empowering. Good financial habits last a life-time!