Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Ten Simple Tips for Surviving During Financial Hard Times

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!



One Fly said...

That's pretty much what I was doing anyway and simple is better in many ways. These 10 things are admirable attributes Debt is the worst.

fiwa said...

Well said. Specially with what's going on in the news right now with Greece.

John said...

Another thought on meals. Fix a large quantity of favorites and freeze them to serve as leftovers later. Maybe dehydrate extras of some foods for later use.

Josh said...

That's a good point about the meals. I'd like to do that, but live in an apartment and don't have room for a deep freeze. With the cold weather moving in, it's getting to be the perfect time to leave a crockpot full of chili, or stew, or something cooking while away at work, and then freeze into one or two serving containers.

Prepper Website said...

I've been playing with bean soup (cross between mexican soup and red beans and rice) and stew. They are very filling and easy to make.

Craigslist and Backpage have become my friends. ;-)

I'm going to link to your post.


Anonymous said...

We pretty much do this stuff now. As to simpler meals I would say that expensive ingredients are the real issue. Cooking good meals from reasonably cheap, staple ingredients is not a bad thing. Example, To toot my own horn I do a very good spanish rice and serve it with shreaded chicken cooked in enchilada sauce. Total cost for about 4 2 person meals, several dollars.

No debt is huge. You can stop drinking expensive single malt scotch and eating steak and the wife can decrease her hair/nails/etc costs next month if need be. Uncomfortable yes but readily doable. However not paying the visa bill and your 2 car payments will start to cause problems in a hurry.

Additional income is something I struggle with advances in.


riverwalker said...

To; One Fly

It's a pretty complicated world we live in and trying to keep things simplified is a pretty big job all by itself.

Thanks One Fly.


riverwalker said...

To: fiwa

I'm actually a lot more worried about what is going on in our country right now. It seems as though no one wants to make the hard choices when they are necessary.



riverwalker said...

To; John

Excellent point! Saving on the cost of meals can go a long way to help keep your finances in order.

Thanks John.


riverwalker said...

To: Josh

Apartment living does present a unique set of problems...the main one being limited available space.

While in college, I lived in a one room garage apartment and chili and beans was a staple part of my diet. I had few possessions and even less money but still managed to get by.

Thanks Josh.


BTW, I deleted the spam comment.

riverwalker said...

To: Prepper Website

Food is a large part of our daily expenses and is one of the easiest ways to cut costs without putting a strain on your lifestyle.



riverwalker said...

To: anonymous 10:53

That sounds like a tasty recipe. I'm going to see if Mrs. RW can fix something similar. She does make a pretty good enchilada dish...except there usually aren't too many leftovers. lol

Simple meals with simple ingredients can go a long way.

Thanks anon.


PreppingToSurvive said...

Good list. There are a lot of good ways for inexpensive entertainment. Good to a park and take a nice hike, for example.

Another good way to save a little extra money is through saving coupons.



riverwalker said...

To: Prepping to Survive

A little "riverwalking" is a good way to spend your free ranks at the top of my list.

Thanks Joe.


Anonymous said...

The avoiding eating out and eating at home pays off HUGE, even fast food nowadays costs a lot for what you get. Home cooked soup and a sandwich with little side salad is way healthier and less expensive and you have a lot of variety.

Ken said...

...seems i've been this/that way all my life,i'm just easy that way...

riverwalker said...

To: anonymous 12:20


Hard to beat soup and a sandwich made to order!

Thanks anon.


riverwalker said...

To: Ken

A simpler lifestyle is always easier and a lot less complicated...if you do find yourself having to do without, you won't be missing much.

Thanks Ken.


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