October 28, 2008
Found the link to this post over at Hacker News. A little brevity for you:
By now the economic downturn has surely effected all of us. Whether it’s your 401k, stocks, mortgage or that feeling of unsuitability most of us look at the downturn as bad thing. Cheer up! There are good things that can come out of the recession:
Reconnect with your peeps
Do you think you could loan me some money? Do you know anyone who is hiring? Are you interested in buying my used HDTV? If you haven’t already been asked these questions expect to be. Old friends and distant relatives tend to come out of wood works when times are tough. Yeah, it sucks that they are asking you for stuff, but it’s always nice to see an old pal. Hey…. aren’t you my 3rd cousin twice removed?
Loose extra pounds
I spend a ton of money eating out, but I am starting to cut back. Eating at home not only saves money, it also saves calories. You can control the fat, sugar and salt content of your food much more closely when you cook your own meal. How about some low fat enchiladas tonight? YUM!
It’s a great time to reduce your carbon footprint. How about carpooling, growing your own veggies or using real plates instead of disposable paper plates? There are a ton of ways you tighten your spending while giving mother nature a little breathing room.
Get out of the house
The average price for a gallon of gas has dropped from a whopping $4.10 just a few months ago to $2.65 as of yesterday. I smell a road trip to someplace cheap..let’s go camping!
Create a budget
Very few people in the US actually use a budget to guide their financial spending. It’s one of the many reasons why people get themselves into difficulties to begin with. This is a chance to do a hard reset. Create a budget and stick to it. You can even turn it into a game, see which spouse can spend less money in a month. Become disciplined in the downturn and you will be much better off when things start to recover. Be sure to allot at least $10 a month “beer with Ted”.
Kill your TV addiction
Have you noticed how big your cable bill has gotten? I don’t know about you but mine was well over $165 when I decided to drop television a couple months ago. I am now watching free video content via the Internet on my computer and spending less time doing so. What could you do with $500-$1200 a year?
Embrace low tech entertainment
When you were a kid you didn’t need to spend $10 to go to a movie, you created your own movie with a friend. Whether it’s writing, drawing or a simple game of charades there are plenty of low tech things you can do (and probably don’t do anymore) that don’t cost much. Here’s an idea… saran wrap a friend to a tree, you will laugh for hours.
Get your fung shway on
Does your house look like Sanford and Son? It’s time to turn all that old crap you don’t really need into money. Have a garage sale, sell it on ebay or donate it for a tax write off. This is a chance to streamline your living arrangements.
Ignite your creative fire
Necessity is the mother of all invention, and nothing creates necessity like a downturn. Look around you. What do you already posses that you can turn into something else?Perhaps you can reupholster an old couch instead of buying a new one. Maybe you can turn that photography hobby into a weekend money maker. Use your creativity to create new possibilities. I turned an old tire into a pillow.
Focus on what really matters
It may feel like everything is going to hell in a handbag, but at the end of the day all of your material possessions don’t matter. You can’t take them with you. Spend time with your family and friends. Enjoy each other and create a support network to get through to better financial times.