Are you a full-time worker worried about the current recession’s long-term effects? If so, you are not alone. Many hard-working adults are concerned about the recent worsening of the economy, particularly the record high rate of inflation, sagging stock market, soaring gas prices, and shortages of common grocery items. Is there a way to fight the potentially negative effects of the current recession?
The good news is that consumers can do plenty to ward off the worst of the worst. In many cases, it’s possible to make a few painless lifestyle changes that take the sting out of super-high grocery and household goods prices. Likewise, there are several effective hacks for bringing in additional income, cutting monthly expenses, and potentially saving a few bucks in the process. The following suggestions, together or separately, can go a long way toward assisting working adults who want to make the most out of their income and minimize expenses at the same time.
Online Micro Jobs
If you want to inflation-proof your money, consider adding to your income. Micro jobs are tasks that take less than about five hours per week, and they’re quite popular with students and young professionals who seek a second stream of regular income. Among the most popular micros are English tutoring to foreign students, website evaluation work, freelance writing, and blogging. The beauty of these short-hour jobs is that they require few high-level skills, the hours are extremely flexible, and the rate of pay is adequate for people who need some extra cash every month.
Student Loan Refinancing
One of the quickest ways to slice off a decent chunk of your monthly expenses is to refinance student loans into a brand-new obligation. The advantages of this strategy are numerous. They include the chance to get much better terms, rates, and repayment periods. After a short, simple online application, borrowers can end up with a single monthly payment that is much lower than before. Thousands of working adults are surprised to find that their credit scores are higher now than when they took out their original education loans. That’s just one reason they can usually get more favorable interest rates when they refinance. There’s no better survival hack during a recession than reducing monthly student loan payments and getting an instant boost in your personal bottom line.
Curious about the recent student loan forgiveness plan? The Money Girl podcast has you covered. Listen as Laura Adams explains it by clicking the player below.
Freezing Investment Activity
It’s usually not advisable to stop contributing to retirement funds, but if you’re financially strapped, that’s typically one of the first temptations. However, investments include other forms of monthly contributions besides IRAs and 401k accounts. They also encompass investment accounts held with brokerage firms. If you’re currently putting several hundred dollars monthly into a stock or forex account, consider suspending all trading activity until the economic hard times are over. Don’t close retirement accounts. Instead of halting the monthly payments to them, consider cutting the amount in half for the time being.
Sales of Personal and Household Items
When the going gets tough, people sell their stuff. One of the most painless ways to survive a rough spot is to scour the garage, attic, basement, spare bedroom, storage shed, and everywhere else where you have old stuff stashed. Go through everything with an eye toward either selling, donating, or trashing each item. Only keep what’s necessary. The second benefit of this tactic, in addition to the money you earn from selling many of the items, is that you’ll do a great job of removing clutter from your home. Selling personal goods is a one-shot way to boost income and not an ongoing way to earn money. Still, it can deliver a decent cash infusion during a downturn in the economy.
Purchasing Used and Refurbished Items
When you need to buy anything like an appliance, item of clothing, household accessory, or electronic device, explore the second-hand and refurbished market. This is an especially effective approach when purchasing tech products from online sellers. There are many refurbished options on merchant websites, and the prices are often 20% to 50% lower.
It costs nothing to make a weekly meal plan, and you don’t have to be a world-class chef to develop a list of seven dinners that you already eat regularly. The goal of making meal plans is to save on groceries and give yourself an incentive to consume more food at home. It’s a fact that one of the most common forms of overspending is eating out. Working adults who get in the habit of planning at least five meals per week save money immediately by avoiding the high cost of restaurants.
Targeted Grocery Shopping
Meal planning is wise but learning how to make targeted grocery lists is a similar food-related way to reduce expenses and get through recessionary cycles. The trick for making excellent lists is to take the time to include all necessary items you’ll need for an entire two-week period. Avoid the temptation to shop once per month, or you’ll run into spoilage problems in most cases. For maximum convenience, group your list entries based on where they are located in the store. That way, you’ll not only save money but also cut down on the amount of time in the aisles hunting for products.
Minimizing Fuel Expenses
The best thing about slashing the cost of vehicle fuel is that there are several ways to go about it. First and simplest, it is to drive fewer miles per week by combining trips. Most who make an effort to employ this approach soon discover that the trick is to plan ahead. Don’t run errands to one place one day and a second spot the next day. For shopping, aim to purchase groceries and necessary household goods just once or twice per month. Another tactic for cutting fuel usage is to designate one or more days each week for taking public transportation or carpooling to work. Finally, it’s possible to save a significant amount of cash by joining a wholesale club that offers discount gasoline at its stores. For a low annual fee, an average driver can get all their gas or diesel fuel for about 10% below market prices.
Check out this episode of the Money Girl podcast to learn more about saving money on everyday expenses.