I am in general frugal in my life, no matter what job I have had or during any economic time. It's interesting to see people curb their spending habits only after they lose their jobs. Being prepared for such a situation is key to making sure that you can afford the essentials during any time.
We’ve all known for a while now that we’re in a recession. It doesn’t matter if you want to follow the exact definition of a recession or not, most of us are feeling the pain in this economy. From a struggling job market to poor investment returns, we’ve no doubt felt part of this recession even if we haven’t experienced something as drastic as losing a job.
With the recession in full swing, many people have had to make changes in their life to cope. It might mean simply cutting back on frivilous expenses, or it could mean going out and trying to find another job just to make ends meet. Others may view this as an opportunity to try something new or take their life in a new direction.
So, what have you been doing to help you and your family get through these economic times? I know the poll can’t list every possible answer so I’ve created a few general categories and provided an “other” option where you can explain in more detail in the comments if you want. I think it will be interesting to see the diverse actions taken by everyone.
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About the Author: Jeremy Vohwinkle is a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor® and spent a few years working as a financial planner. Today, he helps people make the most of their money by writing about personal finance here and elsewhere on the web. Jeremy is also Coach at Adaptu and a regular contributor for other publications such as Intuit, and American Express. Be sure to follow Jeremy on Twitter or Google+.
In general I think I try to be as practical with my spending as I can whether in a recession or not. I still go about my life (spending wise) the same as I would have in times of economic growth.
I picked More Frugal, although I initially was going to pick Changes to the Budget. The only budget items affected were my mortage payment and my vacation expenses. I refinanced in December to a lower payment, and I decided against taking any major trips this year in order to save money. Everything else is roughly the same. I'm even eating out more because I haven't been bringing my lunch to work. However, I am being more mindful of how I spend my money, and I am consciously saving any surplus at the end of each month.
We're doing OK. Since we did not participate in the credit madness, we're now not really participating in the recession, either. My job is likely to be cut within the next year, but since we have lived frugally to this point, I plan to become a stay at home mom when my first is born in October, anyway. Our current focus is building our emergency fund and we hope to have it completely topped off by the end of the year.
Panic - because my job is shortly to become one of the statistics of the free-falling economy, and is getting outsourced, despite assurances as late as two months ago that we were meeting all our targets and in no danger of same.
It just goes to show you that you really can't recession-proof a job. No one is immune, anyone can lose their job. At least I have several months of severance benefits on which to fall back while I figure out what's next.
Diversifying is key to survival in uncertain times. Keeping all your eggs in one basket is definitely not the way to go forward with much confidence at all.