Surviving the Credit Crunch

Useful Tips on How to Beat the Recession

Switch on the news and all you hear is doom and gloom about the recession these days. The words ‘credit crunch’ seem to litter every sentence and induce a slight panic attack in all who hear them. So what can you do to beat it and be prosperous? These are my tips on how to save money and most importantly how to make it.

  1. Bills/Utilities– Always compare prices to check you have the lowest rates for your gas and electricity. Call them, you might get a discount if you’re a long standing customer. The same goes for mobile phone bills and satellite TV.
  2. Ebay– Have a house clear-out and put your old stuff on ebay. It’s true what they say about one man’s junk being another man’s treasure. Clothes, shoes, hand bags, instruments, equipment…you can sell anything on ebay. If you have any books or electronics, put them on Amazon because you will get a fixed price for them and you don’t have to spend time taking photos and writing item descriptions.
  3. Car boot sales and yard sales– If you don’t want to spend time listing everything individually, do a car boot sale or a yard sale. Just don’t throw anything out- every item is potential $$.
  4. Do some odd jobs– Have a look on Craigslist, Gumtree or any local classifieds for odd jobs that you can do in your spare time after work. From gardening and furniture removal to flyering and promotional modelling- the list is endless and you can be paid cash in hand for your efforts.
  5. Make money online– There are plenty of ways to make money online. Why not write a blog and put Google Ads on it? It’s free and you can make money every time someone views your blog or clicks on an ad. Are you a good photographer? Sell stock photos online with sites like istockphoto, shutterstock and stockxpert. Or if you have the free time you can bid for a freelance contract job on sites like peopleperhour.
  6. Food- It sounds really obvious, but always look for the cheapest brands in the supermarket. It’s so easy to go for the brands we know or the packaging that’s the most attractive, but compare prices every time you buy an item. Go for multibuy offers, discounts and Home Brands. When you’re planning a meal have in mind what recipes are going to be more economical on the purse and try and make things do more than one meal.
  7. Booking holidays– Don’t book things through a travel agent as they’ll be taking commission from you. Look on the internet for the cheapest flights and run a price comparison .and make sure you look well in advance of when you want to go. Instead of doing organised tours, always look into doing things yourself.
  8. Don’t be afraid to complain or haggle- So you’re in a restaurant and the food was luke warm. They might give you a discount or knock it off the bill and if not well at least you tried. In markets and even in High Street shops you can often haggle to get things cheaper.
  9. Refunds- If you don’t want something anymore, make sure you remember to get a refund before the date runs out!
  10. Re-use stuff– Every time you make a cup of tea, re-use the tea bag. Instead of buying bin liners, use the bags you already have from your shopping.
  11. Turn appliances off– When you leave a room turn the light switch off and always turn appliances off when you’re not using them- don’t leave them on standby. Make sure the dishwasher is fully loaded before you turn it on, or that your washing machine hasn’t just got one item of clothing in it.
  12. Cut down– just by cutting down on one vice like cigarettes or alcohol can save you lots of money in the long run. Try showering for 30 seconds less a day and only turn the heating on when you really need it.
  13. Shopping– Don’t pay extra when you don’t need to. Instead of buying it in a High Street store you might be able to find it cheaper online. Buy second hand or do a swap.
  14. Enjoy yourself without spending money– Just because there’s a credit crunch doesn’t mean we’re not allowed to enjoy ourselves. Instead of eating out have a picnic in the park or watch a sunset with some chips and a beer…who needs all the fancy stuff anyway. Instead of going to the gym, do excercise that doesn’t cost you money, like walking, running and yoga. If you’re going on a night out, drink with friends at home before you go out.
  15. Blag stuff for free!

And my final piece of advice is just don’t pay if you don’t need to or you think you’re being ripped off. Try to look at your life and think about what you really need and what you can live without. This doesn’t mean you can’t have fun, but think of ways to do it without breaking the bank.