Surviving the Fiscal Cliff
The fiscal cliff is upon us, and it is time to think of ways to keep from falling off that cliff. In an economy where every bit of money you save makes a huge difference, it is time to take a good look at your budget. It is especially important to determine if you are living beyond your means.
Here are some tips to help you survive the fiscal cliff:
- Before you buy something, ask yourself if it is a “need” or a “want”. Needs are those necessities in life that you cannot do without. Wants are those things that feed your greed. Greed is your pocketbook’s biggest enemy.
- Pay close attention to your expenditures. Keep your receipts for even the smallest items. Also make sure you keep your receipts for cash purchases. Many people think it isn’t important to keep a receipt unless they are using credit. This could not be further from the truth. Any money that comes from your budget needs to be accounted for.
- Take a second look at your portfolio. Now is a good time to talk to a financial counselor and get help in working out all of your finances. Whether you have investments, IRA’s, college funds, or other financial concerns, a counselor will be able to help you make wise financial decisions that can affect your future.
- Start couponing. You don’t have to be one of those extreme couponers you see on TV in order to save money. Coupons can be found in the newspapers, grocery stores, neighborhood flyers, and online. Several stores have days where they offer double or triple coupon days.
- Pay attention to store ads. Every week stores have great sales on a variety of products. Stores also offer buy one get one free deals, and some stores have buy two, get three free deals. This is a great way to save money. Store sales often coincide with weekly coupon offers as well, so make sure you take advantage of this great way to save.
- Start eating healthy. You may think you are eating healthy now, but take a good look at your pantry and refrigerator. What percentage of your food consists of sugary, salty snacks with zero nutritional benefits? If the percentage is high, then realize that you are paying for absolutely nothing but health issues down the road. It is like throwing your money into a trash can. Not only are you losing money now, you will lose money down the road when your health is affected by your bad eating habits. Your money will then be spent on doctor and hospital visits.
- Split your entrees when you have dinner out. Eating out these days means one huge platter of food per person. There is usually enough food for two or more meals just in one order of food. You can still enjoy an occasional night out for dinner. Why not save money by splitting an entrée? Order one entrée and two serving plates. Servers will be more than happy to do that for you. Even if there is an extra plate charge, it is less than the cost of another entrée.
Your financial future is important. Now is the time to make sure the fiscal cliff does not cause you undue hardship. Take the time to sit down and evaluate the changes you can make in your financial habits. The smallest change can make a huge difference in your budget.