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Many times family’s are the hardest hit in times of economic distress. Whether the primary breadwinner loses his or her job, there’s a sick child to content with, or perhaps an unexpected meeting of two fenders downtown last week, challenges in life come to all. One of the practical ways to overcome some of these challenges is to create we we like to call a plan of action for your family. We affectionately call this your very own POA.
While there are a lot of neat idea we could share with you here, let’s break it down into the basics. What are five things you can do to reduce spending, minimize your financial risks, and eventually save a few bucks for that proverbial rainy day (funny, they never call those days sunny days!). Following these simple, yet powerful steps can help you and your family not just survive tough times, but thrive in them!
1) Get a budget. We know this sounds really scarey (especially at Halloween!), but creating a basic budget with actionable steps can help you achieve your goals quicker. Creating a budget will involve an hour at most and there are plenty of great resources online that can help you create a digital one. You can click here for a free tool that will walk you through the basics.
2) Hunt for coupons. This can be an overlooked area to save money, but when you look at your savings annually, the hunt for coupons in your weekly paper can save you potentially hundreds of dollars each year without much effort at all.
3) Sell unused items. When money is tight, think about selling items you rarely use anymore, that could bring in some extra cash. It’s not painful at all, especially considering that the things you sell on EBay you’ll probably forget about a month from now.
4) Don’t use or carry your credit cards. Even better, if you can’t resists the temptation to spend with a credit card, it could be time to do some plastic surgery! If you are over your balance, what a perfect time to cut them up and start working on a good debt repayment plan.
5) Don’t shop hungry. This one sounds silly, but when you think about it, shopping with the kids or when you’ve got a ravenous appetite is NOT the time to go to the grocery store. Fill up before shopping, and you’ll end of being less tempted to spend money on junk food and food with cheap fillers.
The most important part of your family’s plan of action is to take action! Knowing these things is great, but not taking action can be costly both now and in the long run.
When your planning still leaves you short, what do you do? Going to family and friends for a cash advance can help, but who wants to do that? That’s why things like 100 day loans have become popular, because they help you get out of a jam financially when even your best efforts to create a budget and plan of action fall short.