MSNBC had an interesting article up the other day on the supposed lessons we’ve all learned from the recession.
I really REALLY hope this is indeed the case, but something tells me all will be “back to normal” in no time – if we haven’t gotten to that point already. I remember when all this started people were DEF tightening up and paying more attention to their money and their habits, but it seems this post should have been written a year ago, haha… (or maybe it did and we’re re-circulating? :))
Anywho – all the tips are great advice, so it’s always a welcome reminder to make sure we’re on the right track. Here are the 6 lessons MSNBC says we’ve learned from the recession – along with commentary from yours truly:
- Use cash and borrow less – I guess this would be good? We always debate on the cash vs credit card angle here, but overall it couldn’t hurt to go that route for sure. So I suppose that’s sound advice ;) And certainly borrowing less is always great for the wallet! (unless your leveraging it for business investments/etc – that’s a-ok in my books as long as you know what you’re doing)
- Make sure you build an emergency fund – YES! Absolutely. The reason so many people got so caught off guard during this crazy economy is that they didn’t have anything stored away when they lost their jobs or got hours reduced, etc. You need that extra money in the bank for the things you have no control over. If you’re living paycheck-to-paycheck and it’s hard to amass the 3-6 months most people recommend, start by saving just $20! It all adds up, believe me, and the only person you’re helping is yourself.
- Setting priorities is critical – For sure! And that goes for both saving AND spending money. Concentrate on the things that are most important to you, and weed out the rest that aren’t. Everyone’s situation is different, so do your best to stick with what’s most valuable to YOU.
- Budget is not a dirty word – Preach on, son!!! Haha…. I’m starting to like this author even more ;) We highlighted a great simple budget the other day, but if you’re looking for more in-depth or a variety of other different kinds, make sure to check out my budget templates I’ve been storing over the years. Just like the priority tip right above, we’re all unique in our ways we handle money, so keep searching for the right way to track all this stuff for YOU. It really doesn’t have to be that complicated or time consuming if you don’t want it to be! I promise! :)
- Being a penny-pincher makes you smart, not cheap – About time that comes through ;) Though I still can’t see people shouting it out from the rooftops anytime soon. I think people also associate it with being poor or not having as high of a “status.” Which is a shame since most millionaires and wealthy people get to where they are because of these prudent decisions! (well, that and hard freakin’ work, haha…) If you haven’t read The Millionaire Next Door yet, I highly recommend it.
- Stay in charge of your investments – Yup, always a good thing to do. I’d even go as far as to say “increase your investments!” When everything’s going down down down, it’s a perfect time to buy buy buy ;) You know how the mantra goes – Buy low, sell high. And when things have dipped like crazy, it’s certainly on the lower side. But of course you need money to invest in the first place, so it only becomes a good opportunity if you’ve set yourself up to accept it. Another sexy byproduct of managing your money well!
What do you think? Is the world financially better off now having lived through a bulk of this recession? Or do you see people forgetting about what they’ve just learned, and slipping back into their old ways again?
Here is the link to that MSNBC article again: 6 Lessons Learned From The Recession. It goes way more in-depth than I do, so check it out if you want more professional journalism to back it up :)
(Bad a$$ painting by juggernautco. He mentions selling it on his Flickr account, and I may just have to look into it!)
Bonus tip: Find a good "balance transfer" offer to help pay off debt faster!
If you’ve been making payment after payment (on time) and still haven't been able to get your debt under control, snatching up a good balance transfer credit card offer may be the ticket to try. That’s where in order to gain your business - credit card companies will let you transfer your existing debt to a new card and let you pay ZERO PERCENT interest on it. Saving you tons every month!
What's the catch? Usually balance transfer cards charge a fee (around 3% of your debt balance) to let you transfer your balance to their 0% interest offer. But we've found a great credit card that will let you do a balance transfer absolutely free. Click here to learn more and see if you qualify!
PS: If you don't trust yourself with another credit card, ignore this! This strategy is to help you get out of debt quicker, not risk adding more to it.