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Money Isn't Everything

5 ways to weather tough financial times

Right now, it's hard to not hear reports about home foreclosures, rising gas prices, job losses and the recession. Sure the numbers seem bad, but sometimes, it's not what you hear, it's how you look at it! For example: of course it sucks that nearly 6% of all home loans are more than 30 days past due. But that means 94% are not!
Besides, the real issue is your bottom line, not someone elses. In any case, check out these tips to help recession-proof your existence:

No drama
One of the first steps to creating your own reality is to be fully aware of what is going on but don't add to the drama. Do listen to the news, chime in when friends, coworkers or family members discuss current financial trends and their situations, but don't get caught up in the negativity, or worse any hysteria. The key to surviving any crisis is to stay calm. Many people waste energy worrying about what might happen tomorrow. Don't squander that precious energy. Instead, use it to make smart decisions.

Good choices
There are five industries that are considered safe during recessions: health care, education, energy, security, and environmental businesses. If you aren't trained for any of these industries, consider how the training and skills you already have can fit into one of them. For example, Kelly is not a doctor, nurse, or any other type of medical clinician, but she does put her writing and public speaking experience to work in the public relations department of a hospital. Likewise, Melinda is not an environmental scientist, but she has good job security as the administrative assistant for one.

Perk up at work
If you work in an industry where layoffs are a possibility, keep in mind that the employees most at risk are the ones who hold grudges, constantly complain or have a personality conflict with someone who is critical to their career. So keep your personal conflicts to a minimum on the job. Pitch in beyond the expectations of your job duties to help further the accomplishments of your team. Make it hard for your employer to succeed without you.

Do save it for a rainy day
Financial guru Suze Orman offers the following suggestions to avoid panicking during a recession (or anytime, really!). Pay off your debts as soon as possible. If you foresee a rocky future for yourself, because of smaller earnings or a possible layoff, find ways to cut back on your budget now. Put extra cash into a traditional savings account or a short-term money market CD that you can access quickly if you need it.

It's okay to shop
When you receive your economic stimulus tax refund this summer, don't be afraid to spend some of it, as opposed to putting it all toward paying bills or into savings. The purpose of this tax refund is to keep money circulating. When people put a self-imposed freeze on spending because they're afraid of a possible recession, they actually cause a recession to happen. So go ahead and treat yourself to the latest electronic gadget or a new outfit. Look at it like you are doing your part to keep the energy of money flowing.

 

 
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