How to Boost Your Saving Power

Last week I read an article on the Times online that was titled, How to boost your spending power and this title really disappointed me. Although the Times is not necessarily a financial geared publication, it is a national news source and I feel this article is telling the public to do exactly the opposite of what they need to be doing.

Reading the article, the tips were more about saving money but for the wrong reason; so that you could buy more stuff.

The first sentence in the article reminded me of a statistic I had read recently about the increase in spending on entertainment during the economic downturn. The article states, “New shoes or a good book might take your mind off the economic gloom”. This, again strikes the wrong note with me as in the down economy, you should not be trying to get your mind off the problems, but you should be addressing your problems so you can make it through the bad weather and come out better than when you went in.

Here are some things you should be doing in the down economy so that when it’s all over you come out in a better situation than when you went into it.

  1. Save like there is a tomorrow
  2. If you do still have a job and have the means to save, save for no other reason than preparing for if you lose your job. You should have enough savings to last twice as long in the down economy than when the economy was booming because finding a job may be twice as hard now.

  3. Make yourself less dispensable
  4. There is no such thing as indispensable now but you can do things to make yourself more valuable to the company you work for. Try taking on new projects that no one else seems to want to undertake. Learn new things about your job, duties and the company. Appreciate the fact that you still have a job and work like you still want it.

  5. Increase your income for the right reasons
  6. You can never be too careful now. Do whatever you can to make a little extra money that you can put towards saving or even paying down debt so in the worst case scenario that you lose your job, you will have a little stream of income to fall back on. Even if it is just a few hundred a month, it helps. Some ideas of extra income generating activities: Freelance writing, computer training, tutoring in your area of expertise, or public speaking.

  7. Further your education
  8. Education is one of those things that can only gain value. Do whatever you can to increase your education and qualifications so if you happen to lose your job, you will look like a shining star when applying for a new one. Aside from going back to college for a higher or even a lateral degree, there are other forms of education and certifications you can aquire that help solidify your relevance in your industry.

I keep hearing about how the recession is over and everything is going back to normal, but looking over the past week and the market scare, I think we still have a ways to go. Even if the recession is coming to an end though, it’s always a good time to improve yourself.

Image by Paalia

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21 People have left comments on this post

» Money ReasonsNo Gravatar said: { May 11, 2010 - 09:05:07 }

I hate when mass media decided to do articles on savings and it's all about saving from purchasing something too!!!

I guess that what they figure sells, but that doesn't help people, so I think it's wrong of them!

jmichelsenNo Gravatar Reply:

MR, I totally agree. Bah, their article really struck a nerve with me. Just like the media reported during the first year of the recession that it was the savers out there causing the problem and we should all start spending more. What a load of crap!

» EvanNo Gravatar said: { May 12, 2010 - 09:05:34 }

Want to get even angrier? Pull up some old articles from 2007 and 2006 talking about how real estate flipping is the best way to guarantee a good retirement.
My recent post Is Home Remodeling Really an Investment? Is Remodeling Worth it?

jmichelsenNo Gravatar Reply:

Seriously, what were people thinking. Is the world all really that near-sighted? Judging by the amount of litter on every inch of land across the US…I guess they probably are. The public voices of the world really need to start thinking before opening their big, influential mouths.

» [email protected]No Gravatar said: { May 13, 2010 - 04:05:40 }

Didn't you know; these guys write articles to sell, not because they have good advice to give 😉

Another reason to save and invest: Because things usually seem worse now than they will be in the long run.
My recent post Why Should I Buy a Used Car?

jmichelsenNo Gravatar Reply:

Ya know, that is a real problem for me 🙂 I'd rather see more news about sex and rock-n-roll, which sell just as well and I would be able to ignore far easier because of lack of interest in the subject, than an article touting bad financial advice.

You really have to prepare for the unexpected, because you can't know what will come down the line. Live everyday as if tomorrow you will lose your job, or something like that, right? 🙂

Great post by the way, I'll have something on the same topic coming up in the near future..with a bit of a different perspective. Gotta stir things up 🙂

» MFONo Gravatar said: { May 13, 2010 - 06:05:35 }

I agree with Kevin, These guys write articles to sell, not because they know what they are talking about. I agree with the points listed however. Especially saving like there IS a tomorrow. I have drastically reduced my expenses so that I can eliminate a very large amount of debt as soon as humanly possible. I recently blogged about how within the week I will have my first loan completely paid off.

jmichelsenNo Gravatar Reply:

Thanks for your comment. There really is a tomorrow, even if we, heaven forbid, pass today, our kids have to deal with the financial lives that we create now. I plan to make sure my kids have the money for college and are able to come to me if they ever need financial assistance. I don't want them supporting me in my retirement!

Congrats on the loan payoff!

» RexNo Gravatar said: { May 13, 2010 - 12:05:19 }

I have been spending some time lately selling some items that I no longer use on craigslist, amazon, and the like. Because the economy is down, the used market has been taking off. I have been able to bring in much more money than I would have trying to sell in an up economy where everybody wants new items.

jmichelsenNo Gravatar Reply:

That's awesome Rex! That's another thing that is pretty popular rigth now, everyone crying about there not being money to be made because no one is buying..not true! Take the recession as an opportunity to get ahead if you have the means to do so. Way to go my friend and thanks for commenting!

» SusanNo Gravatar said: { May 10, 2011 - 08:05:48 }

You are completely right. I have in-laws that survive only on the income they saved and invested smartly over the years and they are both foreigners (one is korean, the other is from Argentina). They have enough money to live comfortably each month and even set aside a lot of money to give their children for their weddings/house down payments. I’m amazed as to how frugally they live and they even make some of their own clothes. My parents live like they are well off but my dad is one of the lucky ones to live off a pension and get military pay each month. I wonder what would have happened if his pension had never come, how would they be able to maintain their lifestyle? I’ve tried to follow what my in-laws have done and invest now and smartly to prepare for our future. Who knows if we will even have Social Security in the future to collect!

Jesse MichelsenNo Gravatar Reply:

Exactly, you can’t depend on anyone but yourself and you have to prepare now because you never know what tomorrow will look like! Thanks for your comment 🙂

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