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.
- Save like there is a tomorrow
- Make yourself less dispensable
- Increase your income for the right reasons
- Further your education
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.
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.
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.
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 br>
Tags: article states, bad weather, down economy, economic downturn, economic gloom, extra money, finding a job, job duties, national news, new projects, new shoes, news source, saving money, spending power, statistic, wors