With the ever-looming economic crisis, everyone is thinking twice about their financial future. What can they cut? Should they invest? What’s with the housing market? With all the uncertainty, the future can look pretty bleak and overwhelming. Oklahomans can count themselves lucky for now, the layoffs and financial disaster haven’t hit us quite as hard as some of our unfortunate neighbors. (Kansas is bankrupt, for Pete’s sake!) Having said that (and sitting here with my fingers crossed), I think it’s time we began to prepare ourselves for what is inevitable. Federal help isn’t coming quickly and even if it does show up, it won’t matter too much if we don’t prepare ourselves now to live without it.
During the next few months, I will be bringing a new article to Metroglow in the hopes that it can help make Oklahomans stronger financially and less fearful of the economic crisis. Saving Sense will examine the effects of the last economic crash (better known as the Great Depression) and compare them to the crisis at hand. Are we worse off? What can be done to prevent a repeat of the devastation our country suffered so many years ago? When I started thinking about this article, my mind went to one place instantly: my grandparents.
No matter the crisis, my grandparents give the same advice: simplify. Too many extracurriculars and not enough time? Simplify. Too many dishes? Too many bills? Too many issues, period? Simplify. While it’s easy to roll your eyes and think they just don’t understand, it’s much more likely that you don’t understand. It’s easy to think that you’ve got your routine down and that it’s as simple as it can be. In most cases, however, this simply isn’t the case. It’s taken me a long time to realize the wisdom in my grandparents’ words (or rather, their word) of advice, but I think I finally get it. Every aspect of our lives can be simplified in order to make our future more secure. Don’t believe it? Give me a month and I’ll prove it. In the mean time, here are some simple things grandma suggests you do:
1. Clean out your closets. If you don’t love it, sell it!
2. Gather up all your bills and receipts and get ready to cut! (we’ll talk about this in depth next week)
3. Eat at home!
4. Use what’s in your pantry instead of running to the store again. (Get creative!)
5. Keep your empty containers, if they have lids.
Saving Sense Weekly Challenge:
Keep a journal of what you spend in the next week. (Not just your checkbook log, either. Include credit card charges and cash, too!) Include all expenses, even bills that have to be paid. At the end of the week, circle or highlight what could be considered ‘frivolous’ or extra spending. Next Wednesday, we’ll give you some tips on how to cut that number drastically. (It can be done!)
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