Scaling Back: Keeping Your Hard-Earned Dollars During Recessionary Times

Published Tuesday, October 05, 2010 1:50 PM

The numbers aren't pretty. More than half of working Americans have experienced a job loss, pay cut, or a reduction in hours since the 2007 recession began. As a result, the spending boom days of the early 2000's have subsided, with 62 percent of adults saying they've reduced spending.

The upside of the downside

The good news? Total debt balances have contracted by $690 billion, or 6 percent since 2008.  Americans are now being more cautious with their money. Will savings trump spending in the future?

No one has a crystal ball but if you're interested in taking stock and scaling back today to save for tomorrow, we've assembled some resources that may be useful:

5 ways to get your retirement back on track - CNN Money.com: Yes, you can retire but that nest egg needs some tending after a few tough years. Consider downsizing your home now, rather than later and think about opting for a phased retirement, working part-time, before leaving work altogether.

How to Save Money on Groceries - Oprah.com:  Food is the biggest expense for most people after housing. Cut costs at the grocery store with tips ranging from commonsense advice such as sticking to a list to avoid costly impulse buys to cutting costs with coupons from sites such as cuponmom.com.

Money101 Lesson 11: Saving for College:  The early bird is better off; get started as soon as possible with 529s and investing in the markets and study up on tax-credits for tuition and breaks for grads repaying loans. Finally, read a first-hand account of how to get a debt-free education from a college student: Yes, College Without Loans Is Possible: The Math of Debt-Free U.

25 Ways to Save Money on Healthcare:  Provides advice on comparison shopping for health plans as well as money-saving tips such as using generic medicines versus costly name-brands and taking advantage of sample medicines.

Save Money on Practically Everything:  Tips on how to stretch your hard-earned dollars in practically every aspect of life from baby-sitting swaps to using a gas rebate credit card.

Does the recession have you cutting corners? How do you save? Share your thoughts here and on the Beyond Folders Community's Facebook and Twitter pages.

by Bradley Eggers

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