Thursday, May 20, 2010
How To Help Your Economy and Stocks
1.Focus On Basic Expenses - Determine what you HAVE to have (food, shelter, clothing, transportation, healthcare) and don’t worry get distracted by anything else.
2.Pay Off Any Debt You Can Eliminate - If you owe any debts with small balances, pay them off so they can be gone for good. This will provide you with a psychological boost AND it will free up some cash in your budget.
3.Keep All Other Bills Current - More than likely, you are carrying debt on, at least, one account that is not a neccessity (credit card, cell phone account, installment loans). After the basics are paid, do whatever you have to do to keep all other bills current. This will keep you motivated and making financial progress.
4.Don’t Add To Your Debt Balance - Obviously, you cannot control the external factors that effect your finances. You can, however, control your debt. During the short-term, at least, commit to not adding additional debt to what you already owe.
5.Be Proactive - IF you find that you are falling behind and/or if you see that your finances will change in a negative way, make the first move. Use any “emergency” funds you have set aside and contact any creditors you may need to work with for payment modifications. They are more likely to be willing to be patient if they don’t have track you down!
6.Stay Home - One of the major expenses of family budgets right now is gasoline. Oil prices continue to set records and lots of Americans are not driving vehicles that are fuel-efficient. A great way to lower costs (and help the environment) is to stay home. Shop online, carpool and group your errands more efficiently so that you are spending less time on the road and less money at the gas pump.
7.Boost Your Income - Find some way to generate some extra income, even if it is temporary. Have a garage sale. Sell something on eBay. Volunteer for overtime. Get a 2nd job. Whether you put this money toward bills or use it to pad your emergency fund, it will be instrumental in getting you through the economic slowdown.
8.Don’t Wait On The Government - Yes, the government is going to send some help. Economic stimulus checks should start arriving in May. To make them most effective, you should have a definite plan for their use. Also, you can spend the time between now and then making adjustments to your budget to allow the stimulus check to truly be a bonus and not a “rescue”.
9.Make Small Sacrifices - Without question, everyone’s economy is facing some difficult days. The good news? Cutting back doesn’t have to be extreme. Making small sacrifices (i.e. taking lunch to work, cutting back on Starbucks runs, renting movies instead of going to the theater) will add up quicker than you imagine and you’ll find more room in your budget than you expect.
10.Stay Positive - This is not the first time the country has faced economic difficulties and it won’t be the last. That fact should give you a reason to maintain positive thoughts during this time. No matter how bad it gets; it’s temporary. Fair warning though…you may have to stop reading the paper and turn off the TV and Internet to NOT hear all the doom and gloom!
Dow-376.36 points, -3.60%.
Nasdaq-94.36 points, -4.11%.
S&P 500 -43.46 points, -3.90%.