7 Smart Strategies for Surviving an Economic Downturn

Retirement Income Planning, Calgary

Tough times will not last forever - tough people will!


During the last downturn, which doesn't seem that long ago, there was a TV Ad by Toyota that said if, “If you can persevere when times are tough, you’ll be unstoppable when times are good.” Well, times are tough! How are you going to persevere and survive during these times? You must learn to Survive before we you learn to Thrive. 


The very first thing you have to do is reign in the spending. With less money coming in, less money can go out. It’s important at this time to do a review of your current spending habits and find out what you are really spending your money on, where are you spending the most money, how much are you spending and why are you spending it.


Think of things like coffee purchases. Coffee can be made at home for a fraction of the costs of going to a fancy shop. 7-11 sells coffee for $1. At least twice a year McDonald's offers their coffee for free for a whole week. Add up your coffee purchases (or special drinks), it may surprise you that it can equal the cost of a week-long all-inclusive vacation. I don't know about you, but I certainly would choose that over a daily coffee splurge.


There's an old saying that has now gone by way of the dodo bird or, I should say, the penny. "A penny saved is a penny earned." This is a truth, my friend! Or, how about this one, "Take care of the pennies and the dollars will take care of themselves." I'd like to re-write this one to go more like this, "Take care of the toonies and the twenties will take care of themselves." Remember, you heard it here first! :-)



More Simple Money Saving Tips

  • Review your Cable and Internet: We pay a small fortune to Telus every month, but our 3-year contract is up soon. They often change their packages making them cheaper if you change a few channel choices so give them a call and do a review of the channels you're paying for that you never watch. You might save $5 or $10 a month. Every time we sit down to watch TV, there’s nothing to watch, so guess what we do? Netflix - and that's another 8 bucks a month. 


  • Eating Out: Some months last year we spent more than $1000 eating at Restaurants. This year we eat out about once per week and that’s usually with a Groupon or a coupon. There are some amazing deals to be found right now. You can often pick up even better savings by buying your Groupon on a day when they're offering 20% off. Gotta love recession pricing! 


  • Movies: Remember, it’s easier to replace or alter habits and behaviors than to try and eliminate them altogether. Rather than eliminating the movies, why not pick up the Movie Night out package from Costco for $28. It’s about 1/2 of the price you would pay a la carte. And instead of going every weekend, scale it down to once a month.


  • Phone: We recently had our phone package reviewed by a very smart Telus rep (who is also our client) and she was able to save us $20 month on our phones, Ipad, business line package and give us more features than we had before! 


  • Insurance: Call up your Insurance provider and see if there are any ways you can save on your home and auto premiums. If you have a vehicle that you are not using you can keep the fire and theft coverage, but remove the collision and comprehensive. I do this with our summer car. It saves several hundred dollars per year. 


  • Electricity:  We switched our Electricity (Enmax) from the fixed rate to the floating rate. So far, the floating rate has been significantly lower (60%)! 


Remember, you don't have to cut expenses so extensively that life becomes miserable - just be wiser with how you spend. You've got to save more money so that you can get that money working for you!


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Willis & Nancy

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