6 Lessons Learned From The Recession (And Government Shutdown)

photo credit: maneobjective.com
photo credit: maneobjective.com

Hello Sophisticated Spenders!

The government shutdown was around 53 weeks ago.  If you’d put away $100 per week since then, you’d have $5,300 in your emergency fund right now.

That’s a pretty nice chunk of change!

I was reading thru an article from MSNBC on “Lessons Learned from the Recession“.  While I don’t quite agree with all 6 lessons, I thought I’d give my 2 cents on what they had to day.

1. Use Cash and Borrow Less: I think this should be a rule of thumb for everyday life.  Unless you’re borrowing for (in this particular order) an education, real estate or a car, you really shouldn’t be borrowing for anything.  Keep your spending smart.  I noticed that I spend less at happy hours when I use cash.  I also don’t whip out my credit card if I know I can’t pay off the balance.

2. Make sure you build an emergency fund: There was an article that said most people couldn’t come up with $2,000 without having to sell items or liquidate assets.  This is horrible news.  Now is a critical time for saving for emergencies-most people would argue that our current economy is in a state of emergency!

3. Setting priorities is critical: It’ always very important to know where you stand.  Prioritize debt, bills and fun.  Sorry fun is last on the list.  And 9 times out of 10, too much “fun” is the cause of most peoples debt.

4. Budget is not a dirty word: I love tracking my budget on a daily basis.  I think it’s a really smart idea to set limits on everything and spend freely until you’ve reached the end of you budget!

5. Being a penny-pincher makes you smart, not cheap: I am the queen of deals and coupons!  But remember they are only as good as the product.  I only look for deals and coupons on the things that I already love.  I got into groupon trouble by not keeping a lid on the great “deals” and I ended up never using one because my eyes were bigger than my stomach.

6. Stay in charge of your investments:  I would say I have dropped the ball on this one.  I set up my retirement allocations and have only gone in only a couple of times this year and moved a few things around.  I have also not been making any moves with the stocks that I have with Sharebuilderand TD Ameritrade.  Maybe I will do better in the upcoming months.

Any things you guys have learned from the recession?  I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

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