Great 'Recession Survival Tips' Hunt

Although we're technically not there yet, it pays to be prepared, so we want to tap the knowledge of MoneySavers' who have been through the last few recessions in 1991 and 1982.

What one piece of advice would you suggest to others to lessen any potential impact on thier finances? From ways to increase your job stability to cutting spending and chopping debts. What's your best tip?

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  • Live according to your means, not up to your expectations.

  • luxor4t
    luxor4t Posts: 11,125
    Name Dropper First Anniversary Photogenic First Post
    Take stock of what you already own so that you can 'shop at home' first:

    - we mixed white into dark red paint to make a 'new' pale raspberry colour, cut down old curtains to fit a smaller window & used the offcuts for cushion covers. Saved money twice as we were too broke to go out so spent our evenings re-decorating!

    - use hobbies to make gifts instead of spending money

    - swop/ share items like lawnmowers etc
    I can cook and sew, make flowers grow.
  • Davesnave
    Davesnave Posts: 34,741
    Name Dropper First Anniversary Photogenic First Post
    Learn how to say 'No' to your kids. They won't thank you now, but you are the adult, who should be taking the longer view.
  • Primrose
    Primrose Posts: 10,619
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary I've been Money Tipped!
    The time to have prepared for a recession was a few years ago when times were good, putting away savings for the "Seven Lean Years". Sadly, if you haven't done so, you'll be ill prepared now and the sacrifices will come harder. So many people don't bother to think that far ahead, and while they've got the money in their pockets they spend, spend, spend. Sometimes, when you have got cash to spare it's a good idea to have this debate with yourself: "Do I want this expensive holiday/sofa/etc now, or will it be worth more for my peace of mind to have this money in the bank if I get made redundant/have my mortgage interest increased substantially?"
  • Use the library. I'm amazed at how many people don't!
  • Don't buy ready made sauces or convienience foods, its quick and easy to make things yourself.

    Don't think the supermarket is the best/cheapest place for meat - the butcher is often cheaper and you can buy the exact amount you need.

    Plan your meals for a week and you are less likely to end up throwing food away. If you have roast chicken on sunday think what you can do with the leftovers and do it.

    For babies jarred food is an expense that's not worth it. puree your own at home, it does not take as much effort as you think. My daughter is two now and I still freeze her left over spaghetti bolognaise, fish pie and stew etc in little pots making it quick and easy and cheap to feed her seperately.
  • Live according to your means, not up to your expectations.

    That's the best bit of advice ever,and one we should be heeding all the time not just at a time like this.
  • go to supermarkets during the last hour before closing. lots of fresh food at knocked down prices. usually lots of freezable ready made meals at bargain prices too:money:;)
    don't get downhearted if you don't win today-you may win tomorrow :cool:
  • Complete a statement of affairs so that you can see where your money is going and where there is room for manouvre (sp?) if it becomes necessary. Even if you have no debts, this exercise will stand you in good stead.

    There is a link to Clarimans SOA calculator here:

    I'm afraid I don't use the forums here much (have got too used to another one and find it difficult to find my way around these ones!) so hope the above isn't treading on anyones toes.

    Save for everything!! We all know when christmas is, we know when we want to take a holiday, we know the car/boiler could need repairing at some point. Decide how much you would like/need to spend on these items and divide it by 52/12 depending on whether you are paid weekly or monthly. Then set up a standing order to pay the money into a savings account the day after payday. If you figure that you can't afford to save the amount you have come up with, plan to spend less at christmas or go on a cheaper holiday. If you can't afford to save for it, you're not going to be able to afford to pay for it when the time comes. If you set up a standing order, it won't take long before you don't miss the money being there to spend.

    A spending diary is also a useful tool for working out what the "cash withdrawals" or "miscellaneous debit card payments" are disappearing on. Keep a notebook and pen on you and note down everything you buy - newspapers, choc bars, coffee, haircut, night out at the pub etc etc.

    I'm a fine one to talk as I have taken my eye off the ball a bit in the last few years, having become debt free back in 2002 but I have been thinking more and more about taking a proper look at my finances again, particularly with the situation being as fragile as it is at the moment.

    We have covered most goalposts though, having been able to save a fair amount and we have recently fixed our mortgage for 10 years so we know where we are with that (it isn't going to suddenly increase on us).

    Having a brief think about our SOA, there are areas where we would cut down if we needed to -
    Cancel Sky
    Cancel Lovefilm
    Run 1 car instead of 2
    Subscribe to a cheaper landline service (we use BT and phone a lot of mobiles)
    Eat more frugally
    Eat less takeaways (currently one a week on average)
    Take cheaper/less holidays

    So we're not panicking but we are thinking about the situation. Worst-case scenario would be if one or both of us lost our jobs. We could manage for a few months and wipe out our savings but we are both confident that we could find alternative employment, and could manage on less than we earn now if we had to.

    This has turned into a bit of a personal ramble so I apologise for that. I hope it helps someone.

  • Always think what the next step could be to reduce outgoings - don't live completely on the brink!
    We know where we could save money if we needed to, it would be very scary if there was not a next step.

    think about how you are going to cope - don't just hope that it will all work out.
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