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    • Former MSE Wendy
    • By Former MSE Wendy 23rd Sep 08, 5:25 PM
    • 868Posts
    • 1,782Thanks
    Former MSE Wendy
    0 WOW
    Great 'Recession Survival Tips' Hunt
    • #1
    • 23rd Sep 08, 5:25 PM
    0 WOW
    Great 'Recession Survival Tips' Hunt 23rd Sep 08 at 5:25 PM
    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?

    Click reply to discuss

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    Last edited by Former MSE Wendy; 24-09-2008 at 2:36 PM.
Page 1
  • stevetherev
    • #2
    • 24th Sep 08, 6:32 AM
    • #2
    • 24th Sep 08, 6:32 AM
    Live according to your means, not up to your expectations.

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    Last edited by MSE Deborah; 30-09-2008 at 6:03 PM.
    • luxor4t
    • By luxor4t 24th Sep 08, 6:39 AM
    • 10,455 Posts
    • 37,881 Thanks
    • #3
    • 24th Sep 08, 6:39 AM
    • #3
    • 24th Sep 08, 6:39 AM
    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
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 24th Sep 08, 6:40 AM
    • 27,846 Posts
    • 98,984 Thanks
    • #4
    • 24th Sep 08, 6:40 AM
    • #4
    • 24th Sep 08, 6:40 AM
    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.
    'I've suffered for my music, now it's your turn.' Neil Innes, introducing 'Protest Song.'
    • Primrose
    • By Primrose 24th Sep 08, 7:31 AM
    • 8,582 Posts
    • 30,224 Thanks
    • #5
    • 24th Sep 08, 7:31 AM
    • #5
    • 24th Sep 08, 7:31 AM
    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?"
  • cranezoe
    • #6
    • 24th Sep 08, 7:37 AM
    • #6
    • 24th Sep 08, 7:37 AM
    Use the library. I'm amazed at how many people don't!
  • cranezoe
    • #7
    • 24th Sep 08, 7:44 AM
    • #7
    • 24th Sep 08, 7:44 AM
    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.
    • By MRSTITTLEMOUSE 24th Sep 08, 7:46 AM
    • 8,080 Posts
    • 19,560 Thanks
    • #8
    • 24th Sep 08, 7:46 AM
    • #8
    • 24th Sep 08, 7:46 AM
    Live according to your means, not up to your expectations.
    Originally posted by stevetherev
    That's the best bit of advice ever,and one we should be heeding all the time not just at a time like this.
    • biteyerlegs
    • By biteyerlegs 24th Sep 08, 7:54 AM
    • 154 Posts
    • 789 Thanks
    • #9
    • 24th Sep 08, 7:54 AM
    • #9
    • 24th Sep 08, 7:54 AM
    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
  • ronniepurple
    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.

  • cranezoe
    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.
  • benood
    The above advice is great for us as individuals but if all society heeds it the forthcoming recession will be much deeper.

    So if you can't bring yourself to cut back justify the ultimate pain by realising you're spending for the greater good.
  • MichaelAP
    Loose change is not just for spending.....
    Try to put away a small amount each time you empty your pockets.
    • HappySad
    • By HappySad 24th Sep 08, 9:51 AM
    • 1,960 Posts
    • 667 Thanks
    Constantly think free or virtually free when you are buying/getting things. I get most of my clothes, newspapers, furniture from friends & family for free. Friends who are keeping up with the Jones/fashion are great as you can have their cast offs for not much or free..Freecycle. Charity shops for everything else like reading & educational books for children, toys, clothes, magazines.

    Haggle when you buy everything. e.g discount, free delivery.

    Library for books & DVDs. Never buy a new book just order it from the library & pay just 80p. Once you have read it & if you REALLY feel you must have it then buy it later... most of the time I just read it once from the library & do not feel the need to buy it. I use amazon to find the book I like then order it from the library.

    If you are disable find out about all the free facilities you can have. i.e - no library fines or charges for dvds/cds. 1/2 price cinema. Discount on gas&electric. free travel. New boiler from council. .... Always ask if you can get a disabled discount.

    Stock up on stuff when they are discounted each time yo buy. I ALWAYS get my toothpaste, deoderant & loo paper reduced as boots, sainsbury or superdrug will always have these discounted regularly.

    Parent advice on credit crunch
    Get a sling for your baby & save upto £400 on a travel system!! ail&utm_campaign=Credit+Crunch+Newsletter

    • Save 3-6months living expenses in instant access account incase you loose your job.
    • Write down all the things that you do extra at work that add values to the company & make sure your boss & bosses boss knows about the value you are adding. Think of more easy ways that you can add value to company easily & take to your boss & bosses about you being able to implement this while still meeting the needs of your usual work requirements. Let them know what you have achieved in the pass & intend to achieve in the future.
    • Write your CV now! If you loose your job you will be ready to send it out straight away without delay.
    • Never think your job is secure. They can always get someone else in the company to do your job along with theirs.
    • Network network network. If you loose your job this network will ome in handy when you come to look for another job.

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    Last edited by MSE Deborah; 30-09-2008 at 6:04 PM.
    “…the ‘insatiability doctrine – we spend money we don’t have, on things we don’t need, to make impressions that don’t last, on people we don’t care about.” Professor Tim Jackson

    “The best things in life is not things"
    • jak
    • By jak 24th Sep 08, 9:51 AM
    • 1,591 Posts
    • 3,419 Thanks
    Use coupons to get money off in the supermarket. It astonishes me that more people don't do that! It's money in the bank! I love supermarket shopping now. I've got it down to a fine art!
    Newly disabled and finding life tough! Please be gentle with me xx
  • digit
    Just moved house in the 70's and my youngest was 9 months old. Cashed in some premium bonds that Mum and relatives had sent me over the years (so there is an idea instead of a birthday card) and bought a sewing machine.
    The cost of new lined curtains (no double glazing) for my 3 bedroomed new house which had two enormous bay windows would cost hundreds of pounds because I wanted velvet in the lounge at both ends from floor to ceiling.
    The firm my husband worked for had businesses that could offer discounts. I bought all the material for the curtains and linings at discount.
    By the time I had finished just the lounge curtains the sewing machine had already paid for itself.I went on to make curtains for the rest of the house. A friend of my husbands offered to wallpaper for us if I made curtains for his house.
    My husband bought a scooter for work. This saved us alot of money too.
    I used to and still do make wholesome soups. When preparing lunches use all the left overs after chopping and peeling vegetables. Chop very fine add absolutely anything else, a handful of lentils/pasta/baked beans/peas. Add a stock cube and any herbs that you have left over. Have fun with seasoning. A little curry powder leaves a nice warm feeling behind in the soup. Cook for 20mins then use one of those handy sauce makers. Makes lovely soups and some of it can be frozen in yoghurt tubs making it a very handy snack. Ready in a jiffy. Digit.
  • diddlydoos
    Buy stuff in bulk now and store (and use). e.g. I always buy pasta and rice this way. I have two big tubs with a mug in each. The tubs take a big bag of 4kg rice and the equivalent of pasta. I get it from Tescos (its the cheapest I have found) and its so much cheaper than buying individual bags.

    The bags also keep so I have one bag "in use" and another behind it waiting for its turn!

    We also plan our meals each week and made a decision to have a few more "no meat" days. Quorn mince is great, cheap (I won't buy cheap meat, its false economy) and quick to cook. You really can't tell the difference in lasagne for instance. (my step dad is Italian and he doesn't know! lol).

    And the most important tip I can offer? GROW YOUR OWN VEG. You can do it in a window box, or even in the kitchen. Saves a fortune as fresh fruit and veg is really expensive.
    • catznine
    • By catznine 24th Sep 08, 12:58 PM
    • 3,187 Posts
    • 24,544 Thanks
    I have to agree that paying down your debts and building some emergency savings is the best advice.

    During the 1991 recession we were parents of 2 young children with a mortgage and not a lot of money for going out, so we used to get together with friends and have dinner parties with the challenge of £5 for all the food (probably would be about £10 in todays money!:rolleyes Our friends would do the same with the wine. The other popular thing was to take turns to host a dinner party serving the main course and one couple would bring the starter and the other couple would bring dessert.

    Save up for things and use cash rather than store cards. Our first born was just a toddler in the earlier 1980's recession and I can still remember buying most of his toys 2nd hand for his birthday. I also used to make a few of his toys, they weren't really very good but he loved them, even the felt duck that looked more like a crosseyed chicken!

    Menu planning will seem such a faff but it really does work and avoids food wastage. Stock up on certain items that keep, if the price is right, and shop from your store cupboard.

    Ask your parents how they coped, and don't panic, people have survived worse just by taking care of what they already had.
    Our days are happier when we give people a bit of our heart rather than a piece of our mind.

    Jan grocery challenge £35.77/£120
    • Margaret54
    • By Margaret54 24th Sep 08, 1:23 PM
    • 838 Posts
    • 7,408 Thanks
    Hi Yes there is definitely lots we can all do to help ourselves. There are a lot of lovely toys in charity shops all year round, which would save a lot of money, and I always see a lot of lovely clothes especially for little ones which are like new, and there is money to be saved there alone. So many people would not buy secondhand, yet when you need to watch the pennies it can save quite a bit of money. There is nothing wrong with buying clothes etc. from there and I do it all the time, and am delighted with my finds Babies and young ones never wear out their clothes and toys so it is good to be able to pass them on, and help a charity as well. Menu planning is a very good idea and cuts down on waste too, which we now do more of, so lots of little ways to help us all. I have just received a letter today to say the electricity is going up on the 1st of October which will mean around £2.81 a week to the average household!!!!!!!!
    Do a little kindness every day.
    • jonny2510
    • By jonny2510 24th Sep 08, 1:24 PM
    • 668 Posts
    • 195 Thanks
    It's never too late...
    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.
    Originally posted by Primrose
    For those who aren't prepared, it's not too late to start preparing now. For some (due to individual circumstances) it may not have been possible at the time.

    Rather than wait until things get really bad/unbearable, why not start preparing straight away (prevention is better than cure). This can be as simple as cutting back wherever possible, and putting the money saved towards paying off debts / savings for emergencies in case of a (very) rainy day!

    For those really worried, try following Martin's Money Makeover to free up some cash, again for the above

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    Last edited by MSE Deborah; 30-09-2008 at 6:03 PM.
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