2009-03-07

Coping with The Economic Downturn, Part 3

Another instalment from Audrey's timely survey

What You Shouldn’t Scrimp On

When I was in fourth-year university and had no money, I spent my emergency cash on perfume. My parents were shocked but I insisted that I was in an emergency situation - without perfume, I was feeling like a boy! All of us have things that we spend money on that seem like extravagances, but which are important to us. Don’t deny yourself these little luxuries. Sometimes the smart choice is to make that purchase, even in an economic downturn, because of the sheer pleasure that that purchase can bring to us.

We undeniably live in a society where our image is very important. Like it or not, we are judged on our appearance. Even in a downturn we should be careful to update our work wardrobe and to get regular haircuts. Go to clothing swaps. Ask friends where to buy bargains. One of my friends suggested that I buy tops at RW & Co. (in the Rideau Centre) and I was so happy with the selection that I bought three of them for work.

Give more modest gifts but don’t stop giving gifts. This year for Christmas, my boyfriend and I baked quiches and shortbread cookies for family members. It was fun to get the phone calls long after Christmas to hear that a salmon quiche had been the main dish at a luncheon or dinner.

We always must remember those less fortunate than ourselves. One friend told me that, at restaurants and bars, we can try to “tip a little more generously because the servers probably need the money” during these difficult times.

Everyone needs a vacation. We all need time to recharge. Don’t deny yourself a vacation but do search the web for good deals. I like the “flight deals” for passage out of Montreal on Air Transat's website.

We workers in Ottawa are very fortunate compared with those in other Canadian communities. Public Service jobs and the high-tech sector bring great stability to the local economy. However, even those of us who manage to keep our jobs and income intact should be vigilant about our finances. One recommendation for all workers is that they review their bank accounts, insurance policies and pension plans. There are many steps that can be taken today to improve one’s income in the future, including taking advantage of opportunities to buy back past Public Service time and consolidating debts.

Do readers have any tips for reducing expenditures that they wish to share?

Image: Audrey and her boyfriend's home baking creation, a humungously delicious apple pie

Part IV: Audrey’s 20 Tips for Reducing Expenditures

5 comments:

XUP said...

Downsizing your home - your biggest expense. We don't need as much space as we think we need AND the less space we have the less crap we accumulate. Another simple way to save money is to make your own food instead of going out to eat or buying ready-made. That seems obvious, but those morning Starbucks coffees add up; as do the lunches and take-out foods.

Aggie said...

Do you people have jobs? You should be STIMULATING the economy! Think about the greater good.

TWFKAH said...

Exactly Aggie! Besides...it's not just the greater good. Not spending in an economic downturn even when you can still afford to spend is like biting off your own nose to spite your face. Everyone stops spending, businesses shut down, people lose jobs. Then people spend even less, more businesses go under, etc, etc. Eventually, your own jobs and pensions become threatened, your home loses value, oh, it's so depressing. I'm going out right now to spend a whole bunch of money to cheer myself up...

Jen G said...

hmmm spoken like one who shops at Holt Renfrew for gorgeous cocktail frocks...

TWFKAH said...

Exactly again!