How to Survive and Thrive in the Recovery

by Laura Rich on July 14, 2009 in Culture,Lifestyle,Money

survival knifeAn ounce of a prevention is worth a pound of cure, they say, and many of us wish we’d thought ahead about the downturn we’re in (it’s not like you couldn’t see it coming, with teetering mortgages built on nothing and monolithic banks crumbling all around).

So, lesson learned. Now we look ahead to recovery. What are you doing to prepare? The signs of an end to the recession are inconsistent, at best, with economists and banks — and politicians — all over the map on their predictions. But the day may come when the economy is robust and healthy, and you need to be ready for it. No longer will lavish spending be something you want to flaunt. Frugality is in; it’s here to stay. If you don’t want to be caught all bespoked and besotted with pecuniary privilege, you’ll need these essential tips for slimming down now, before it’s too late (with apologies to U.S. News):

1. Rethink your lifestyle. It’s okay to live at home for a little while. Call it shag chic à la 1970s basements.

2. Couponize. They’re better than food stamps.

3. Downsize permanently. Ditch the manse and live on the road. It worked for Jack Kerouac.

4. Get competitive about it. Isn’t there a reality show about scraping and scrounging? Oh, right. The Real Housewives of New York City.

5. Take advantage of failing retailers. Finally, the (cheap) customer really is right.

6. Make use of new government policies. Like, if you run a big bank, add handouts to your income line.

7. Educate yourself. Don’t just take handouts.

8. Save more. We’re banking on designer shoeboxes with bill compartments that fit under your bed.

9. Look for a better bank. And definitely ditch yours if it’s the one in #6.

10. Don’t overdue your newfound frugality. Really, no one likes a cheapskate.

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