B a Recessionista!

Most of us have finally come to a point where we've realized - Houston, we have a problem. This recession has spiraled out of control, and we can no longer pretend it's not real, just because we avoid opening our 401K statements. If it hasn't touched us personally, we all have a friend who is way too bright to be out here in the world without a job, or at minimum, an interview. That being said, the recession has officially smacked us in the face, and it's time to take action, and be pro-active about saving and spending wisely. It's a personal challenge of mine, so I wanted to start by thinking of ways to be more prudent without sacrificing too much of my normal routine.

1. Call your credit card company and ask them for the lowest interest rate available.

Just play a little hardball and use phrases like "I'm thinking of closing this card" or "What's the lowest interest rate you're currently offering?"

2. Create a budget: Income - Expenses = Amount Banked Per MonthThe easiest way is to start backwards when creating a budget. If I make X amount per month, and I want to save X amount per month...how much can I spend? Work it out!

3. Carry cash...only.
Tried and tested - this has a 100% success rate! Swiping your debit card all day long is gonna put you in a bad place. Take out exactly what you're allowed to spend in cash on Sunday afternoon for the upcoming week. When you only have $40 left and it's Friday morning, you're gonna think twice about that $5 latte.

4. Accept industry invitations. (Think: open bar)
Remember when you first moved to the city and you accepted every industry invitation and there were open bars for days? No shame in your game. Get your swagger back on someone else's dime.

5. Embrace your inner child - dust off your piggy bank for splurge purchases.
Want a new flat screen or the latest Balenciaga bag? Don't deny yourself completely, but do employ old school tactics and stash a little cash each week for your splurge. Patience, my friend.

6. Throw a dinner party.
Eating out usually costs $30 per person at minimum. Don't neglect your friends just because you're trying to save Start a rotating dinner club where each member takes a turn hosting. For less that $100 you can easily feed 5 people.

7. Brown-bag it.

8. Reserve taxi rides for weekends only.
When leaving the party with friends you can split the tab! Otherwise, use that unlimited MTA card. That's why you bought it!

9. Make a list of free events.
Peruse the weekly "happenings" section of your local newspaper for free events. You'd be surprised at how active your social life will be once you incorporate a few art gallery openings, movie screenings, and the list goes on...!

10. Explore a side hustle.
You have to find a minimum of 2 streams of income. Period.

If you have any other smart money tips, please email them to me at
theblife@gmail.com. Let's keep this thing going! xo, Jen

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