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The housing bubble has burst, job growth has become job loss, and the cost of credit is going nowhere but through the roof.
Here are some tips to surviving (and thriving) during a financial crisis.
Enjoy little splurges
“One latte a week can produce more joy than a daily latte if it’s savored,” says Dr. Yarrow. The secret to not feeling deprived is to be mindful and appreciative about the things you do buy. When you do spend money, enjoy it and don’t sabotage the experience by feeling guilty.
Thrifty is the new black
Considering everyone seems to be mindful of their pocketbooks, there will be less social pressure to spend and have the latest, shiniest fill in the blank here item. Dr. Yarrow explains, “For many, this will be a relief and take stress out of their life.” It’ll be cool to save a few bucks and be thrifty. “Simplicity feels psychologically better than excess.”
Use your smarts
Another survival tool is to get creative and think out of the box. “It’s not only how can I get more stuff for less money but how can I get more pleasure or nutrition or convenience/meaning out of the money that I spend?” Instead of a bi-weekly pedicure, it might be a bottle of Lancome nail polish along with free mascara that comes as a gift with the purchase.
Transition takes effort
While these actions require a conscious effort on your part, realize it is indeed a transition phase and is not permanent or painful. “Within six weeks though, it’ll become a habit. You’ll look back and say, “I can’t believe I thought I needed all that!”
You’re not alone
We’re in this together; if you’ve tried slashing your budget in the past to save up for a big ticket item that’s certainly one thing. Collectively saving up for the bigger picture in general is another story. “There will be a lot of social reinforcement to come back. In the same way that comparing new goodies was fun in the past, comparing savings will be fun now.