Strategies To Survive The New Economy

An adverse economy calls for a more conservative approach aimed at getting rid of debt and building savings. Savvy financial planners used to living large in boom times have had to adjust their strategies in order to thrive.

The U.S. News & World Report’s Alpha Consumer blog helps put you on the right track with advice from a finance whiz.

Among the tips:

*Channel 20 percent of after-tax income into savings or debt repayment. A solid budget could include 50 percent of income for necessities, 30 percent for discretionary spending and the remainder to help vault you out of debt or save for a rainy day.

*Start saving with a nominal chunk of cash, such as $500. Many people think they don’t make enough money to put any away, but the advice challenges you to force yourself into a different mentality by setting some cash aside in order to get the ball rolling. Whether it be $5 or $500, the start could give you the momentum you need to build up savings to the level you want.

*Separate good debt from bad debt. When crawling of debt, focus on categories that provide no benefit, such as credit cards or auto loans, before touching the likes of student loans and mortgages, which have tax advantages.

How has your financial game plan changed since the economy began to stumble?

5 Rules for Winning in the New Economy [Alpha Consumer]