You’re fired! Now what? It’s the nightmare scenario, and you can prepare for it by conducting a financial drill. Take a moment and pretend you have no income. Ask how you would pay pay for rent and food, and what lifestyle changes you could make on two week’s notice. To guide your planning, the New York Times has a few unorthodox and downright scary suggestions that are worth considering in a worst case scenario.
How you relate to money money could have a lot to do with emotional connections you made to money at a young age, and these so-called “money scripts” can be a blindspot that’s causing you financial pain, reports WSJ.
“Consumers have clammed up,” said Ken Mayland, president of ClearView Economics LLC in Pepper Pike, Ohio, who forecast a decline. “The reduction in consumer credit doesn’t stop here, and will spill over into 2009. Households are bolstering their balance sheets.”
According to Bloomberg, retailers expect to close 73,000 stores in the first half of 2009, because no one bought enough Christmas presents. Thanks, Marc!
The AP says that while last-minute shoppers are still out there looking for bargains — the holiday season was over long ago for retailers.
ABCNews says that the big three auto CEOs “flew to the nation’s capital yesterday in private luxurious jets to make their case to Washington that the auto industry is running out of cash and needs $25 billion in taxpayer money to avoid bankruptcy.”
Christmas Creep may be more out of control than ever this year (Were Veterans Day sales always Christmas-themed?), but that doesn’t mean that these are happy holidays for professional Santas. Yes, according to the Amalgamated Order of Real Bearded Santas, an organization that actually exists according to the Wall Street Journal, Santa bookings are down. Way down.
Ramit over at I Will Teach You To Be Rich has thrown down a challenge. Can you save $1,000 in 30 days? He, like us, is annoyed with crappy frugality tips that will save you $1 a week, and promises to post decent money saving tips every day in November. If you follow them, he thinks you’ll be able to save $1,000 in 30 days.
Consumer spending is down and credit card defaults are up!
The United States is $10.2 trillion in debt. Like countless Americans, our government has spent beyond its means and needs help getting back on its feet. We recently received a panicked email from White House Budget Director Jim Nussle…
1. Stop with the credit cards already! MSNMoney says that the average credit card debt among 25- to 34-year-olds was $5,200 in 2004. You should be saving in your 20s, not spending.
If you find yourself in one of those moods where you just “have to have it”, and end up in the store staring at it, talk to yourself about it. List all the reasons you want it (want, not need), and all the reasons you don’t want or need it…
Consumer spending, the engine that powers our economy, is probably going to shrink for the first time in nearly two decades, says the NYT — a move that will “all but guarantee” that the current economic crisis will deepen.
On The Money’s budget calculator makes it easy to determine how much you should be spending across the seven categories that make up any responsible budget. Regardless of income, tracking and limiting your overall spending is a foolproof strategy for keeping your accounts in the black. Though the percents will vary according to geography and personal situation, On The Money’s calculator gives you a quick glance at concrete spending targets that you can compare against your credit card bills and bank statements. Give it a try and tell us in the comments what other tools you use to control your spending.
Here’s the real reason for an airline to switch to credit-card-only sales on board its flights: people spend more. Southwest Airlines’ customer service veep, Daryl Krause, told the Dallas Morning News that “since Southwest began accept credit cards (and no longer taking cash) on Sept. 9, its drink sales are up about 8 percent.” Since in general “the goal was one more drink sale per flight,” we wonder whether that wasn’t the real reason for going cashless all along.
Think you’d do a better job at balancing the budget than Presidential Candidate X or Presidential Candidate Y? Now you can! American Public Media has put together the world’s most depressing game. You are asked to meet certain goals (you decide what they are, so you can choose to be either candidate, or a treehugger, or a socialist, or a libertarian, or a pr person for Walmart, whatever it is that you actually are) by playing different budget-affecting cards (Example: You can end “No Child Left Behind” and save $110 B.)
Citi’s been burned enough by its cardholders’ profligate spending, apparently. Check out the message on this activation sticker on a new card. We like the inclusion of a sort of Yin-yang background, as if to remind us that debt and repayment are equal elements of the consumer credit world. A balance must be maintained! Just, you know, not so high a balance that you can’t make your monthly payments.(Thanks to Jerry!)
A new Reuters polls says that shoppers will be cutting back on gift-buying this holiday season due to, you know, being broke. The poll found that there are six times as many shoppers planning to cut back than there are consumers who are planning to spend more than last year. The pollster in charge called these results “staggeringly bad.”