economic crisis http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/9912/all en-US Balancing Living in the Now With Planning for the Future http://www.wisebread.com/balancing-living-in-the-now-with-planning-for-the-future <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/balancing-living-in-the-now-with-planning-for-the-future" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/bridge future.jpg" alt="bridge" title="bridge" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="161" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The latest buzz in retirement news is that most of us won't have enough money to retire. The recent market crisis has everyone feeling very pessimistic about pretty much everything:</p> <ul> <li>&quot;Stocks aren't what they used to be.&quot;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>&quot;You can't rely on the market growing over time like you used to.&quot;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>&quot;Computer trading has ruined long-term investing.&quot;</li> </ul> <p>These sound like new ideas, but they happen every time after the market tanks (which has happened many times before, regardless of how alarmist the news is).</p> <p>The current state of retirement is a perfect way to analyze how and why we do the things we do when we try to balance the present and the future. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-saving-money-is-a-gift-to-your-future-self">Why&nbsp;Saving Money Is a Gift to Your Future Self</a>)</p> <p>With all the panic and hoopla, everyday people like you and me who invest so that we can retire one day have decided to do one of two things:</p> <ol> <li>Give up investing altogether. If the experts are right and stocks aren't going to help us retire because the whole system is &quot;broken,&quot; then we might as well put our money under a mattress where we know it'll be safe. Others are even more pessimistic and just say the hell with it &mdash; I'm spending it all and will worry about retirement when I'm old.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Save even more. Stressing out about being old and not having money will do wonders for some people's motivation. Many investors have decided they're going to max out their 401(k)s, max out their Roth IRAs, and then try to invest some money in hand-picked stocks so they can have a shot at a decent retirement.</li> </ol> <p>Both strategies, of course, are a little extreme. You need balance when you're saving for retirement, and the sweet spot is somewhere in the middle.</p> <h2>Live in the Now</h2> <p>We all have to remember that life happens in the present. Money comes and goes, but youth and time is something you can never get back. As poetic and mushy-gushy as that sounds, it's true.</p> <p>If you save up the money to go on a trip to Greece when you're 30, it's going to be a very different trip than if you decide to wait and go when you're 65. You won't be bungee jumping or skydiving; I can guarantee you that much.</p> <h2>Finding the Right Balance</h2> <p>The right answer is to be so prepared for the future that you can enjoy the present without feeling guilty about the things you want to do or panicked about retirement.</p> <p>That means following some basic rules:</p> <ul> <li>Contribute at least up to the match for your 401(k).<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Bump up your 401(k) contribution every time you get a raise.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Put a percentage of your bonus into your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-surprising-facts-about-roth-iras">Roth IRA</a> and try to max it out every year.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Invest for the long-term in your retirement accounts, ignoring the ups and downs.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Don't take money out your retirement account early.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Run the numbers once a year and adjusting as necessary to ensure you're on the right track.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-monthly-bills-you-can-slash">Minimize your expenses</a> so you have more money to work with.</li> </ul> <p>And if you want to enjoy spending your money today without feeling guilty, here are some tips:</p> <ul> <li>Targeted savings &mdash; if you save ahead of time for a trip or a $200 pair of jeans, it'll be easier to spend the money because you &quot;earned it.&quot;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Enjoy the present, so you'll have no regrets in the future.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>If you get a bonus, take a percentage to treat yourself to something you really want.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-frugal-ways-to-reward-yourself-right-now">Reward yourself</a> for hitting your goals (like making budget every month or contributing to your Roth IRA).<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Create a bucket list to remind you of all the things you want to do in your life.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Don't forget you could die tomorrow and all your plans for the future would be for naught.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Write. Keeping a journal or writing letters to others is a great way to keep us grounded in the present and reminds us the things that are really important.</li> </ul> <p>The secret to living a balanced life is to be organized and strict about how you prepare for the future, so you can cut loose and enjoy the present without feeling guilty about it.</p> <p><em>How do you prepare for the future without becoming miserable in the present?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carlos-portocarrero">Carlos Portocarrero</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/balancing-living-in-the-now-with-planning-for-the-future">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-audacity-to-waste-money-for-better-finances">The Audacity to Waste Money for Better Finances</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-is-keeping-you-from-a-life-of-financial-independence">What is keeping you from a life of financial independence?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/401k-or-ira-you-need-both">401K or IRA? You Need Both</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-reasons-why-a-roth-ira-may-be-better-than-your-401k">4 Reasons Why a Roth IRA May be Better Than Your 401(k)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-investing-lessons-you-must-teach-your-kids">10 Investing Lessons You Must Teach Your Kids</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Investment Lifestyle Retirement budget planning building a financial future economic crisis Splurging Wed, 30 May 2012 10:36:08 +0000 Carlos Portocarrero 931181 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Ways To Grow Your Business Despite The Economic Crisis http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/5-ways-to-grow-your-business-despite-the-economic-crisis <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.openforum.com/articles/5-ways-to-grow-your-business-despite-the-economic-crisis" target="_blank">http://www.openforum.com/articles/5-ways-to-grow-your-business-despite-the-econo...</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/5-ways-to-grow-your-business-despite-the-economic-crisis" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000004671806Small.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Looking at the gridlock in Washington, it&rsquo;s easy to get discouraged about the future of your business. But entrepreneurs have a long history of tunneling under, over and around obstacles&mdash;and finding new opportunities on the other side. You can do the same, even if the obstacle is as daunting as the current economic uncertainty we all face.</p> <p>Here are some strategies to us to grow your business, despite today&rsquo;s political climate.</p> <p><strong>Seek more business from highly profitable clients.</strong></p> <p>&ldquo;It takes the same amount of time to get a so-so client as it does to get a really good client,&rdquo; says Bert Martinez, CEO of sales and marketing consultancy Bert Martinez Communications, based in Phoenix and Houston. Do careful market research, and focus on the small percentage of customers in your niche who can realistically help you double your sales profitably, he advises. &ldquo;Contact them every two weeks,&rdquo; he suggests. Alternate your means of communication from phone to mail to email&mdash;and then repeat the cycle until you are able to set up an appointment to meet them or talk by phone, he advises.</p> <p>Remember: An ambitious goal like doubling your sales isn&rsquo;t achievable in a month. But if you start working on building your relationship with prize clients now, you&rsquo;ll be in much better shape than you would be if you keep doing the same old, same old.</p> <p><strong>Try education-based marketing.</strong></p> <p>One of the best ways to reach busy prospects is to offer them information that will help them to do their jobs better, says Martinez. That can be as simple as calling them to share some new data you&rsquo;ve gathered at your business on an industry trend that may be useful to them&mdash;without trying to sell them anything. &ldquo;The benefit here is that you come in as an expert,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;You&rsquo;re really gaining a high level of trust and rapport.&rdquo; Sharing your expertise will keep you top of mind if the prospect needs your services in the future.</p> <p><strong>Use your website to capture more leads.</strong></p> <p>Offer a great white paper or something else that&rsquo;s valuable to potential customers for free or a very low cost&mdash;and require people to enter their contact information to obtain it, says Kris Cavanaugh, who advises business owners on how to achieve their goals at Shift, an Atlanta firm. This will help you to build a robust contact list. Of course, you&rsquo;ve eventually got to reach out to folks who share their information to sell them something. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s all about follow through,&rdquo; she says.</p> <p><strong>Find out what matters to your prospects.</strong></p> <p>&ldquo;It doesn&rsquo;t matter what the economy does&mdash;people will buy what they are connected to,&rdquo; says Cavanaugh. When talking with current and potential customers, make sure you are able to make a clear connection between the product or service you&rsquo;re selling and what they are going to get from it, she advises. &ldquo;Do some extra questioning,&rdquo; she suggests. &ldquo;If you ask the right questions, you&rsquo;re going to get to the deeper reasons someone wants something and close the deal earlier.&rdquo;</p> <p><strong>Invest in your business.</strong></p> <p>Even if your budget is tight, it&rsquo;s important to make <a target="_blank" href="http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/money/article/unlikely-sources-of-capital-1">strategic investments</a> that will keep your company moving forward, such bringing your website up to date, says Cavanaugh. &ldquo;All day, we, as small business owners, ask our prospects to take a risk and hire us,&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;If you&rsquo;re not doing it for yourself, you&rsquo;re not standing on a strong enough foundation to get other people to do it for themselves.&rdquo;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/elaine-pofeldt">Elaine Pofeldt</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/5-ways-to-grow-your-business-despite-the-economic-crisis">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/preparing-for-a-recession">Preparing for a Recession</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/250-tips-for-small-business-owners">250+ Tips for Small Business Owners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/peak-debt">Peak Debt</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-i-miss-about-the-recession">What I Miss About the Recession</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-freelance-clients-part-two">How to Find Freelance Clients: Part Two</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Small Business Resource Center business growth economic crisis Economy increase sales marketing recession small business Fri, 16 Sep 2011 22:12:29 +0000 Elaine Pofeldt 696861 at http://www.wisebread.com Wise Bread Blogger on the NBC News with Brian Williams http://www.wisebread.com/wise-bread-blogger-on-the-nbc-news-with-brian-williams <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/wise-bread-blogger-on-the-nbc-news-with-brian-williams" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/3456164717_7ce22c1fa7.jpg" alt="nbc studios" title="nbc studios" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>On Friday, September 24th, my family was on the NBC Nightly News talking about changes we've made in the way we use credit cards because of the financial crisis. We'd interviewed with one of their L.A. reporters, Kristen Walker, a couple of weeks previous.</p> <p>Filming was a blast. We were a little nervous, not knowing what they'd ask or, after the interview, what clips they'd use. While both my husband and I felt like we said some more intelligent, compelling things than were in the clips they actually used, overall the process was a blast. And shopping at Target with the camera guy was a trip, too!</p> <p>Check out my clip from the show:</p> <p><p id="video-player-sep2010-sarah-winfrey-abc-news">Sarah Winfrey on ABC News, September 2010</p> <script type='text/javascript' src='http://static.wisebread.com/files/wisebread/press/video/bin/swfobject.js'></script> <script type='text/javascript'> var s1 = new SWFObject('http://static.wisebread.com/files/wisebread/press/video/bin/player.swf','player','384','288','9'); s1.addParam('allowfullscreen','true'); s1.addParam('allowscriptaccess','always'); s1.addParam('flashvars','file=http://static.wisebread.com/files/wisebread/press/video/Sarah Winfrey ABC News.flv'); s1.write('video-player-sep2010-sarah-winfrey-abc-news'); </script> </p> <p>The topic was a timely one for us. My husband, a college professor, lost his job on July 1, 2010, because the college he worked for didn't have the incoming tuition to renew his contract. We knew it was coming and have cut back on our credit card use since early this year. While we've always been responsible with our cards, we wanted to be sure that we could pay the bill each month.</p> <p>We've also found that it's easier to limit our spending when we use cash or debit cards instead of credit cards. When you actually have to hand over bills or when you know that the bottom line in your checking account will take a direct hit, you're less likely to spend money on things you don't need.</p> <p><strong>Related Articles</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-kept-secret-to-frugal-living">The Best Kept Secret to Frugal Living</a> &mdash; Find out how to think differently in order to spend less. Turns out, spending is all about your motivations and your mindset.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-steps-toward-financial-independence">5 Steps Toward Financial Independence</a> &mdash; Credit card debt is often a problem for young people who don't know any better. Avoid this and other debt traps, and you're well on your way to financial independence.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/who-should-face-the-music-when-the-banks-fail">Who Should Face the Music When the Banks Fail?</a> &mdash; There's a lot of blame flying around during this financial crisis. Who do you think should be required to pay when things go this badly wrong?</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/walking-the-tight-rope-of-financial-recovery-the-mental-game">Walking the Tightrope of Financial Recovery</a> &mdash; Do you need to get back on your feet because of credit card or other debt? Find some practical advice here.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-entrepreneurial-spirit-in-an-economic-crunch">The Entrepreneurial Spirit and the Economic Crunch</a> &mdash; Looking to start your own business even though the economic outlook is still bland? Hear from some people who've done it about the positives and the pitfalls.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/breathing-easy-on-the-financial-rollercoaster">Breathing Easy on the Financial Rollercoaster</a> &mdash; If you're struggling with money, stop and take a deep breath. Taking some time to reassess your situation will help you get out of it stronger and recover faster.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dealing-with-financial-drought-a-recovery-plan">Dealing With Financial Drought: A Recovery Plan</a> &mdash; When things get tough, it's easy to panic. Instead of panicking, though, make a plan and stick to it.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/to-fafsa-or-not-to-fafsa-a-former-students-view-of-student-loans">To FAFSA or Not to FAFSA</a> &mdash; Looking at taking out student loans? Before you sign on to debt, here are some things to consider.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/feeling-poor-things-i-forget-about-that-dont-cost-a-thing">Feeling Poor: Things I Forget About that Don't Cost a Thing</a> &mdash; When hard economic times hit, it's easy to feel like nothing's going your way. Remembering the things that are can give you the perspective you need to get back on track.</p><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/wise-bread-blogger-on-the-nbc-news-with-brian-williams">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-millennials-should-embrace-credit-cards">Why Millennials Should Embrace Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/pre-approved-for-credit-card-offers-are-you-pre-qualified">Pre-Approved for Credit Card Offers: Are You Pre-Qualified?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-seven-reasons-why-i-use-my-credit-card-for-everything">Top Seven Reasons Why I Use My Credit Card for Everything</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-one-ratio-is-the-key-to-a-good-credit-score">This One Ratio Is the Key to a Good Credit Score</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/easy-ways-to-save-on-7-everyday-buys">Easy Ways to Save on 7 Everyday Buys</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Announcements brian williams credit cards economic crisis financial crisis NBC nightly news Sun, 10 Oct 2010 11:54:40 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 256010 at http://www.wisebread.com How The Economic Crisis Challenges Our Financial Beliefs http://www.wisebread.com/how-the-economic-crisis-challenges-our-financial-beliefs <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-the-economic-crisis-challenges-our-financial-beliefs" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/recession-bread-line.jpg" alt="economic recession, unemployment line" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As the economic crisis deepens, I'm seeing more people beginning to challenge the conventional wisdom espoused in personal finance.&nbsp; This economic recession is now in its 15th month, and is pegged as the third longest slump since World War II.&nbsp; From my neck of the woods, everyone I know has either been <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/lost-my-job-tips-for-the-recently-laid-off">laid off</a>, or is afraid of the prospect of joining the ranks of those already unemployed.&nbsp; And many more are worried about how business has slowed down drastically over the last 6 months.</p> <p>I'm one of those people who is wondering where the stock market bottom is, and furrying my brow over this recession, as my own business has been impacted by the vagaries of this slowdown.&nbsp; I get the shivers every time my eye casually flits upon the stock market numbers that are displayed on my favorite news page or when I read about how the market just broke through its latest support level on the downside.&nbsp; <strong>How much more of your nosediving portfolio can you bear to watch?</strong></p> <p>Given how financially difficult things have become for so many, I'm starting to notice <strong>more and more people questioning the tenets of solid personal finance</strong>, at least the way I've come to embrace it.&nbsp; Here are some of those widely accepted rules that are now being questioned.&nbsp; Have you noticed your favorite <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-100-most-popular-personal-finance-blogs/">personal finance blogger</a> having a change of heart lately?</p> <h3>Personal Finance Theories and Tips Under Siege</h3> <p>Which personal finance teachings are being put to the test right now?</p> <h4>1. Build an emergency fund.&nbsp; Cash is king!</h4> <p>Is your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/figuring-the-size-of-your-emergency-fund">emergency fund</a> big enough? For those of us working to save for a rainy day, I'm now wondering whether the standard six months of living expenses is enough to cover us comfortably.&nbsp; When faced with a painfully long recession as the one we're having right now, <strong>I've become more convinced that we need much more than six months' worth of expenses</strong> in a safe and liquid high yield savings account.&nbsp; But it depends highly on your personal situation.</p> <p>With layoffs the norm right now, the emergency fund has become the bastion for so many families currently living on unemployment checks.&nbsp; Those who are able to receive unemployment benefits, which provide 26 weeks of monetary coverage based on where you live and your original pay, plus an extension (of seven weeks for a total of 33 weeks) may have to worry less than those who are not eligible, such as business owners like myself.&nbsp; <strong>So how much should you stash in your liquid account?</strong> &nbsp;Note that there are numerous ways to build an emergency fund, including the possibility of using forms of credit and non-traditional sources of funds (like a credit card or a HELOC) that I know many folks rely on, but these are solutions I personally wouldn't undertake because of the risks involved.&nbsp; Personally, I expect my emergency savings to cover my family for 18 months, a relatively lengthy period which I've chosen to fit my personal circumstances and comfort level.</p> <h4>2. Stay the course, stay put, and buy and hold.</h4> <p>Why is it that most investors don't make money in the stock market? Because they engage in market timing and own non-diversified holdings. Nevertheless, I'm seeing more and more investors and talking heads proclaim that the buy and hold strategy is passe, that market timing is now the way to go and that we need to prepare for a new financial era that isn't going to be conducive to long term investing.&nbsp; A lot of market traders are now capitalizing on the new economic environment to sell their ideas.&nbsp; Now I think there may be some room in our investment education for stock picking, technical analysis and stock charting tools (for a small portion of our portfolios), but I'd be careful to completely change course simply because of temporary market conditions.</p> <p>It's unfortunate that this market environment is letting people learn the hard way, that equity investing is not for them.&nbsp; <strong>My biggest advice?&nbsp; Whatever you do, try not to act on emotion.</strong>&nbsp; Market timing and trading are not for the faint of heart, so be wary of these approaches.&nbsp; If you insist on timing, then do your due diligence and proceed with care.&nbsp; For those searching for some guidance on this matter, here are some thoughts I have on the best places to put your money at this time.</p> <h4>3. Earn an income through your job.</h4> <p>Over time, I've realized that relying on one source of income comes with its own set of risks.&nbsp; If you live in a town that relies on one industry to support its citizens (e.g. Detroit), you can be very vulnerable to heavy downturns like we have now.&nbsp; <strong>It's a wise idea to develop diversified income channels</strong>, possibly through <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-key-to-making-money-online-diversification-baby">online activities</a>, alternative investments, freelancing, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-your-hobby-pay-its-way">moonlighting</a>, and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-entrepreneurial-spirit-in-an-economic-crunch">entrepreneurial projects</a> that may help support your cash flow needs.&nbsp;</p> <p>I used to depend largely on my equity investments to supplement my cash flow, but with the market down, it's one more channel that's drying up.&nbsp; Hence, I've been investigating various business and investment opportunities as ways to develop income sources that may help me face tougher financial realities, now that it's become quite clear that working on one lifelong corporate job just isn't that secure.</p> <h4>4. Why rent when you can own your own house?</h4> <p>The American Dream of owning a house may not be all that.&nbsp; Now that we're experiencing a severe housing recession, this dream has become an American Nightmare for a great number of homeowners.&nbsp; The <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/six-options-if-youre-underwater-on-your-mortgage">upside down mortgage</a> is now a brutal reality for so many.&nbsp; So should you rent vs buy a house? Make sure you evaluate your options before you commit any money at this time, although acting like a real estate contrarian in today's buyer's market may pay off in the long run. On the other hand, at the rate things are going, I believe that renting for the long term may not be such a bad idea after all!</p> <h4>5. Should we spend our way into an economic recovery?</h4> <p>Obama's stimulus package details strongly emphasize the government's goal: to get the nation to spend.&nbsp; Many of us have parked our stimulus checks in online bank accounts and money market funds.&nbsp; <strong>Yet our government is telling us to spend the money to help jumpstart the economy.</strong>&nbsp; But doesn't that go against what's best for ourselves?&nbsp; Shouldn't we be using our stimulus tax credit to pay down our existing debts and to build our savings?&nbsp; Clearly, our financial obligations are to ourselves first.&nbsp; But if we so happen to help our economy along the way, then all the better!</p> <p>With the nation undergoing such a serious economic crisis, so much of our financial theories and personal financial beliefs are being sorely tested, along with our tenacity and resolve.&nbsp; But we can certainly thank this experience for helping us learn a lot more about finance and the value of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-manage-risk-in-your-financial-life">risk management</a>, which are especially valuable lessons for those who still have time to make up for losses.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/silicon-valley-blogger">Silicon Valley Blogger</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-the-economic-crisis-challenges-our-financial-beliefs">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/i-am-doing-well-financially-now-what">I Am Doing Well Financially. Now What?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/financial-tricks-to-master-for-a-happier-life">Financial Tricks to Master for a Happier Life</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-online-tools-to-manage-your-money-in-under-10-minutes-a-week">5 Online Tools to Manage Your Money in Under 10 Minutes a Week</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-free-and-low-cost-ways-to-protect-your-credit">7 Free and Low Cost Ways To Protect Your Credit</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-financial-moves-you-can-make-during-your-commute">10 Financial Moves You Can Make During Your Commute</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance economic crisis finance investing money management personal finance Mon, 09 Mar 2009 06:30:55 +0000 Silicon Valley Blogger 2904 at http://www.wisebread.com