Wednesday, December 21, 2011

10 Tips for Surviving Economy Woes

depressionAs we explore the tourist areas of Kissimmee, FL, we are amazed at how dismal things look here. We were just here two years ago and what a difference it seems like. Many restaurants are shut down. Even hotels are boarded up. It looks like it is dying. This is usually the busy time when we come here and there are tons of traffic and long lines everywhere. When we go into restaurants, there are usually only two to three tables occupied. The servers tell us that business is terrible and they are barely making any money. We walked around Old Town and it was more like a ghost town. Years ago, I remember it as a booming hot spot. When we have gone hunting for antique stores, many of them have closed down because most people do not have the luxury of spending money on their “wants” and have to concentrate on their “needs.”

This is a good time to talk to students about the economy. Many of them have family members who have lost their jobs and looking for work. It would be a good time to study the era of the The Great Depression. Discuss how people survived during those times. Discuss what we have learned from history.

Here are some things that I learned that I would share with my students. They are not in any order of importance because I feel all of them are important.

1. Don’t waste things. Recycle and reuse as much as possible.
2. Grow your own vegetables. Learn how to preserve them for later use.
3. Learn a skill that can be traded for things that you may need.
4. Be frugal in your spending.
5. Lower your thermostats in the winter and raise them in the summer. Conserve on energy and lower your power bills.
6. Clip coupons.
7. Look for sales. Ask yourself if you really need to buy something.
8. Make a list of errands you need to run. Prioritize and do them all at one time rather than running back and forth. This will save on gas.
9. Use the internet or call to check on prices. Compare prices at different stores for big items before you buy.
10. Save your money and buy when you have money. Avoid buying on credit or rent to own.

What would you tell your students? How do you save money? Please share!

Image: 'Classic photo of a distress sale --+Great+Depression+$100+will+buy+this+car'

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