Oct 302008

Ten Cures for the Recession Blues, Part I

A recent article in the online Irish newspaper Independent.ie is titled, “Ten Cures for the Recession Blues.” The author, Louise McBride, has some good common-sense suggestions, and there is a tie-in to online bill payments in part two. I have summarized the points here (and I modified some of her suggestions to be more appropriate to an American or international readership):

  1. Cancel your home phone service. This is best for people who don’t use the phone too much during the day. Most home landline accounts have set minimum fees even if you hardly ever use the phone. Go mobile. Mobile phone plans generally give you unlimited night and weekend minutes, and a set number of peak minutes. Limit your peak usage, and make your social calls during unlimited periods.
  2. Alternatively, use a pre-paid cell phone. Again, best for people who don’t have heavy phone usage. For light phone users, you could save quite a bit of money.
  3. Kiss goodbye to takeaway coffees and bagels at lunch. Pack your lunch and bring coffee in a thermos.
  4. Buy a condo or apartment at auction or at a discount. If you’re renting, this is a good time to take a look at the property market. Many developers are putting condos and apartments up for auction in order to move them, or reducing the price substantially. They may also be open to negotiation. With the recent reductions in the U.S. prime lending rate, interest rates are very low now as well. It’s not as easy to quality for a loan as it used to be, but if you can qualify there are deals to be had.
  5. Get the builders in. Have you been wanting to do a home renovation or expansion? Construction work has dried up and tradespeople such as builders and plumbers may be willing to negotiate their rates.

Stay tuned for part two this weekend.

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