Whether you want to admit it or not, there’s a global recession happening, and it’s affecting millions of families. People are being laid off, companies are going under, and even some governments are completely broke. Let’s face it. The old world order is collapsing, just as Bahá’u’lláh predicted it would. Being caught in it, isn’t much fun, though, is it?
Finding ways to cut back on your spending can help you during this difficult economic period. Saving money is always good, but it’s a skill that becomes especially important during a recession.
How can you save money during a recession? It’s all about paying the Right of God first, and then planning, cutting frivolous costs, and changing the way you spend money.
The Baha’i Writings teach:
It is clear and evident that the payment of the Right of God is conducive to prosperity, to blessing, and to honour and divine protection. (Baha’u’llah, Lights of Guidance, p. 304)
Here are some handy tips you can use to help you save money:
1. Pay important bills first. The mortgage, electricity, water and heat have to be paid no matter what.
2. Save Money on groceries. Groceries are a huge, yet necessary, expense. After the bills are paid, most of the budget will fall into the groceries category.
• Buy generic rather than name brands. They usually taste just as good but cost less.
• Buy non-perishable foods in bulk. Many items can be bought in bulk such as rice, canned foods, and frozen foods.
• Never shop on an empty stomach or during the Bahá’í Fast. Eat before grocery shopping; otherwise, you’ll wind up buying more junk and convenience foods because you’re hungry.
• Make a list of what you need and stick to it. It really is that simple!
• Cut and use coupons. 10 for $10 deals and sale items are your friends. Combining coupons with sales can slash your grocery bill even more.
• Avoid shopping at expensive stores, even if they’re closer to home. Instead, go a few miles out of the way for the discount grocery stores. Most items in the store are exactly the same thing, other than the price tag.
3. Rent movies or borrow them from the library, instead of going out. Have a movie night once a week. Sit down with some popcorn (the kind you pop on the stove) and watch a movie. This is a great way to spend quality family time, without much expense.
4. Put the credit card down. Credit purchases may get your “stuff” now, but you’ll pay double for it later. If you want something, save up and pay cash or wait. Leave it out of your wallet, so you have to go home and get it, before you can make a purchase. This will give you a “cooling down” period.
5. Cook at home. If you go out to eat two or three times a week, cut back to once every two weeks or once a month. Instead, learn to cook at home. If you plan ahead and cook in quantities, you’ll save time and money by popping the extra portions into the freezer.
6. Unplug. If there are things in your house plugged into the wall and you aren’t using them, unplug them. Many items, like computers and phone chargers, draw electricity whether they’re on or not. Plug it in when you need it, then unplug it when you’re done.
7. Lower your thermostat. Set your thermostat at a specific temperature and leave it there. 68 to 70 is an energy-saving setting in the winter. If you get chilly, put on a sweater or grab a blanket. You’ll save more than you realize on your heating bills.
These are just some of the many ways to save money and stretch your dollar a bit further during these challenging times. These tips require a change to your habits, which can take some getting used to. In time, however, you’ll adjust and the money you save can make a big difference in your budget.
It’s important to stick with your plan to save money. Making a change for a week won’t do the trick. Committing to changing bad habits for good will reap the greatest benefits in the long run.
Once you’ve paid the bills, don’t forget to pay the Right of God. It has to be paid before the donations to the Bahá’í Fund, so including it in your regular monthly payments is one way to ensure peace of mind during the recession.
What’s your experience with saving money or paying the Right of God? Post your comments here: