The recession is cranking up into full gear.

There is a little boutique downstairs from my office that is going out of business.  I always thought it was a such a cute little store and I even bought my favorite candle ever (voluspa’s vanilla bourbon–which is so romantic and boudoir-ish) there.  I thought their window displays were cute but most of the stuff was a little out of my price range (denim in the $150-$250 range, tops $50+, and dresses $100+) and they never put much stuff on sale.  I probably would have marketed and merchandised my store a bit differently, but it is still sad to see it closing its doors.

Almost every day I read about more companies laying off employees.  Today Macy’s announced it is laying off 7000 jobs.  That is just another company to add to the list of Boeing, Microsoft, Starbucks, Kodak, and others.  It is really quite distressing and everyday I am thankful that I have a job.  Really the best way to ensure you keep your job is to work harder.  No longer are the days of coasting and hoping things don’t happen–now it is even more important to pound the payment, try and toil, and truly put in the effort to earn your paycheck.

We have really been trying to cut back ourselves.  We are trying to cut out eating out at restaurants and cooking more.  I am also trying to only buy things on sale at the grocery store. I think it is necessary for everyone to really stop living beyond their means and focus on cutting back on the little extravagances and really try and save money.  Even if you think you have job security, no one really does (just ask my good friends at Microsoft that watched their whole division get cut).  Everyone is expendable.  That means it is time to work harder and put it in a little more elbow grease.

Make sure you have a plan for how to spend your money.  You need to be prudent in saving and plan what your expenses are each month.  You should know how much is in all of your accounts.  Budgets are a good thing.  Planning and goals are also good things.  Make sure you have them for all aspects of your life including your finances.  It is important to be able to set aside some savings should something unfortunate happen.  It is likely things may get worse before they start improving.

Here are my very simple steps for prudent finances in 2009:

  1. Spend less than you earn and save money.
  2. Work hard at your job.  You don’t want to risk losing your source of income.
  3. Set a budget and plan what happens in your life.  Don’t let things happen to you.

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