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5 Things you must know to survive a recession: Mom in charge: Part II

When it comes to the downward spiral of our economy, there’s a certain level of anxiety and the unknown. While we know we’re immersed in a recession, the good news is we’ll eventually come out of it. The bad news? We don’t know when the end is in sight so we’ll need survival tips to get us through.

Empty WalletDr. Kit Yarrow, consumer psychologist and professor of business at Golden Gate University says there are several things you must know to survive and thrive during uncertain times.

Enjoy little splurges

“One latte a week can produce more joy than a daily latte if it’s savored,” says Dr. Yarrow. The secret to not feeling deprived is to be mindful and appreciative about the things you do buy. When you do spend money, enjoy it and don’t sabotage the experience by feeling guilty.

Thrifty is the new black

Considering everyone seems to be mindful of their pocketbooks, there will be less social pressure to spend and have the latest, shiniest fill in the blank here item. Dr. Yarrow explains, “For many, this will be a relief and take stress out of their life.” It’ll be cool to save a few bucks and be thrifty. “Simplicity feels psychologically better than excess.”

Use your smarts

Another survival tool is to get creative and think out of the box. “It’s not only how can I get more stuff for less money but how can I get more pleasure or nutrition or convenience/meaning out of the money that I spend?” Instead of a bi-weekly pedicure, it might be a bottle of Lancome nail polish along with free mascara that comes as a gift with the purchase.

Transition takes effort

While these actions require a conscious effort on your part, realize it is indeed a transition phase and is not permanent or painful.  “Within six weeks though, it’ll become a habit. You’ll look back and say, “I can’t believe I thought I needed all that!”

You’re not alone

We’re in this together; if you’ve tried slashing your budget in the past to save up for a big ticket item that’s certainly one thing. Collectively saving up for the bigger picture in general is another story. “There will be a lot of social reinforcement to come back. In the same way that comparing new goodies was fun in the past, comparing savings will be fun now.

Don’t miss the rest of the Mom in Charge series:

Mom in charge: Part I, 6 Ways to take control of your family’s expenses
Mom in charge: Part III, 10 Tips from the experts on spending & saving
Mom in charge: Part IV, 25 Ways to cut living costs
Mom in charge: Part V, The 5 rules of saving: When, where & how
Mom in charge: Part VI, 12 Ways to teach your kids how to save

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