Not many people experienced that terrible economic downturn in our country and around the world during the great depression, but the magnitude of those years are highlighted in our history. Call it what you want, but we are in a severe economic downturn and the effects are being felt by every one of us. The list of those suffering is long: loss of jobs, uncertainty about keeping our jobs, loss of homes or fear of losing them in the future, companies declaring bankruptcy or closing down, retirees whose pensions have dwindled by 40 percent or even more, employees whose savings and retirement accounts have been greatly reduced, longer lines at Churches and community food banks, and significant household budget cutbacks. Everyone could readily add their own specific economic crisis to the list because the challenges faced by so many are too many to mention.
I have not met a single person since Easter who is not been impacted negatively in some way by our poor economy. I am not an economist nor do I have any quick fixes but can honestly say the economic crunch we are in has left many people feeling really insecure about their finances. For people working every day one of the quickest and wisest ways to save is to cut back on daily and weekly non-essential spending. If a 16 ounce of coffee or hot chocolate cost $1.17 at Racetrack, five days a week the cost will be $5.85, $23.49 monthly and $280.80 yearly.
If you smoke name brand cigarettes and you buy one pack per week @ $5.00 per pack—that’s $20.00 per month and $240.00 per year. If you drink soda’s daily @$1.49 each for a 20 ounce bottle that’s $10.43 a week, $41.72 a month and $500.64 a year. $5.00 a day—five times a week for lunch is $25.00, $100.00 a month and $1,200 per year. Bottle water drinkers spend $1.25 per bottle daily, $5.00 a week, $20.00 per month and $240.00 per year. If you cut back on your non-essential spending you will save a substantial amount of money.
If on a typical day you get a cup of coffee on the way to work $1.17 per cup, you need some cigarettes at $5.00 per pack, stop by McDonald’s for breakfast and you spend $5.00, get a .75 cent snack before lunch, get a bargain meal from subway at $4.50 including chips and drink, another midday snack at .75 cents and you don’t feel like cooking so you purchase a meal deal from Boston chicken for $8.00 you have spent $25.17 a day, $125.85 a week, $601.40 a month and $1,208.10 a year. Read part 2, How to Cut Back on Non-essential Purchases.