Personal finance tips and advice on money and investing to increase your financial intelligence and welfare

Top Tips to Beating the Recession and Preserving Your Long Term Financial Security

For a while we lived inside a dream world, where financial security was something only our ancestors had to concern themselves with.  Money was accessible, it was there, it didn’t quite grow on trees, but it neither did it have to.  Simply it appeared out of thin air.  Indeed the percentage of money that we ever saw in physical form was limited. It was rather plastic bank and store cards and telephone and internet transfers.

Then, “bang!” We were propelled back towards ground level, where reality sat waiting for us, with an unapologetic “oops, we thought you’d never figure us out.” 

Now that the dust has semi-settled, we need to begin looking towards positive and progressive solutions.  It is not the end of the world, but merely a return back to reality.  Fundamentally, we should have known that it was never going to be possible to create something sustainable, where we were given things for free.

So how do we progress?

In reality, we have been in a period of mourning; I miss my store card, my weekend shopping sprees, my membership to the local spa and all my carefree indulgences.  We have blitzed through denial; there is only so much you can maintain in the face of constant media scaremongering.   We have passed through the “things will never be the same” stage and now finally we are ready to embrace progression.

So where do we start? Firstly we need to adopt a positive attitude. 

Yes, that is fundamentally obvious, I know, but the way in which you go about obtaining it is crucial. 

1.  Adopt a Positive Attitude

I wasn’t going to include this in the actual list, but it is such a key aspect of it that I decided it was necessary. 

We are back in control!  No longer are we sitting confused as more money is handed to us on a plate, but rather we have some tangibility back, and tangibility is crucial.   Our positivity needs to stem from pride in the fact that we are managing our own finances once more.  As tough as it can be, we can get there, and no longer are we slaves to banks and buildings societies.  Indeed one of my first points, after the positivity is in place, is to physicalise our money.

2. Physicalise Your Money

I don’t necessarily mean withdraw everything you own out of your bank accounts and investments, but rather visualize it.  Figure out what you tangibly own and work from that basis.  It is the best way to be in control.  If your finances are in the red, then overcome the fear of putting a real number to it.  After you have arrived at this point, you will then be able to begin the planning stage, which begins with that dreaded six-letter word, BUDGET.

3. Budget

Yes, before we start introducing the enterprising tips and tricks, we need to address the basics.  Once you have visualised and tangibly recorded your current finances, it is time to budget.  Write a list of all your incomings and out-goings.  Be realistic.  Don’t try to save everywhere, and also do still try to allow yourself the odd luxury.  I usually work to the rule of ‘measuring the benefit’. 

‘Measuring the benefit’

When budgeting, it is crucial not to starve yourself, and this method can be the perfect way of keeping the good stuff in, and removing the waste.  Every time there is a question mark over whether something is necessary or not, measure the benefit.  Introduce rationality.  Can you live without it?  Is it a positive part of your life?  What benefits does it bring?  Try to be honest with yourself and again, not too strict.  If it’s not beneficial, then don’t necessarily cut it out completely, but rather try to treat it as an occasional luxury.

Budgeting can be tiresome, but it can also remind us of what’s really important, and in this way help to improve your health, fitness, focus and life in general.  Nothing feels better than being in control.

4. Invest

If you have the luxury of having a few spare quid lying around, then don’t simply let it sit in banks, earning next to no interest and little security.  Rather, look for alternative investments. Gold and silver are top of every serious investor’s wish list at the moment, and with cash currencies dwindling, precious metals look set to take over.

Building an investment portfolio with the right balance of gold and silver can truly help to provide the financial security you need, and further to that, could even turn over a tidy profit with the global economy going through such a period of transition.

Other investment opportunities include; alternative property – car parking space, student accommodation and hotel rooms etc, other commodities – copper and crude oil, and all manner of other unique enterprising ideas.  The best approach is to take the occasional risk, but back it up with secure foundations, and that is where gold comes in incredibly handy.

5. Earn Extra Cash from Your Junk

People who are struggling to get by are so often sitting on a relative goldmine.  Old clothes, jewellery, coins and even dental fillings, yes, dental fillings can be traded in for cash right now.  Websites, such as eBay and Etsy have made selling second-hand and homemade goods easier than ever, and now too selling old gold jewellery, coins and dental fillings couldn’t be easier, with the introduction of cash for gold type businesses. With vintage clothing and unique crafts still as popular as ever, and gold per gram rates sky high, there has never been a better time to clear out your houses of all its junk and instead buy the things you really need.

Final Thoughts

These five simple steps are really just the tip of the iceberg and if you truly want to move towards financial security then simply get started today.  Don’t put things off any longer.  Don’t wait for Christmas, and certainly not the New Year!!  Seize control of your own economic well-being, and too use it as a launch pad to improve your physical and emotional health at the same time.

About the Author: Michael is an investor and neebie Forex trader operating from London England. If you have any tips to share please feel free to leave them in the comments.