Thursday, October 16, 2008

Ride rollercoaster for free!

OK, this roller coaster might not be free. Unless you can leave your investments alone. And they were sound choices in the first place. And you don't need them for a few years.


Anyone else had that gravity induced free fall feeling in the pit of your stomach watching the news over the past couple of weeks?


Good news, bad news, and plenty of talking heads trying to make sense out of what doesn't make a lot of sense.


Tie it all up with a pretty election ribbon, and you have quite a present.


What steps should you be taking right now?

Basics, always back to the basics.

1) Assess your bill basket. Is everything current? If not, what step can you take today to get them that way? Oatmeal, noodles, beans and rice for a couple of days go a long way to free up $25 to cover some small nagging bill. Look for the nagging little thing and take care of it. We all have one.

2) Check your cash. Do you have enough cash available to get you to the coming payday? If not, prioritize. Roof over your head, power, water, groceries on the table, car, and gas in the car to go to work.

3) Look ahead. Thanksgiving is coming up shortly. Decide what you are going to spend, what you can afford, and stick to it. Don't wait to take it all out of one food budget. Start now, spread it out. Anything you or the kids could could in advance and freeze?

4) Look a little further. Christmas is coming up right after that. Decide what you are going to spend, what you can afford, and stick to it. Set expectations now if it will be a lean year. Start googling for inexpensive presents you can put together now, while there is still plenty of time. Make sure to spend time, lean year or not, doing inexpensive or free things to enhance the holidays. Go to the library and check out books, movies and CD's with Christmas or holiday themes. Make time to watch or play them with the kids. Bake something simple each day (make cookie dough, and pop a cookie sheet of them in the oven each day). Kids will always remember fresh cookies, not whether they cost a lot or were full of fancy chunks.

These inexpensive ideas are good, even if you can afford something else!

5) Start thinking about the new year. What was good about this year? What would you change? What would your spouse or kids change? you slide into the end of the ride.

The rest of the year might be tough to watch, or it might not. We aren't so good at predicting, as you'll learn from watching the news.

Keep watching your own cash, keep plannning, and keep looking forward.

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