Easy Ways to Protect Your Personal Finances From Further Economic Contraction

While the economy has already certainly softened, there may be further economic contraction for American consumers to face. Increasing job losses, higher inflation rates, and the growing food and energy costs are making personal finance budgeting difficult for most American families to achieve. The variable interest rate of recent mortgages makes critical, and the prospects for personal finance do not look bright for the next several years.

However, an ounce of personal finance planning is certainly worth more than a pound of monetary cure. It is not too late to start preparing your personal finance budgeting efforts to brace yourself for further economic contraction – ensuring that when America does recover from its economic weakness, your personal finance will be intact and still healthy.

Debt management strategy: watch your interest rates

When economic uncertainty is on the horizon, interest rates are the first to react – making debt management critical. Powered by both the Federal Reserve rate and each banking institution’s tolerance, interest rates can either soar or plummet, depending upon several factors.

Whereas our interest rates were at historical lows, the Fed Chairman Bernanke made adjustments to the rate in order to curb inflation, while attempting to simultaneously stimulate economic investment. What does this mean for your debt management? In essence, banks will now offer you great interest rates if you have good credit, making your debt management easy. If you have bad credit, then banks will increase your interest rates, as the risk of a default grows greater during an economic contraction.

Therefore, for debt management that will prepare for further economic contraction, you want to lock in low interest rates, which will be easy for those who already have good credit. You can refinance your credit cards by consolidating your debts, or you can even renegotiate your interest rates with your existing credit card company.

For those who have less than stellar credit, you want to carefully watch your mortgages, loans, and credit cards to ensure that they are not raising your interest rates. You may be particular susceptible to interest rate hikes in further economic contraction.

Smart personal finance budgeting

Keep in mind that regardless of how much income you earn, the key to maintaining financial stability is through intelligent debt management and personal finance budgeting. Even if you earn millions, your spending habits and debt are what determine your financial stability. In preparing for a further economic contraction, it is important that you take several personal finance budgeting steps:

o Tally all of your required expenses including your mortgage or rent payment, car payment, health insurance, and utilities. There are the bills you must pay each month, and therefore, are part of your mandatory personal finance budgeting process.

o Allocate a set amount each month for groceries. Keep in mind that you should try to purchase everything “on sale” for smart personal finance budgeting. Research shows that simply by purchasing the brand that is on sale, you can save approximately 20% each time you go to the supermarket.

o Minimize your entertainment expenses. Smart personal finance budgeting means limiting how frequently you eat out, or spend money on entertainment. For example, if you have a four-person family and you typically watch a movie at the theater each week, cutting this expense out could save up nearly $200 each month. Or, brown bag your lunch instead of eating at the local sandwich shop. This small change in your personal finance budgeting can save you conservatively $150 per month. Just these two small changes alone in your entertainment expenses can give you an extra $350 per month for your personal finance budgeting.

o Set money aside for your savings. In a further economic contraction, the greatest, yet most probably fear, is losing your job. Therefore, by taking conservative approaches with your personal finance budgeting now, you can still set aside emergency funds that will help your family if times are difficult. Saving 10% of your income each month is a healthy, yet reasonable, amount to save in your personal finance budgeting.

The key to protecting your personal finance against any additional economic contraction is through smart debt management and intelligent personal finance budgeting. By taking several preventative measures now, you can ensure that your financial situation will remain healthy – regardless of what happens to the economy.

Seven Ways to Keep Your Cool During Difficult Economic Times

Many people are experiencing stress, anxiety and difficult emotions due to this economic down turn. It’s important to keep this in perspective and learn tools and secrets to being productive, happy and more relaxed during this time.

1. Tough Times Don’t Last – It’s important to remember that any difficulty, stress or trauma is transient by nature. You will get through this time just as your ancestors weathered the Great Depression, World Wars, losses and changes. Your are hearty enough to get through this time in history.

2. Change is a Natural Process – Just like the natural flow of seasons or the cycle of birth, life, death and new birth…the economy is simply going through a change process. While winter can seem less pleasant than spring, it is a natural and necessary part of the growth cycle. We have enjoyed over 20 years of prosperity and little inflation. We will enjoy a season of prosperity again and probably sooner than you think!

3. Focus on What is Good & Right in Your Life – It’s easy to get drawn into the “Ain’t it Awful” club at work and watching the news. It’s important to know what is going on in the world. However, its just as important to draw your attention to what is going right in your life. You can focus on love, relationships, the work you do have, your children, your health, nature, your pets, your friends, warm clothes, running water, heat and cooling, food…whatever is abundant in your life.

4. Cut Back Where Needed – Many people are unemployed or underemployed. This is the time to cut back on wants and focus on needs. Cut back on cell phones, electronics, eating out etc. If you need to live with family or friends for a time, do so with grace. Be a contributing member to your family in ways you can contribute.

5. Give a Little – Helping others is a sure way to lift your spirits. Your time, wisdom, energy and attention are very powerful. Give freely to others the gifts and strengths within you. If your spouse is laid off be sure you give a bit more. Their self esteem and confidence can be shaky. This is not the time to be critical. They need your encouragement, love and support.

6. Take Care of Yourself – The tendency can be to overeat, over drink, sleep or spend. It’s important to get out in nature. Go for a walk for even 5 minutes. Drink plenty of water. Eat more lightly and consciously.

7. Stay Connected – Many studies have demonstrated that social connection with family, friends or work is vital to our well being. Don’t isolate yourself. Be sure to reach out and stay involved with others for that heart connection.

World Economic Reforms

There is no denying the fact that embryonic countries constantly demonstrate a predisposition to bring in the policy pronouncement of highly developed countries in their delicate resources despite the shifting of overall socio-economic procedure virtually. In bonafide world state of affairs aspects that next to influence the strategy decisions of budding countries are found fictional in progressive countries. It is evident that reserve constraints and technical non-progressive phenomena are two focal setting that formulate the budding countries reliant upon the advanced countries. The highly developed countries make available financial assistance for the economic development of the progressive countries through remarkable polygonal and two-pronged donor agencies, which are authoritatively termed as ‘Progressive media.’

The ‘progressive media’ all the way through their lending tricks play a vital role in the policy-making method of progressive countries. The intact process is now more evident in an interestingly univocal world order that materialize after the collapse of communism as a governing and economic system in the 1980s. The international financial agencies more than ever the World Bank and International Monetary Fund as policy shift pursued a free-market-based world order where the progressive countries were urged, cajoled and hard-pressed to initiate market economy through structural modification reforms.

As a result, over the last one-decade progressive countries have made changes in their state oriented development strategy mostly in line with the policy advice of the Progressive Medias.
Progressive Medias tend to justify their role in policy decisions of recipient countries that aids are given from the taxpayers’ money of the advanced countries that preserve the right to know whether money is being utilized in proper ways. Despite continued financial assistance by the Progressive Medias a vast majority of world population in the recipient countries live under the poverty line and unable to meet their basic needs. Increasingly Progressive medias are becoming concerned with the aid effectiveness and often attribute the underdevelopment of third world countries to their inappropriate internal policies. Although the failure of IMF’s policy advice in managing the financial crisis in East Asia has given rise counter argument that the economic crisis afflicting the progressive countries was fundamentally global in nature

The World Bank in its policy research report, “Assessing Aid, What works, What doesn’t, and Why” has laid emphasis on the internal policies of the recipient countries as important factors to make aid effective. In different international forums including the Aid Consortium Meeting that held under the auspices of the World Bank, the Progressive medias review the policy issues of the recipient countries with top priority; and before making any aid commitment want to make it sure that appropriate policy environment is prevailing in the recipient countries.

The Best Car Insurance Rates

If your car insurance is due for renewal and you are considering buying another policy then this article will provide you with important facts that you should know about. Car insurance policies are getting increasingly expensive and you should do all that you can to reduce your costs. How much you have to pay for your car insurance is dictated by a variety of factors as they apply to you and your vehicle.

In this article we will examine coverage limits, your age, gender and marital status, your location and insuring other household members. All of these factors will have a great influence on how much you will have to pay for your policy.

Coverage limits are generally dictated by the price that you are willing to pay for your insurance. A higher level of coverage will generally result in higher premiums. The best way to find a good value policy is to comparison shop. Nowadays it is generally accepted that the best way to do this is by using a car insurance comparison website.

Your age, gender and marital status will have a great effect on the auto insurance rates that you are offered. Insurers rate drivers using a variety of criteria, if you are a young single male driver you will usually have to pay higher rates. If you are a middle-aged female married driver then your rates will be lower. Insurers calculate the best car insurance rates for you by comparing levels of risk. Those groups which are statistically more likely to be involved in an accident have to pay correspondingly higher rates.

Location plays an important part in deciding how much your premiums will cost. Drivers who live in an urban environment will usually pay more than those from a rural area. This is because drivers who live in cities and heavily populated areas are more likely to be involved in an accident, or to have their car stolen or vandalized. Insurers generally offer better rates if you’re able to demonstrate that you keep your vehicle in a garage at night. You may also be able to improve the security arrangements of your automobile by fitting an alarm, immobilizer and steering wheel lock.

Insuring other household members will have an influence on the cost of your policy and the best car insurance rates that you offered. If you have teenage family members living with you and they are added to your policy, then your costs will increase. This may still work out cheaper than if your teenage driver were to have a separate policy in their own name.

In conclusion, there are a variety of different factors which can affect your ability to be offered the best insurance rates. Some of these are coverage limits, how old you are, whether you are male or female and whether you are married or single. Your rates will also be affected by the area where you live and whether other household members are included in your policy.