Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

Tough economic times are becoming the norm rather than a rarity. As grocery and gas prices creep steadily upward and wages stagnate, it becomes ever more difficult to make ends meet. The good news is, there are things you can do to help you survive these tough economic times, and we’ve compiled a list to make it easier.

Take Out a Small Loan

Your bank can be your best friend during tough economic times. While it may seem counter-productive to take out small loans when money is tight, doing so can mean the difference between struggling and thriving.

When an emergency expense pops up, getting a loan with flexible terms and low interest will reduce the stress of the situation, not add to it. Don’t be afraid to talk to your lender to see how they can help you make it through the tough financial times.

Begin Living Frugally (i.e., on a budget)

If you take a look at your previous month’s bank statement, it’s likely you’ll find several expenses you could probably live without. Those convenience store food and drink purchases, for example, add up and drain your bank account quickly.

Make a list of the items you don’t really need and avoid making these purchases in the future. You will likely save yourself $100-$150 a month.

Find Ways to Bring in More Money

No one says you need to go out and get another job (unless you want to, of course), but there are lots of ways to bring in money these days. For example, you could sell some of your unwanted items on sites like Letgo or Craigslist. Alternately, a DIY YouTube video has the potential to bring in thousands if done right. Get creative and think outside the box for ways to generate income. The Internet is full of ideas and resources to help you earn extra money each month.

Watch Your Entertainment Spending

While it’s lots of fun to go out, there’s a lot to be said for saving that money, too. During financial strife, it’s better to keep your wallet closed and opt for hobbies that cost little instead. Getting fit is a great way to spend your time and decrease your desire for eating out or spending time in bars. Spending time in the great outdoors doing things like hiking, fishing, camping, and kayaking is also a lot of fun and costs little to do. Rather than buying your equipment from high-end sporting goods stores, look for gently used items online and get outside.

Be Mindful of Where You Shop

Shopping your local grocery store might be good for your community, but it’s much more expensive than shopping at a big box store like Walmart or Costco. When times are tough, it makes more sense to stay away from local grocery stores and shop these big chain stores instead. Sure, you may need to drive further, but if you shop for weeks’ worth of food and supplies at a time, the drive will be worth it. If you can swing it, buying things in bulk ultimately saves you the most money.

Tough economic times are more and more common these days, and as such, it’s important to be as smart about spending as you can. From taking out small loans to shopping big box stores to save the most money on food and necessities, it’s possible to thrive during the hard times. Hopefully, the tips mentioned above help you survive your own financial hardship.