The recession, or The Great Recession as it's come to be known, has caused a ripple effect through the country - and even the world. Unemployment is sky-high. In October 2009, one in 385 households in the country had received a foreclosure filing. However, economic experts insist the worst is over, and we are on the road to recovery.
In hard times, we are forced to tighten our budgets and save wherever we can. I started by calling my satellite TV provider. I dropped the premium channel package that was costing me $20 per month, but I also asked if there were any promotional offers available. I was quickly signed up for a free three month preview of another premium package. When the three months were over I called to cancel the package to avoid being charged, and again I asked if any promotions were available. I was then offered a premium channel package that cost me one penny for an entire year as long as I signed up for the satellite company's auto-pay program.
Next I called my cell phone provider and dropped some extras. I strongly urge everyone to review their cell phone bills carefully. Cell phone companies are quick to advise you to sign up for a text package (often as high as $20 monthly) to avoid being charged per text message. I send and receive an average of 120 texts per month, which would total $12.00 if I was charged for them - a little more than half of the amount of an unlimited text plan. If you pay a $20 monthly fee to access the internet on your cell phone, ask yourself if you can wait until you are at your computer or laptop to get the “joke of the day” email your mother-in-law or co-worker sends. Are you paying $5 or $7 per month for insurance on your cell phone? While insurance is great protection in case you lose or damage your phone, if you are eligible for an upgrade you can get a discounted (or often free) phone for signing a new two year contract. If you are within your time to upgrade, drop your insurance and then use your upgrade option if anything happens to your phone.
There are many ways to save during the recession without really cutting back. Be creative, be aware, and save!