Simple Ways To Save Money In A Tough Economy

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Let’s admit it, the economic climate is pretty bleak at the moment, with the European debt crisis, growing unemployment rates and prices for products not getting any cheaper – it is not just the poor that are suffering anymore. The middle class and quite a few of the rich (although they will probably not admit it) are also feeling the pinch of the global economic crisis.

The problem is that people are not saving money anymore – whether they just don’t, or literally do not have any money left after all the bills are paid. And this means that if something does happen, like:

  • You Lose Your Job
  • You Get Injured and Cannot Work

Then you have nothing to pay the bills that continue to hit your letterbox.

The fact is that the majority of people are only weeks or months away from bankruptcy – if they were to lose their source of income.

How Can I Save Money, When There Is No Money To Save?

If you can save money, even if it is just $10-20 a week, then start doing it now. Get a new bank account (preferably one with a higher interest rate) and make it your ‘do not touch’ savings account.

However, if you are already spending everything that comes in of necessities or even going backwards – then here are a few things that may help lessen the load and hopefully allow you to start saving some money.

  1. Combine Your Debt
    If you have personal loans and credit cards and they are starting to get out of control, then make sure you go and chat with your bank about consolidating your debt. Combining it all into one payment (usually at a lower interest rate) can instantly free up some money that you could use to help pay down your debts.
  2. Find Additional Income Opportunities
    Hard times can call for people involved to dig deep. If you or someone in your family can get additional work, or even start a smallĀ  (low cost) business to help with the bills, it can be a great way to instantly find money for savings.
  3. Contests & Free Samples
    If you can’t find another job then a great way to help out, albeit in a sporatic way, is to make an effort to enter contest and take advantage of free sample products. There are plenty of websites that compile a list of contests/product samples available, and it is something that you can spend 15-30min a day checking and entering – and who knows what you might end up with.

Thomas is an Australian blogger with an interest in using the internet to help people make extra money. To learn more about different opportunities, visit his website on Australian surveys for money and be sure to read about how you can get paid to test products.

How to Get Rid of Student Loan Debt

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A student loan can be a real lifesaver for persons needing financial aid, who might not otherwise be able to afford the cost of getting an education without getting a loan; but a student loan can be a nightmare to repay, especially if the recipient of the loan only used the loan for a few semesters but did not actually go on to finish his/her degree. Even if the recipient received a degree and is qualified to work, the difficulties of finding a job in the current economy still poses a major problem and student loans become huge burdens rather than an investment. Paying off a student loan can be an incredible burden that forces the recipient to scrimp and save to make the payments, even if he/she did finish a degree and does fine a job, not even bankruptcy will defer the payments; so here are a few options that are available to persons who want to once and for all be rid of their student loan debt.

Make Faithful Payments

The most obvious method of getting rid of student loan debt is to faithfully make the payment, paying more than is required whenever possible; this might not always be possible however and your student loan debt becomes due a few months after you are expected to receive your degree, whether you are employed or not, so if your payments are due and you are unable to pay them because of unemployment or some other problem, here are some other avenues you can try for getting rid of the debt.

Join the Peace Corps

A good way of eliminating or decreasing your debt is to join the Peace Corps, VISTA, or teaching in a designated low-income school for five years or more; teaching will pay you up to $5,000 working for the Peace Corps or VISTA will rid you of 15% of your loan for each year that you are in the program. You won’t earn a lot while working in these programs but at least you will have 15% less to pay on your loan with each year that passes.

Consolidate Your Loans

If you have more than one loan to repay, consolidating them is a good idea as this will mean you only have one loan to repay and the interest loan will usually be lower; the overall amount you will have to pay may increase however, so before making a decision to consolidate your student loans, carefully evaluate your current and prospective rates and terms to see if you will benefit or not.


As with consolidation, refinancing may mean that you pay more overall but refinancing may make the month-to-month payments easier to handle since you may have a longer time to pay off the loan and lower your monthly payments; again you will want to evaluate which option is most beneficial to you and bear in mind that refinancing may not work for you unless you have a good credit score, as you may not be able to refinance, or your rates won’t be as low if you have a bad credit score.

For more information, read Loan Guaranty and Consolidate Your Student Loans.