Bit by the recession bug

Recession Bug It felt like the opposite of being ‘touched by an angel’.

I remember my mom  asking if we were affected by all the hoopla about the recession here in the US and I answered, no. I felt confident since both Tin and I work in the IT industry that our jobs were in a way “recession proof”. I guess in these extraordinary times, nothing is a given.

No, we were not laid off or anything like that (knock on wood). We just learned that HP will be implementing an across the board pay cut of 10-15% for executives and 5% for exempt employees, which is a bummer since Tin works for HP. I know this is a far cry from the problems a lot of people are experiencing,  losing their jobs, foreclosing on their homes, unable to find credit for their businesses, etc. but it feels like a step backward in our goals and responsibilities right when we felt we were making some headway.

What to do now?

There are several items I think that we can do to ‘fight back’ and respond:

  1. Start brown bagging everyday – I have been doing this a lot lately but I think I need do it everyday. It potentially saves us $5-$8  a day which translates to a savings of $100-$160 per month (doing the math actually encourages me more), aside from making lunch for me much simpler because I don’t need to go out or think about where to go.
  2. Minimize eating out – We currently try to eat out only on weekends, probably 3-4 times. Bringing this down to a maximum of twice a week is a savings of around $200-$240 per month.
  3. Curb the ‘gadget’ hunger – I am a self-confessed gadgetaholic, I guess this experience will strengthen my resolve.
  4. Look for additional income – You will see this advice in almost all the finance blogs on the net, but the reality is, it is easier said than done. I think I will start with looking for stuff that I am not using at home and selling them off on Ebay or Craigslist.
  5. Increase our value career wise – I recently received a Lotus Notes certification which I guess is a step in this direction. Probably looking for ways to increase our value in the eyes of the employer will be good thing in this economy.

Here is a CNN Money article which I read some time ago that gives some useful tips to recession proof our jobs. And here is a blog that I frequent which always has something to help people be more financially independent.

All in all, I think the key here is to be consistent throughout this crisis and focus on the goals.