Tips on Surviving Tough Times

February 11, 2009

COLUMBUS, Ga-(WTVM)-"If you had $50 extra today, what would you do with it," asked Margaret Higdon of a small crowd gathered at the Muscogee County Cooperative Extension Office for a workshop entitled "Surviving Tough Times."

Experts say the first step to saving, is knowing your spending.

"Evaluate where you are spending your money and where you can save and then set your priorities according to that," says Higdon.

Brenda Maddox, one of the participants, says her problem, is that at the end of the month, there's nothing left.

"One of the main concerns I think with me is always been financial is not knowing how to put aside money if you feel like you don't actually make enough to made the ends meet," Maddox explains.

Maddox says before she even gets paid, the money is already gone.

"The car, the rent, those kind of things, so you already know where the check is going before you get there," adds Maddox.

But after completing a few worksheets, Maddox gets confirmation of what she says she already knew.  There are a few places to squeeze out some extra cash.

For example, she says maybe it's time to search for more cost effective ways to spend time and do fun activities with her kids.

"Times to come in the park or something, or that, or doing reading or spending time that way with my kids is still a way to stay involved and do something fun with them, playing board games, things like that, that don't cost anything."

There will be another seminar next week at the Muscogee County Cooperative Extension Office.  It will focus more on savings strategies and budgeting, as well as the importance of good credit scores.

Click here for more tips on saving and spending plans.