Living Well in a Down Economy For Dummies BY Tracy Bar

Living Well in a Down Economy For Dummies BY Tracy Bar
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Living Well in a Down Economy For Dummies

BY Tracy Bar



Adobe E-Book 336 pages November 2008

Get smart about spending and saving -- and ride out a recession!

Looking for practical ways to make every dollar count? This savvy guide gives you expert tips for tightening your belt and saving cash in every area of your life -- from your house and car to dining and entertaining to banking and managing debt. You get realistic solutions for making smarter choices and living well in this time of economic turmoil -- without extraordinary sacrifice!

Bump up your take-home pay-- spiff up your resume, find a good job fast, explore telecommuting, or start a home-based business

Get your personal finances in tip-top shape -- create a budget, pay down debt, save on insurance, and protect your retirement funds

Develop recession-proof habits -- use coupons and rebates, extend the life of your wardrobe, utilize community resources, travel on a budget, and save on utilities and fuel expenses

Decorate on a dime and entertain on a shoestring -- plan parties, celebrate the holidays, and give gifts without losing your shirt

Bounce back from bad financial situations -- improve bad credit scores, and negotiate with creditors or the IRS Open the book and find:

125 tips for making changes in your life that allow you to continue to live well

Ways to stand out on paper and in an interview when looking for a job

Tips on managing debt -- from working with credit counselors and consolidating your debts to boosting your income

Smart solutions for weathering financial emergencies, from bankruptcy to foreclosure


Tracy L. Barr has authored or coauthored several books, including Adoption For Dummies, Cast-Iron Cooking For Dummies, and Latin For Dummies.


Introduction. Part I: Facing Off Against a Recession.

#1: Determine Your Net Worth.

#2: Calculate Spendable Income.

#3: Create a Monthly Budget.

#4: Breathe Away Tension.

#5: Tense Your Way to Relaxation.

#6: Stretch Away Your Stress.

#7: Lift a Finger for Self-Massage.

#8: Practice Habits of Effective Stress Managers.

Part II: Bumping Up Your Bring-Home.

#9: Update and Customize Your Resume.

#10: Make Your Resume Stand Out.

#11: Get Acquainted with New Interview Trends.

#12: Stand Out in an Interview.

#13: Nail the Video Interview.

#14: Make the Most of a Phone Interview.

#15: Look for Good Jobs Online.

#16: Look into Federal Jobs.

#17: Prepare for a Career Change.

#18: Figure Out What You Really Want to Do.

#19: Persuade Your Organization to Let You Telecommute.

#20: Find Telecommuting Work.

#21: Consider Self-Employment.

#22: Get Acquainted with Home-Based Businesses.

#23: Get New-Business Cash Flowing.

#24: Steps to Take before Leaving Your Job.

#25: Take Tax Deductions on Home-Based Businesses.

#26: Ensure the Survival of Your Home-Based Business in Tough Times.

#27: Choose between Itemized and Standard Deductions.

#28: Boost Your Household Income.

Part III: Putting Your Personal Finances on Firm Footing.

#29: Avoid Unnecessary Fees.

#30: Shop Around for Insurance.

#31: Raise Your Deductible to Save on Insurance.

#32: Save Money on Life Insurance.

#33: Qualify for Homeowner Policy Discounts.

#34: Take Advantage of Coverage You Already Have.

#35: Look for Discounts and Premium Credits from Your Car Insurance.

#36: Save on Medical Coverage Offered by Your Car Insurance.

#37: Continue Health Coverage When You Leave Your Job.

#38: Cap Your Out-of-Pocket Health Expenses.

#39: Save on Individual Health Coverage.

#40: Use Medical Savings Accounts.

#41: Tap into Temporary Health Insurance.

#42: Know the Tax Benefits of a 401(k) Plan.

#43: Continue to Invest, Even at a Reduced Amount.

#44: Borrow from Your 401(k).

#45: Let Your 401(k) Roll Over to Avoid Taxes.

#46: Investigate Tax-Deferred Ways to Save for College.

#47: Squeeze Out Every Drop of Available College Money.

#48: Look into Federal Assistance Programs.

#49: Make Use of Federal Loans.

#50: Defer or Discharge Student Loan Debt.

#51: Consolidate Your College Loans.

#52: Find College-Based Scholarships.

#53: Access State and Local Scholarships.

#54: Tap Organizations for Scholarships.

#55: Accept Work-Study Opportunities.

#56: Negotiate Better Financial Aid.

#57: Refinance a Fixed-Rate Mortgage.

Part IV: Living a Recession-Busting Life.

#58: Develop Good Shopping Habits.

#59: See through the Gimmicks Grocery Stores Use.

#60: Use Coupons Wisely.

#61: Target Seasonal Grocery Sales.

#62: Plan Your Meals Economically.

#63: Save on Snacks.

#64: Stretch One Meal into Two (Or More).

#65: Save on Baby Food.

#66: Cook Up Money Savings.

#67: Can It!

#68: Other Ways to Save in the Kitchen.

#69: Save on Salon Expenses.

#70: Expand Your Wardrobe.

#71: Remove Stains from Clothing.

#72: Reconstruct Your Clothes.

#73: Find Fun in Community Resources.

#74: Have Fun in Your Own Backyard and Beyond.

#75: Save for a Family Vacation.

#76: Travel on a Few Dollars a Day.

#77: Save on Phone Bills.

#78: Stay Cool on the Cheap.

#79: Warm Up for Less.

#80: Make Your Own Cleaning Solutions.

#81: Replace a Roof Shingle.

#82: Find Roof Leaks.

#83: Add More Insulation.

#84: Insulate Pipes.

#85: Insulate Heat Ducts.

#86: Test and Fix a Window Air Leak.

#87: Stop Air Leaks around Doors.

#88: Identify Plumbing Leaks.

#89: Improve Water Heater Efficiency.

#90: Help Your Furnace Work More Efficiently.

#91: Save on Your Fuel Expenses.

#92: Change Your Own Car Oil.

#93: Take Care of Your Tires.

#94: Hire a Pro without Getting Taken for a Ride.

Part V: Making the Most of Holidays and Other Special Events.

#95: Throw a Party on a Budget.

#96: Entertain on a Shoestring.

#97: Spend Less on Holiday Decorations and Gifts.

#98: Get Creative with Gift Giving.

#99: Give and Package Sweets and Treats.

#100: Save on Fine Dining.

Part VI: Staying Afloat If the Boat Starts to Sink.

#101: Look for Signs of Financial Trouble.

#102: Understand the Cost of Bad Credit.

#103: Get Copies of Your Credit Report and Scores.

#104: Check Your Credit Report.

#105: Dispute Inaccurate Info on Your Credit Report.

#106: Add Positive Info to Your Credit Report.

#107: Bring Credit Card Debt Under Control.

#108: Take Credit Solutions into Your Own Hands.

#109: Seek Help for These Credit Problems.

#110: Work with a Credit Counseling Agency.

#111: Create a Debt-Management Plan.

#112: Talk to Creditors to Work Out a Solution.

#113: Negotiate a Payback Arrangement with Collectors.

#114: Avoid Credit-Repair Scams.

#115: Keep Credit Under Control While Unemployed.

#116: Use Home Equity to Consolidate Debts.

#117: Take Control When Foreclosure Looms.

#118: Draft a Plan of Attack to Offset Foreclosure.

#119: Understand Types of Bankruptcy.

#120: Try to Avoid Bankruptcy.

#121: Negotiate with Creditors to Avoid Bankruptcy.

#122: Choose Which Bills to Pay When You File for Bankruptcy.

#123: Negotiate with the IRS.

Part VII: The Part of Tens.

#124: Ten Ways to Trim the Money Tree.

#125: Ten Ways to Handle Financial Emergencies.