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Title: Managing in tough times
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Title: Managing in tough times
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Language: English
Creator: Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida
Publisher: Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
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Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
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Full Text


Managing in Tough Times


UF UNIVERSITY of
UF FLORIDA
IFAS Extension
For more information check out
Solutions for Your Life
http://solutionsforyourlife.com/







Table of Contents


* What is Your Net Worth?
* Having a Spending Plan is Critical
* Building an Emergency Fund
* Debt Management in Tough Times


* Freeing Up Money from Services
* Saving Money at the Gas Pump
* Stretch Your Food Dollars at Home
* Stretch Your Food Dollar: Keep Food Safe
* Stretch Your Grocery Dollars
* Doing Things Together as a Family for Less
* Keep Lines of Communication Open
* Tips for Teens: How to Contribute to Family
Needs During Tough Times

* Adult Children Moving Home
* Managing Stress
* Make Your Board Meetings Cost Less







What is Your Net Worth?


What are your assets?
* How much do you have in cash or other
assets that are easily converted to cash, such
as savings or checking accounts?
* What amount do you have in restricted
access financial assets, such as 401(k), IRAs,
or CDs?
* What is the value of your physical assets
such as a home, car, or personal items if you
had to sell them quickly?
What are your liabilities?
* To whom do you currently owe money?
Things you owe money for now, like rent,
utilities, or your car payment are known as
your current liabilities.
* To whom do you owe money over the next
1-5 years? These are your intermediate
liabilities such as a car loan balance or credit
card debt.






* To whom do you owe money beyond 5 years?
These are your long term liabilities and
include things like student loans and
mortgages.
Are you okay with your net worth?
* Your net worth is determined by subtracting
liabilities from assets.
* To raise your net worth, you will need to
increase assets or choose assets that grow.
The best method is to use current income to
acquire these assets over debt.
* The other way to improve your net worth is
to reduce your debts. Again, doing this from
income will have the impact you want.


UF UNIVERSITY of
UFFLORIDA
IFAS Extension
For more information check out
Solutions for Your Life
http://solutionsforyourlife.com/







Having a Spending Plan is Critical

What is the nature of your expenses?
* Fixed expenses occur on a predetermined
schedule and are for a set amount. (Car
payment, rent)
* Variable expenses usually occur on a
predetermined schedule, but may change in
amount. (cell phone bill, energy bill)
* Discretionary expenses are ones that are
totally up to you. (smoking, eating out)
Organizing your cash flows
* Income taxes expenses = surplus or
deficit
* A surplus is money that can be used to save,
pay down debt, or work toward some other
goal.
* A deficit means spending more than you
make; this often occurs when you use debt
like credit cards for ordinary expenses. In
this instance, it is necessary either to
increase income or reduce debt.






Prioritizing Your Expenses
* Consider the consequences of missing that
expense. What will be the results?
* Missing payments on housing, basic utilities,
food, and debt can result in penalties,
foreclosure, repossession, shutoff notices,
etc.
* Going out to eat, and spending money on
other things that are for convenience can
probably be avoided when times are tough.







UF UNIVERSITY of
UFLORIDA
IFAS Extension

For more information check out
Solutions for Your Life
http://solutionsforyourlife.com/







Building an Emergency Fund

Accumulating Liquid Assets
* These are assets that can be easily converted
to cash.
* The majority of these funds should be in
accounts that have easy access, like checking
accounts.
* Regular or passbook savings and money
market accounts are another option.
* Short-term CDS may offer higher interest
rates, but find out the early cash-out policy.

How much is enough?
* Experts suggest setting aside enough money
for 3-6 months of expenses.
* Try to distinguish between needs and wants
when determining the needed amount for
the emergency fund.
* The exact amount you should have can vary
depending on your access to paid leave time
from an employer or even access to other
resources.






Consider Other Resources
* Would you get any help from family or
friends?
* What type of and how much access to credit
do you have?
* What types of trades could you make with
neighbors, friends, etc. that could take care of
some of your expenses in a tough time?
Remember that trades can be made not only
of possessions, but also of time.







IJTf UNIVERSITY of
UF FLORIDA
IFAS Extension

For more information check out
Solutions for Your Life
http://solutionsforyourlife.com/







What are Your Resources?


When the money gets tight it is important to
know what you have.
What are your financial resources?
* Make a list of all of your assets; everything
that you own.
* Distinguish between financial assets and
physical such as cars, a home, or personal
possessions.
* Which financial assets can be easily
converted to cash?
What type of personal resources do you have?
* Education, certifications, and designations.
* Time. Your schedule and the schedule of
others in your family may be different than
others you know, this can create
opportunities to help each other by trading
responsibilities such as watching their
children so they can work an extra hour.
* Talents and skills like these may be helpful in
trading with others in community.






What type of resources does your household
have?
* Family, friends, other people you know, and
social networks.
* Personal possessions that have outlived their
usefulness to your family, but might be
helpful to others in your community.
* Commitment to family and household
communication.







UF UNIVERSITY of
UFLORIDA
IFAS Extension
For more information check out
Solutions for Your Life
http://solutionsforyourlife.com/









Should you get a lower interest rate on your
debt?
* If this will substantially decrease your
monthly cash flow commitment, this may be
beneficial.
* How much does the refinancing cost you?
* Can other higher cost debts be rolled into
this favorable rate?
Important to:
* Maintain payments to creditors.
* Communicate with creditors in the event of
missed payments; this may reduce penalties
* When you receive monetary gifts or
eliminate other bills, use the extra money as
"powerpayments" to maximize the impact on
your debt reduction and management.
Use your credit
* With positive credit, you can work with
existing lenders on lowering your rate,
avoiding late fees or universal default.






* Make certain you are getting any available
perks, including credit toward payments or
gifts that may be good for upcoming
occasions.
* Access to credit may be helpful in tight times,
allowing you to smooth over changes in
prices or manage unforeseen expenses such
as car repairs. Just be sure to use your credit
responsibly.








UF UNIVERSITY of
UFLORIDA
IFAS Extension
For more information check out
Solutions for Your Life
http://solutionsforyourlife.com/









Odd Jobs
* What type of skills or equipment do you have
that others may need?
* Consider that your time may even be helpful
if you have free time when others do not.
* You can find odd jobs in the classified
section of local newspapers or web sites like
Craig's List.
Donating Blood, Plasma, or Other
* Many blood banks or plasma banks will pay
for usable fluids.
* Fertility clinics may also need sperm or ovum
and will pay for viable samples. There are
many consequences of this so do not choose
to do it lightly.
Either of these options not only provides extra
income, but may help save lives or help families
in your community.






Bartering
* Trading goods or services with others may
not yield cash, but it may still provide your
family with goods or services needed.
* Many of us have time or skills that others
could use. Think about things such as
watching children, cleaning, or even making
repairs.
* People also may trade goods including
cooked meals or hand-me down clothing.






UF UNIVERSITY of
UFFLORIDA
IFAS Extension
For more information check out
Solutions for Your Life
http://solutionsforyourlife.com/







Freeing Up Money from Services

Utility Budget Plans
* You can work with your service provider so
that your monthly bill is based on an average
of the previous year's bill amounts.
* If you exceed the budgeted amount, you
could end up owing money at the current
year's end.
* This can be short term insulation to monthly
cash flows if utility costs are rising.
Banking and Paying Bills
* Consider using online bill-pay; this will
reduce the need for stamps, envelopes.
Banks or credit unions may even waive fees.
* If you have your paycheck, disability, or
retirement check directly deposited into
your account, your bank may reduce fees.
* Automated withdrawals may save you
money. Funds are taken directly from your
account by your service provider; it is
common to get an incentive for this.






* Avoid using payday loans, cash advance, or
title loans; these tend to charge substantial
fees and can cost you more than any
convenience they provide.
Too much insurance?
* If possible, increase your deductibles; this
tends to lower your premium.
* Consider reducing excess coverage if you
have more coverage than you need.
* Certain policies such as disability have a
waiting period; increasing this also tends to
lower premiums.




UF UNIVERSITY of
UF FLORIDA
IFAS Extension

For more information check out
Solutions for Your Life
http://solutionsforyourlife.com/







Saving Money at the Gas Pump

Adjusting Your Driving
* Stay close to the speed limit. Lower speeds
provide greater fuel efficiency than higher
speeds.
* Keep your car light by leaving heavier objects
at home. The more weight for your car to
carry, the more fuel it needs.
* Use cruise control for long stretches on
roads like freeways, except on hills.
* Try to avoid toll roads if possible, it can
reduce the amount of stops and starts if you
do not have a toll pass.
Organize
* Plan out your errands so you do not have to
make multiple trips to the same end of town
during the week.
* Use the most fuel efficient vehicle you own.
* Coordinate errands with a neighbor; take
turns driving to the grocery store.






* Make a list of what you need for the week to
make the fewest trips possible.
Alternate Transportation
* Take public transportation or carpool.
* Ride a bicycle.
* Participate in new community car programs
where cars are available for use by residents
at sites throughout the city.

For more tips check out: www.fueleconomy.gov






UF UNIVERSITY of
UFLORIDA
IFAS Extension
For more information check out
Solutions for Your Life
http://solutionsforyourlife.com/







Stretch Your Food Dollars at Home

Prevent Food Waste
* Cut down on the amount of food you throw
away; freeze leftovers or use them in recipes
like soups or casseroles.
* Take leftovers for lunch instead of eating
out; store properly to keep foods safe to eat.
* Before buying an unfamiliar food, be sure
you know how to prepare it.
* Buy only the amount of food you can store
and use before it spoils.
Plan Ahead
* Plan meals for a week using foods on hand
and grocery store specials.
* Clip and use coupons.
* Cook large batches when possible; divide
into portions and freeze.
General Money Saving Tips
* Cut down on expensive ready-to-eat salty
and sweet snacks.






* Enjoy seasonal or dried fruit, veggies (cut
your own), whole grain crackers, or low-fat
yogurt for nutritious snacks.
* Limit pre-made meals and fast foods.
* Buy a reusable water bottle and fill it with tap
water. Refrigerate overnight and keep it with
you during the day.
* Avoid excess soda, expensive energy drinks,
and coffee shop drinks.

Adapted from: Henneman, A. (2008). Supermarket
Savings: 16 Tips that Can Total Big Bucks. Retrieved June 6,
2008, from http://lancaster.unl.edu/FOOD/ftm-j08.shtml.



UF UNIVERSITY of
UF FLORIDA
IFAS Extension

For more information check out
Solutions for Your Life
http://solutionsforyourlife.com/







Stretch Your Food Dollar:


Keep Food Safe
Keeping food safe saves money by preventing
food waste and foodborne illness.
Planning
* Inventory your perishable foods on hand
before making a shopping list.
* Have a cooler in your car for keeping
perishables safe on the way home.
* Plan to shop when you can take food right
home and store it safely.
In the Store
* Select perishable foods like dairy and meat
last so they stay cold in your cart.
* Put raw meat in a plastic bag and keep it
separate from other foods in your cart.
* Choose produce at its peak freshness.
* Check to be sure eggs are not cracked.
* Check 'use-by' dates to be sure you will use
foods before they go bad.






* Do not buy dented cans or jars with bulging
or cracked lids.
At Home
* Store ripe fruit and fresh cut produce in the
refrigerator.
* Wash produce just before using.
* Put newly purchased canned foods behind
older ones in your cupboard; use older cans
first and before 'use by' date.
* Refrigerate perishable leftovers within two
hours and use within three days.






UF UNIVERSITY of
UF FLORIDA
IFAS Extension
For more information check out
Solutions for Your Life
http://solutionsforyourlife.com/







Stretch Your Grocery Dollars


Planning Shopping Trips
* Keep a pad and pencil handy for jotting
down foods as they run low.
* Don't shop with a hungry or tired child.
* Avoid shopping when you are hungry.
At the Store
* Stick to your shopping list; avoid impulse
purchases.
* When buying a food for the first time, buy a
small amount in case you don't like it.
* Use in-store flyers to find items on sale.
* Invest in staple foods like canned fruit, tuna,
or sauces when they are on sale.
* Avoid buying pre-cut fresh foods; cut your
own to save money.
* Use coupons only for foods you would
normally buy and if a cheaper store brand is
not available.






* Buy a larger package only if the unit price is
cheaper (check shelf label) and if you will use
it all before it goes bad.
* Buy store brands; they usually are about the
same as brand name products.
Other Tips for Saving Money
* Plan meals around items that are on sale,
especially costly items like meat and fish.
* Select canned and frozen foods when they
are cheaper than fresh; avoid foods with
added salt or sugars.
Adapted from: Henneman, A. (2008). Supermarket
Savings: 16 Tips that Can Total Big Bucks. Retrieved
June 6, 2008, from
http://lancaster.unl.edu/FOOD/ftm-j08.shtml

F UNIVERSITY of
UF FLORIDA
IFAS Extension
For more information check out
Solutions for Your Life
http://solutionsforyourlife.com/







Doing Things Together as a Family
...for LE$$

Take advantage of local public resources:
* Spend time together at the park.
* Go for hikes or bike rides.
* Go for a family picnic.
* Go swimming at the local pool, lake, ocean or
springs.
* Take advantage of free programs offered by
the library, museums, and community bands
or orchestras, or other free community
events.
* Check out books, music and videos for free
from the library.
Find cheaper entertainment at home:
Have a family game night.
Rent or borrow movies, pop some popcorn,
and have a family movie night at home.
Bake or cook together as a family.
Read stories to one another.
Go on evening walks together.






Help your children learn new skills and ideas:
* Teach children how to garden.
* Teach children craft skills you enjoy and
spend time doing these together.
* Teach children about issues that are
important to you, such as politics, news, the
environment, or others.










UF UNIVERSITY of
UFLORIDA
IFAS Extension
For more information check out
Solutions for Your Life
http://solutionsforyourlife.com/







Keep Lines of Communication Open

Importance of Communication
* This may be a stressful time when family
members need to lean on each other more
than usual. Talk to each other and listen to
each other's concerns.
* It's normal to disagree at times. Talk about
problems and work together to find
solutions.
* Maintaining communication allows families
to keep each other up to date on changes or
needs for money.
* Try to set aside a regular time for family
meetings. Then finances are not always a
topic of discussion and discussions can be
more focused.
Keeping Kids in the Loop
* Let kids know that the family may have to
reduce spending on some items. Try to do
this in a calm and honest manner.
* Answer their questions as clearly as you can.






* Remember that some children may be
worried and not show their feelings. Check in
with your children to see how they are doing
and reassure them that you will work things
out as a family.
* Enlist their help and creativity in reducing
expenses, especially on family activities.
* Try to use this time to teach them the
difference between wants (such as those high
priced sneakers) versus needs (athletic shoes
for P.E. class).





UF UNIVERSITY of
UFLORIDA
IFAS Extension

For more information check out
Solutions for Your Life
http://solutionsforyourlife.com/







Tips for Teens: How to Contribute
to Family Needs During Tough
Times
If your family is going through tough times
financially for whatever reasons, consider ways
you can contribute. Asking your parents) to
share with you the family budget and being
willing to take some action to help is the first
step to gaining respect and demonstrate
responsibility as a family member.
Cost-savings things that you can do to help with
family expenditures are:
* Turning off lights, televisions or other
electronics when not in use.
* Take shorter showers to cut down on water
and electric bills.
* Don't stand with the refrigerator door open
while deciding what to eat.






* Limit cable/phone/computer usage. Help
figure out your family's real needs for these
services vs wants and ways to meet them, like
using the public library on-line services for
homework.
* Hang up your clothes after wearing so they
wear longer and need less washing and care.
* Volunteer to help with family chores in lieu of
paying for services like cleaning, lawn care,
take-out, or childcare.




UF UNIVERSITY of
UFLORIDA
IFAS Extension

For more information check out
Solutions for Your Life
http://solutionsforvourlife.com/










Many teens work for extra money but rarely are
their earnings used as a contribution to the
family's economic wellbeing. Research of teen
employment reveals that costs for
transportation, clothing and food away from
home actually increase with teen employment.
Involving teens in family problem-solving helps
teach them the reality of managing money and
distinguishing between needs and wants. Asking
teens to help with household expenses will need
to begin with an open sharing of a family budget,
income and needs. They need to know that their
financial help is appreciated. Help your teen:
* Analyze expenses and income from their job.
Do the costs outweigh the benefits to
themselves or the family?






* Develop a budget that includes earnings
going toward savings, family budget, and teen
expenses.
* Plan and budget for family wants like
entertainment, vacation or trips. Teens will
learn the value of saving over time for wants.
More Tips for Parents:
* To reduce potential negative impacts for
employed teens, limit their work hours during
the school months to 10 hours a week.
* Provide teens that are contributing to family
efforts some relief from extra family chores.
* Ask their help to problem-solve/determine
other cost-cutting goals for the family.
UF UNIVERSITY of
UFFLORIDA
IFAS Extension
For more information check out
Solutions for Your Life
http://solutionsforyourlife.com/







Adult Children Moving Home

Adult children move in with their parents for a
number of reasons, including economic
hardship. As this move will change the parents'
household expenses, adult children have a
responsibility to contribute to the upkeep of the
household. It is important to talk openly and
honestly about money arrangements. Be as
specific as possible.
Costs of Maintaining Household
* What is the monthly cost for food, electric,
cable, etc. How much will they increase?
* How will the costs be shared?
* Will contributions be in cash or work?
* Who will do the cooking, the cleaning, the
shopping, etc.?
Employment Expectations
* Discuss everyone's expectations in regards to
employment.






* Wait for the right job or take short-term
employment?
Other things to Consider
* Is there a specific time limit?
* Is financial help viewed as a gift or a loan?
* How will visitors be handled, especially
overnight visitors?
* Will everyone eat together?
* The cost of food will increase; will there be a
change in the types of food purchased?
* If children are involved, who will do the
discipline?
Sharing a home is a big decision for everyone
involved; effective family communication is
critical to making a smooth transition.

UF UNIVERSITY of
UFLORIDA
IFAS Extension
For more information check out
Solutions for Your Life
http://solutionsforyourlife.com/







Managing Stress


Sources of Stress
* Prices rise but your income stays the same.
* Cut-backs, layoffs, or other restructuring
creates instability at your employer.
* You feel frustration with family members
over spending or debt.
Take Care of Your Body
* Try to eat a balanced diet.
* Take time for an enjoyable physical activity.
Exercise can be just the thing to relieve your
body of tension.
* Get enough sleep. We tend to be more on
edge and have less to give when we are
tired. Getting a good night's sleep can start
our day off on a good note.
Take Care of Your Mind
* Try to maintain a positive outlook.
Remember that economies have cycles;
sometimes they are down, but they will go
back up again.






* You still need time for you, even if it is not
something that costs money.
* Make sure you have someone you can talk to
if times get tough. This could be a spouse,
partner, sibling, parent, or good friend.











Jfg UNIVERSITY of
U FLORIDA
IFAS Extension
For more information check out
Solutions for Your Life
http://solutionsforyourlife.com/







Make Your Board Meetings
Cost Less
Boards Members for nonprofit/community-
based organizations typically meet to discuss
issues, plan projects, deal with new business and
elect officers and committee members. The goal
of this fact sheet is to prepare board members to
consider cost savings in the way they conduct
their meetings.
Plan Ahead
* Schedule all meetings in advance and publish
the dates.
* Minimize paper use. Use email for all
communications to include notices of
meetings, agenda, updates, etc.
* Develop a list serve which contains the email
addresses of all board members.
* Plan your meetings in advance, whether they
are monthly, quarterly, semi-annually or
annually.
* Schedule telephone conferences for all board
meetings.






* The chairman presides over the
teleconference meeting just as he/she would
at face-to-face meetings.
* Be sure that minutes are recorded for
meetings that take place over the telephone.
* Committee meetings can also be held using
the telephone conference.
Make it Real
* If you must have a face-to-face meeting,
include some recognition ceremony to show
appreciation of the members' service.
* To make this exercise real, assume that your
board cannot meet together; that you must
conduct all business and committee meetings
from a distance.
* Figure out the savings you made as a group.

I UNIVERSITY of
UF FLORIDA
IFAS Extension
For more information check out
Solutions for Your Life
http://solutionsforyourlife.com/






Contents Contributed By: Eboni Baugh, Benjamin
Bobroff, Linda Bobroff, Elizabeth Bolton, Kate
Fogarty, Michael Gutter, Joy Jordan, Heidi
Radunovich, Suzanna Smith, Glenda Warren, and
Carolyn Wilken

Reviewed By: Eboni Baugh, Linda Bobroff,
Elizabeth Bolton, David Diehl, Kate Fogarty,
Selena Garrison, Michael Gutter, Travis
Mountain, Heidi Radunovich, Suzanna Smith,
Nayda Torres, Glenda Warren, and Carolyn
Wilken





UF UNIVERSITY of
UFLORIDA
IFAS Extension
For more information check out
Solutions for Your Life
http://solutionsforyourlife.com/








County Extension Offices


Alachua Duval
(352) 955-2402 (904) 387-8850
Baker Escambia
(904) 259-3520 (850) 475-5230
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(850) 784-6105 (386) 437-7464
Bradford Franklin
(904) 966-6224 (850) 653-9337
Brevard Gadsden
(321) 633-1702 (850) 875-7255
Broward Gilchrist
(954) 370-3725 (352) 463-3174
Calhoun Glades
(850) 674-8323 (863) 946-0244
Charlotte Gulf
(941) 7644340 (850) 639-3200
Citrus Hamilton
(352) 527-5700 (386) 792-1276
Clay Hardee
(904) 284-6355 (863) 773-2164
Collier Hendry
(239) 3534244 (863) 6744092
Columbia Hernando
(386) 752-5384 (352) 7544433
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(863) 9934846 (863) 402-6540
Dixie Hillsborough
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Holmes
(850) 547-1108
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Levy
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Madison
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Marion
(352) 671-8400
Martin
(772) 288-5654


Miami-Dade
(Hialeah)
(305)888-5010
(Homestead)
(305)248-3311
Monroe
(305) 2924501
Nassau
(904) 879-1019
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(352) 5214288
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Santa Rosa
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Sumter
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Volusia
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(850) 926-3931
Walton
(850) 892-8172
Washington
(850) 638-6180




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