We the People Can Save During Recession

The president and vice president released their 2008 tax returns this week, revealing numbers that don’t exactly represent our suffering economy. According to an article from Reuters, the Obamas’ joint adjusted gross income (AGI) totaled $2,656,902, while the Bidens’ joint AGI totaled $269,256. Of course, they didn’t take home this pay. After taxes and donations, they kept around $1.5 million and $180,000, respectively.

We all know that not everyone is bringing in these numbers for their yearly incomes. In fact, many of us are just happy to fill up our gas tanks each week. So while we may have received some gifts from our president to help us cut costs (ex. federal assistance for COBRA health insurance for the recently laid off) it’s going to take a lot of skill on our part to stay afloat.

So what are some ways to hang onto to your income during this tough recession? Here are a few to consider:

  • Buy generic. Whether you’re shopping for food or a new outfit, it’s good to look at generic brands to cut some corners.
  • Use coupons. Clipping coupons is a great way to receive immediate deductions in a variety of retail items.
  • Dine in. If eating out three or more times a week is your ritual, try buying and cooking your own food to save more money a month.
  • Spend cash. Credit and debit cards are extremely convenient, but also encourage open-ended shopping. To put a cap on the amount you spend, try pre-estimating your total then taking only the cash you need with you.

These tips might not give you the money of our nation’s leaders, but they can help you put a little more in the bank and save more money this year. So give them a try. What do you have to lose?