Written by: Nick Bregozzo

There is no doubt that we are living in challenging economic times. In fact, many people have never experienced an economy quite as bad as the one we now find ourselves living through.  From a high dollar impacting manufacturing and commodities to rampant job losses and company bankruptcies, this is one economy few of us will ever forget.

In fact the current economic climate has gotten so bad that it is forcing many of us to change the way we live our lives and alter the way we look at our finances.…  While these changes can certainly be painful, those forced changes can actually lay the groundwork for a better financial position going forward.

Live Below Your Means
One of the hallmarks of financially successful people has always been their seemingly remarkable ability to live on far less than they make.…  The current economic climate has forced many of us to live on much less, and in the long run that can be a good thing.

Whether the culprit is a job loss, a cutback in hours or negative returns from investments, all too many of us have seen our incomes impacted. This reduction in income has forced many of us to cut back on our spending, forcing us to live within — and in many cases well below — our previous means.

When things turn around it can be tempting to go back to our old ways — spending lots of money on luxuries and other indulgences.…  While the desire to reward oneself is certainly understandable, this practice can set you up for additional pain the next time the economy hits a rough patch.

A smarter move may be to use the current forced reductions in spending to live well below your means.…  The economy will recover, and learning to spend less than you make can set you up for great success as the economic climate improves.…  The current economy has taught many of us some important lessons, including the relative insignificance of material possessions compared to the true value of friends and family.

Buy at a Discount Shop
They say that one man’s economic downturn is another man’s opportunity, and that is certainly true in today’s difficult climate.…  We all know that real estate prices have fallen sharply, and the stock market still looks like a train wreck.…  Smart investors can find great bargains in both arenas — and profit handsomely when the economy does turn around.…  It takes a combination of patience, courage and investment capital to dive into such a market, but the rewards are there for those with the courage to invest.

Patience is definitely a virtue in this type of economic climate, and the truth is that no one truly knows when the economy will turn around — or how long it will take to recover.…  Even the highly respected — and highly paid experts failed to see this one coming.

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