Lets Go Shopping to Ease The Recession

by Ron Haynes

Shopping has become an art form and seasoned practitioners know how to parlay those skills into juicy finds to make their lives easier, better, or more fulfilled. Let’s go shopping and ease the recession’s impact on our pocketbooks.

I know it sounds crazy for a personal finance writer to advocate shopping in the midst of a recession, but it really CAN ease your financial stress if you buy the right items with the right information. Which items and what information? Here you go:

Go shopping for a better savings rate

Great rates on savings accounts are getting more and more difficult to find, BUT they are out there. Since I just want to “park” money for my emergency fund in these accounts, I prefer to use ING or HSBC. ING’s rate has dipped plummeted as has HSBC’s but they are still better than putting money in my mattress (and a whole lot more comfortable).

Currently, the HSBC rate is better than ING’s but I still have some ING referrals so if you’d like a $25 bonus on any savings account you open with them, send me a note via my contact form.

Once these links are used, they cannot be re-used so don’t delay! Otherwise you’ll have to use the HSBC savings account link – just don’t get too creeped out by that talking pig. There’s no bonus with HSBC but they do have a slightly higher rate.

Go shopping for better car insurance rates

The industry leader in providing multiple quotes to consumers is InsureMe.com. These guys help their customers save 20-40% by giving them multiple quotes on car insurance from names like Progressive, Esurance, Allstate, and Nationwide. Fill out one form and receive multiple quotes without all the hassle of phoning (and dealing with) sales people. Much easier in my book.

Get FREE car insurance quotes from multiple providers like Travelers, Allstate, State Farm, Nationwide, Farmers, the Hartford and Liberty Mutual

Go shopping for dental insurance

Our teeth are indicators of our overall health and taking care of them is one of my top priorities. I’ve just had a lot of dental work done (replaced 7 fillings and got one crown) so I know the value of dental insurance. Much like NetQuote, DentalPlans.com allows you to choose from over 30 top-quality national and regional discount dental plans for the dental insurance you need. Having a resource at your fingertips to see, evaluate, and choose the plan that best for you is priceless.

Go shopping for better rates on all your insurance

While you’re at it, NetQuote also offers those of us watching our dollars and pennies home, health, life, and even renters insurance quotes – multiple quotes – again without having to deal with multiple phone calls or multiple agents. I don’t know about you, but when I can have all the information mailed or emailed to me so I can make the best choice without the pressure of buying, I feel much better about my decision. That’s why I like Netquote for my insurance needs. Plus it is ridiculously easy, fast, and smart to get the multiple quotes when you have the option.

Go shopping for a better mortgage rate

Now’s the time folks, we may never see rates this low again. I know, I know, you’ve been hearing that phrase for a couple of years now, but it IS true. With the amount of debt we’re being saddled with from Washington DC, inflation is a certainty in our future. Why not use ato get a lower rate now so you can pay less in the future with those devalued dollars?

Go shopping for a better cell provider

We live in a wireless world, interconnected to each other by electromagnetic wavelengths we cannot see but CAN hear. The cellular world has become much more commoditized and as a result, the different provider’s offerings are getting more and more similar. By using a service like LetsTalk, you and I can easily compare rates between the different providers (AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, etc) and see if we’re really getting the best deal for our usage levels. LetsTalk even has deals to get free cell phones, even a new Blackberry Pearl with ANY of the major carriers.

Go shopping for energy savings

Whether you’re shopping for full spectrum daylight earth bulbs or for a smart power strip or a 7 day programmable thermostat, shopping for energy saving items is a no brainer. Be sure and figure your break-even point, though. If you can save just $1 per month, in electricity, a CFL bulb is worth it after 2-3 months, the power strip after 36 and the thermostat after 43, but I’d be willing to bet you’ll save a lot more than just one dollar.

Go shopping for a better credit card rate

I’m not a big fan of credit cards but I do understand their necessity and the incredible convenience they provide. I personally advocate paying 100 percent of your balance each and every month. If you’ve made the commitment to get your credit card balance to zero, you can pay it down MUCH faster with a better rate. Just be extra vigilant that you don’t run up more debt just because you now have an old card with nothing on it.

Discover® More(SM) Card Issued by Discover
Discover� More(SM) Card
The Discover® More(SM) Card is ideal if you want to earn cash back on your purchases. Through the rewards program, cardholders earn a 5% Cashback Bonus® in categories like travel, home, gas, restaurants, movies, and more. Plus, you’ll earn up to 1% for general purchases. You can also earn up to a double Cashback Bonus® for redeeming your rebates for gift certificates from participating Discover Card Partners. The card has no annual fee and features an attractive 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for six months. The interest rate on purchases is reasonable after the introductory rate expires, and common benefits and services are also provided.
Review Date: 5/1/2009

If you pay off your credit card balance in full each month and don’t need to transfer a balance, you may find that a rewards card is much better. In those cases, a “charge” card that pays rewards may be the best bet.

We’ve spent the past two decades learning how to shop so we might as well use those skills to help us ease our recession worries and save some cash in the process! Shopping can be fun when you’re shopping to save money. What you do with your savings is up to you, but I’d recommend putting it into an emergency fund, saving for your retirement, or for your children’s college education if it were me.

About the author

Ron Haynes has written 988 articles on The Wisdom Journal.

The founder and editor of The Wisdom Journal in 2007, Ron has worked in banking, distribution, retail, and upper management for companies ranging in size from small startups to multi-billion dollar corporations. He graduated Suma Cum Laude from a top MBA program and currently is a Human Resources and Management consultant, helping companies know how employees will behave in varying situations and what motivates them to action, assisting firms in identifying top talent, and coaching managers and employees on how to better communicate and make the workplace MUCH more enjoyable. If you'd like help in these areas, contact Ron using the contact form at the top of this page or at 870-761-7881.