The top tip given by most people is to start trimming your budget. Well not me. My top tip to surviving in a bad economy is to keep your job. What? DH and I discussed this the other night, the main thing right now is staying employed. It doesn't matter how lean you live, or how well you budget.
If you have no income because you have no job, then all the budgeting and lean living will not work. You will not be able to pay heat, food, gas, rent/mortgage, etc. So keep your job. And in a downtrodden economy that can be tough. It can also be tough to find another job, hence stay employed.
How to keep your job? Well now is the time to be taking on "crap" responsibilities. Now is the time to volunteer for tasks no one else wants. Now is the time to be pulling more overtime and taking more responsibility at work. Now is the time to be seen as a team player and not dead weight.
It is not the time to be focusing on debt paydown, saving money, etc. So if you are working 2 jobs, make sure it's not at the detriment of slacking at your primary job! This is not the time for companies to feel you aren't giving 110%. You want to be sure that your boss knows how important you find your career. You want to keep your job.
With the economy in a bad way, many jobs are being downsized. So you should also network with former coworkers and bosses, in case you need a job or a reference. This way you'll be able to get word out quickly if you do lose your job. Or if you find yourself given 3 months notice you can start looking sooner.
Also be proactive with keeping up with your skills. Show your employer that you are a person who is trying to learn and be competitive in this environment. Show them why they want to keep you and not the guy sitting next to you. I know this sucks to hear, but you have to keep a job in order to pay the bills and live. Unless you are living off the grid, you will have to pay for electricity, water, food, heat, medical care, etc. This is not the time to get complaicent.
If you are self-employed, now is the time to be finding new clients, networking harder, etc. It is time to perhaps think of more ways to earn income in case your client load lessens, not after you lose your income.
During a bad time in the economy, others suggest cutting back expenses. I say great if you hvae time and energy, but focus on keeping the income coming in. Sure cutting back is good, but if you are laid off or fired, then you can focus on trimming expenses. Now is the time to not be distracted at work. Right now you have to stay later, work harder to keep your job from being outsourced or downsized. You want the guy next to you let go, not you.
Do you have any tips to survive?