You asked

What can we do as a family to survive the recession?

Everyone has been hit in some way by the recession.  Here are a few tips to help you cope a little better.

Find out about benefits
If you or your partner has been laid off, the first thing you should do is look into unemployment benefits and income supplements at your social welfare office or health centre. There may also be tax rebates that apply to your family if you have stopped earning halfway through the tax year.

Pay less on bills
Shopping around for a better mortgage package, and getting better deals on loans and credit cards are another way you can save.  You may find that there is money being spent on insurance packages that overlap, or where you can reduce the insured amount in accordance with the real value of items you own.

Whenever you shop for anything, find out if there’s a cash discount. Many times, you can save by paying cash.

If you’re renting, consider speaking to your landlord about lowering your rent, or if you can’t do that, consider moving to a cheaper home.

Get a second income
Something as simple as conducting surveys, or doing promotions can bring in extra money on weekends.  Working as a waiter, barman or pizza delivery person may not be glamorous, but it can put extra cash in your pocket. Try selling home made arts, crafts or food items. Advertise your old stuff on sites like eBay. Offering a local typing service, or teaching people how to do something are two more ways to make money from home.

Consider a career change
There are some jobs that are considered ‘recession proof’. If yours isn’t one of them, then it may be worth looking into a career change. Check which fields are hiring the most before you take the plunge. Study part time, while you continue to work for your current employer. Look at lateral moves. There may be other jobs where your current skills can be used, but in a more stable industry.

Make saving money a family affair
Get your children involved in saving money. Make them aware of the cost of things, and have them look for ways that you can save. If your child wants something new, have them look for old stuff that they’re willing to part with first. Then hold a garage sale, and use the proceeds to fund the new purchase. Get your kids to help you cut out coupons to use the next time you go grocery shopping. Reading books about money and about poor people can help to put the money issue into perspective for your child.
Use the internet
Do your banking online. Not only will it save you on bank fees, it’ll also save on the petrol you’d use to go to the bank. Use search engines to find coupons before you shop. Almost everything you want to buy will have a coupon available that can save you money. Use the internet to research who is offering the best deal on any big items you want to buy. Use free classified sites, or eBay, to buy and sell used items.

Keep your chin up
It’s important to remember that while the recession is no picnic, it also cannot last forever. Use the opportunity to spend more time with your family, doing cheap or free things that are fun, like hiking, riding bikes or playing games. Listen to music that you love, or rediscover your love of books thanks to the local library.
Make learning to cook a priority – after all, who can afford take aways these days?

More questions

As with most activities done in excess, too much time spent on computer games and console games can negatively affect your child's development.
A preschooler may not be ready to learn the finer points of table manners, but they are old enough to understand the basics.
Young children who pick their noses incessantly may do so to relieve stress or boredom, or it’s may just be a nervous habit like nail biting. Many times, the child does not even realize they are doing it.
If you want your child to grow up with a strong spiritual foundation, it’s never too young to start teaching, but remember to teach by example.
When you catch your preschooler telling a lie, it is natural to be worried. Parents may feel that when their child lies, it reflects on their parenting abilities.
When you catch your preschooler telling a lie, it is natural to be a bit upset. A parent may think that when their child lies, it reflects on their parenting skills.
Get your child’s attention immediately by whispering to him - this let’s your child think that something fantastic is about to happen!
Four year olds generally recognise differences but can still get confused
If you really do not know how to accurately explain the birds and the bees to your child, then it would be a good idea to invest in picture book. There are some great ones available, where the experts have done all the explaining for you.
By 24 months, your child will use around 80 words and understand many more.



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