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Computing the cash crunch

With job security at an all time low and cost of living at the top of the scale, being frugal is not merely prudent, but essential, points out financial expert and author Gail Perry.

Rakesh Rai | Print Edition: February 19, 2009

Just as nobody buys life insurance expecting the worst to happen immediately, getting a job too doesn't mean one should begin planning for the sack. However, it is important not to confuse the unlikely with the impossible; in times as uncertain as these, losing a job is more likely than ever.

With job security at an all time low and cost of living at the top of the scale, being frugal is not merely prudent, but essential, points out financial expert and author Gail Perry.

Though first published in 2004, Surviving Financial Downsizing is singularly apt in today's job market. Perry shows readers how, with planning, they can live on less while maintaining the same standards that they were used to. To prove that cost-cutting only 'looks' daunting, Perry illustrates how half the problems of spending less after being downsized are taken care of by not having the job itself-certainly, the only silver lining-because it means fewer work-related expenses.

Surviving Financial Downsizing
PriceRs 395
Pages242
AuthorGail Perry
PublisherAdams Media

First, one no longer incurs the expenses related directly to the job: commuting costs, buying and maintaining a business wardrobe and eating at work. Next, she details the indirect addons, which are the services usually hired because one is at work: day care, baby-sitting, ordering take-out. Even better, less income means lower taxes. Perry also takes the readers through the entire exercise of planning, taking charge of expenditure and maximising their finances and savings.

Her message holds good for everyone, though the one lacuna is that most financial instruments discussed are specific to the US. Perry's is a useful attempt to show how-with a little planning and understanding of how money is earned, saved and spent-one can change the way one uses money without significantly lowering one's comfort levels. What really needs to change is the way that money is used. Read the book if you are looking for ways to cope with financial downsizing so that less income doesn't necessarily mean less disposable income. It should only mean redisposing the reduced income.

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