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Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Economy is great !

You can find deals everywhere from Walmart (WMT), to Verizon (VZ) and AT&T (T), to fast food chains (Mcdonalds (MCD) and Burger King (BKC) $1 value items), to online brokerage firms (Both Schwab (SCHW) and Fidelity undercut the fee schedule of $7.99-$12.99 for most E*Trade (ETFC) transactions and a flat $9.99 for all Ameritrade (AMTD) trades), to; yes, even credit card companies.

This is a perfect example of deflation which is affecting nearly all parts of the economy.

All of the "excesses" of the previous economy, which was behind both the boom and the bust, have now created a climate of deflation.

Of course this is not good for businesses, as they now have to not only struggle with less consumer spending but now they have to deal with less revenue streams, and reduction in profit margins.

Yes, there is always two sides to a coin, and always a sword with two edges. The result of this economy unfortunately also translates into added pressure on people with lower salaries, unemployment, and defaults in credit and loans.

There is no utopia. There will always be a certain amount of insecurity, risk and "bad side" to everything in life. But there will always be the "good side" as well.

This reminds me of a quote I heard, "There is no security, only opportunity".

Today's economy, though far from perfect, has created opportunity.

Here is how I have taken advantage of some of this opportunity.

Credit Cards:

One of my resolutions this year is to reduce, hopefully eliminate, non housing debt.
One step I have towards doing this is to open a credit card account with a 0% interest and fee promotion. This last for up to 12 months depending on ones credit history and score.

The good side - no interest on balances for 12 months. This means my monthly payments go entirely to paying down the principle balance.

Of course as I pay down that amount, I apply (no matter how small an amount) the savings next month to my payment.

Coupons and Promotions:

This first month alone, we have been able to take advantage of department and grocery store promotions and coupons to save on everyday purchases. This enables me to apply these savings to paying down my debt even more.

So, how have all you readers, bloggers and Internet surfers out there found ways to save and take advantage of opportunity?


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