Common Cents
Jul/Aug 2009 Issue

Budgeting in tough times

If you want to recession-proof your finances, there are a few simple budgeting tools you can use that are very effective.

  • Get personally involved with your money. It’s important that you watch your pennies and understand where your cash is going.
  • Distinguish between your wants and your needs. If you think you “need” something, wait a week or two to be really sure you aren’t making an impulse buy. This will also give you time to shop around for an item or service.
  • Don’t buy without a plan for payment. If you’ve planned for your purchase, it’s fine to use your credit card to get cash back or other rewards.
  • After you’ve tracked your expenses for a while, set up a budget and followed it, you should set aside some of your savings into an emergency fund. Steve Martin, president of Martin Wealth Management, recommends putting emergency-fund cash into savings accounts, money market accounts, or certificates of deposit.

For information about AAA’s Deposit Program, visit or call (888) 728-3151.

What does it cost?

We’re all trying to save money wherever possible, especially for entertainment or travel. Here’s what you can buy for:

  • about $100–Three AAA-discounted tickets to Six Flags St. Louis. To get tickets, call (800) 222-7623, ext. 6422 or click on
  • about $300–That’s Entertainment package at the AAA four Diamond Chateau on the Lake in Branson, including show tickets and dinner at Chateau Grille. Stay one night in a room with king bed, receive a $25 food credit at the hotel and two tickets of your choice from selected popular Branson shows. Call the resort at (888) 333-5253.
  • about $500–Free nights promotion at Universal Orlando for two people traveling July 9–15. This includes accommodations at Comfort Inn near Universal, theme park transportation, two-park unlimited and early admission, and a CityWalk Party Pass. See your AAA Travel professional or click on

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