Talk to an adviser
As much as you need to tune out the hysteria on Wall Street, you may want to make sure you are set up appropriately to weather the storm. When was the last time you rebalanced your investment portfolio? If the answer is more than a year, check in on your asset allocation to make sure your portfolio still reflects your long-term investing goals. Consider meeting with a financial adviser to make sure you've covered all the bases. To find a fee-based adviser near you, check out the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors.Work harder As companies struggle in a recession, they often trim their workforces in order to improve the bottom line. You can help protect yourself in the next round of layoffs by putting in a little extra effort at work. It's survival of the fittest out there, and even though there's no foolproof way to prevent yourself from being handed a pink slip, you need to do everything possible to improve your odds. That said, consider polishing up your resume and kicking your networking up a notch. There's no sense in getting caught flat footed if the unthinkable happens. Pay down debt Nothing drags down your cash flow more quickly than paying interest on a bunch of expensive debt. Pay down your high-interest debt by any means necessary. And once those balances hit zero, don't use your credit cards except in an emergency. The invention of credit was one of the things that contributed to the Great Depression, and growing consumer debt has helped put us where we are today. As for things like mortgages and home equity loans, consider refinancing to take advantage of lower rates. And think twice about opening up any new loans: Ask yourself if you really need to spend that extra money now or if you could wait another six months or a year. Reduce your footprint Environmental benefits aside, reducing your carbon footprint can also save money. Try renting instead of buying any expensive items, like a leaf blower, video camera, skis or snowblower, which you may only use once a year or occasionally. And try fixing things like a lamp, a lawnmower, or many of your home electronics instead of buying something new to replace it. When it comes to finding space in your budget, you can even look outside the box. October may not be the right time to convert your front lawn into a vegetable garden, but instead consider growing herbs indoors or do your own canning of local produce. If you are lucky enough to live in apple country, you can store some varieties all the way through winter.