It all seems so overwhelming. The economy is a sinking ship. Everyone is losing their job so it seems. We're all going to be poor! And to top it off, Democrats and Republicans can only agree that Billions (800 of them) must be spent in order to save us.
We all know that borrowing more money (to solve a problem caused by borrowing too much money) wont work and neither will printing money. Long term both solutions require higher taxes on our children and increased devaluation of our savings. That is, if we are lucky enough to have savings!
But we're not helpless! That's right! You the average citizen can help save the country even while Senators and Presidents are busy trying to ruin us as quickly as possible.
- Refuse to let the news affect your well being. Keep up your productivity, creativity and hard work. Keep investing, saving for the future, learning and above all spending time doing things you love with people you love. If you become part of a negative statistic, work hard to turn it into a positive one!
- Pay off your debts and refuse to live a high risk lifestyle by purchasing from a surplus and not a deficit. Being debt free not only gives you a 10-20% discount on everything you buy (no debt = no interest payment), but also lowers your interest rate on things you might consider going into debt for in the long term, like a house.
- When you buy, buy local. Money spent in the local economy has a much higher chance of coming back to you.
- Repair, don't upgrade. If you want to stimulate the economy, the best way to do so is through wages. When a product, like repairs, consists mostly of repairs it enters the economy (especially the local economy) much more quickly. Repairs are not only labor intensive, but also save money for you in the long term.
- Donate to charities. Giving frees you up from the focus on getting more. If you aren't focused on more, you may start to be focused on actual productive activities. And besides, charities are a great way to release money into the economy... they have no problem spending it on the services that stimulate an economy the most.
- Give your time to folks with special needs, mental health issues or just plain disabled people. Mental health issues not only impact 1 person's life but 100's of other's who help care for them. Special needs are a fact of the world. Helping them out is to give them the ability to reallocate their resources elsewhere.
- Rake an old person's lawn, or help them fix their house. It's extremely expensive to live in a retirement center and most older people can't afford it. What if instead of giving all their money to a retirement home an older person could spend it elsewhere in the economy?
- Help prevent substance abuse. Have a young friend who is soon to be hooked on drugs? Hundreds of people are negatively impacted financially and emotionally by 1 substance abuser. Not to mention that it's hard to be productive when you're wasted. Do your part and help others to say no.
- Repair your marriage. Divorce and relational hardship are a huge drag on an economy. Not only does it cost money in legal fees, but it costs productivity, creativity, energy and emotional pain for years in both you, your ex-spouse and your children.
- Participate in friendships. From carpooling, and networking to splitting vacation costs, free entertainment and above all... joy ... friendships are a must for economic stimulation.
Above all, keep in mind that economics is not about the exchange and getting of money, it's the exchange and getting of things that we desire and need. Not all things can be purchased! So let's get out there and stimulate our economy in whatever way we can!
- debt is extremely risky because of the default effect. When just a few payments are missed the interest rates default to the maximum allowable rate drastically increasing the risk of bankruptcy [↩]