These last few days I have been giving some thoughts to the economy. First, let’s get something straight, I am no economist and have no real expertise in this area other than my personal experiences. Being a bit on the older side, I have seen the economy go through many different stages, from good to bad. But what I am watching today is quite strange.
Now I am judging the economy by the way it affects our family and friends. Because we as a family are fairly conservative in our spending, our family is not doing badly and everybody is working or retired. However, while gasoline prices are down we are being affected by the increased cost of food. Meat prices have really increased. A number of our friends are unemployed and are having a hard time. It is a very strange economy, the stock market is not doing well, but at the same time, gold and silver are down, oil is down, but food is up.
In our area, the number of homeless has taken a big jump I am seeing more all the time. They are starting to become a problem and petty theft and vandalism are up. Just yesterday, we came out of a business in a good part of town and there was a homeless person passed out on the sidewalk and another just sitting there.
When I was younger, you went to work for a company and worked for them for 30 years and retired with a company pension. Over the years, these pensions have disappeared as the companies moved overseas. In the future, I think it is going to harder for many people to get a decent retirement.
I see where Citi made the statement the other day that the US economy was in a death spiral. Personally I think the economy is going to continue to get worse. Now based on what I see I am going to make some suggestions that may help you.
10 steps to improve your personal economy
- First, stay out of debt if possible. Don’t give your money away by paying high interest to credit card or other companies.
- Every month regardless of what you make, try to strengthen your position, by saving either some money or adding to your preps, particularly food.
- If you owe money, pay if off, get out of debt, if you are over your head you may have to negotiate with lenders or go bankrupt. I have helped a couple of people negotiate with their credit card companies and they were able to settle for pennies on the dollar. Do it yourself and don’t use one of these companies that charge you to fix your credit.
- If you can’t afford it, don’t buy it, save your money until you can pay cash.
- You don’t always need new things; go to garage sales and thrift stores.
- Grow a garden, we always look to see which vegetable are the most expensive and then that is what we concentrate on.
- If you can afford it and have your preps fully stocked, you may want to purchase gold or silver as a hedge against inflation.
- Personally I recommend you stay out of the stock market. I know some people do well in it, but I like things I can touch and see, land is always a good investment if you buy it right. Know the market prices well and don’t over pay.
- Keep track of your money know where it goes. You might be surprised at how much gets wasted on small things. For example that cup of expensive coffee you buy everyday, or by not packing your own lunch.
- Before you drop that 30 to 50 dollars in a restaurant think about how much food that will buy you, and then go home and cook for yourself.
One more is that if you are a believer pay your tithing, it brings many blessings.
Now this list is by no means inclusive, it is just some suggestions from an old man, but I think if you follow them, you will help your personal economy and be able to weather hard times in better shape.