Sunday, April 6, 2008


Stock market goes up; stock market down. Gas prices go up; employment down. Oil corporations get richer; average folk getting poorer. Food prices are up; energy costs are up, mortgage foreclosures are up, consumer confidence is way down. Does all of this sound familiar? While economic “experts” debate about the possibility of recession, millions are living a recession. The question is, why? There is ample energy in the world; food is plentiful; there is more than enough money; so much needs to be done there is no reason for people to be unemployed or underemployed. So what gives?

The government, economists and big business is imbuing the public with a sense of defeat. While the few are making their billions, they continue to insist that there is not enough to “go around.” Argue for your limitations and they are yours. We are at a point where the consumer can strike back with the power of their hard earned dollars and show all of the economic gurus that they are wrong. There are no “laws of economics.” You believe there are because that is what you are taught, but the truth of the matter is that what you believe, you manifest. We are all subject to the same events, yet some are having no problems while others are struggling to make ends meet in “these tough economic times.” People must come to understand that times are tough because that is what you believe.

Since so many people believe oil prices will go up; that money is scarce; that food may be hard to come by; that banks will foreclose; that jobs will be lost and that we may have to fight our way out this so called mess, that is the way it will be. Form follows thought. So what is the average person to do? How can you keep your eye on the prize while the winds of change seem unstoppable? The following are just a few ways to beat the system that seems intent on breaking your economic back.

1. The first thing to do is to not buy into all of the economic “doom and gloom.” If you think that things are getting rough, they will get rough.
2. The next thing you want to do is to truly evaluate all of the garbage that you have been wasting money on. It is obvious that we have been in a buy, use and throw away state of mind. This way of living is not sustainable and no longer acceptable. You are bombarded daily with commercials that want you to spend your money on things that you really do not need. Stop watching commercials.
3. Buy basic! I am not talking sacrifice; I am talking about living a healthy and less expensive lifestyle. Look at your cupboards and all of the junk food that is only killing you and your children. You do not need expensive, sugar filled cereals. You do not need all of the junk treats that are clogging your arteries and making you and your children fat. You do not need all of the sweets. Buy basic, healthy food and you will find it more nutritious and more filling. I will not list brands but your basic whole grain cereals, without the color and sugar added; real bread that is more filling; less prepared foods-they are expensive and not good for you. Make your own. A can of tomato sauce that you spice yourself for pasta is half the cost of prepared sauces. Frozen foods must go. Make your own and it will be cheaper. Get the family involved in food preparation and maybe actually talk to your children.
4. Get off of the meat kick. Meats are expensive and should not be the mainstay of your diet. Cut back and be healthier and if you must, buy no hormone meats. They may cost a little more but they will make you feel better. Use recipes that include some meat but which add vegetables and it will go a lot further.
5. You do not need all of those snack foods in the house. Again, this is not a sacrifice, it is common sense. Forget what your children demand. Make real popcorn, use fruit for snacks and get the sugar out of your diet.
6. Eliminate soda. Neither you nor your children need it and it is not good for you. Water works just fine. Cut back a little each week and watch how you feel better and watch your dollar go further.
7. Forget the latest fashion. Dress basic. You do not need to constantly purchase new clothes just because fashion changes. All you are doing is making someone else rich, at your expense. You are better off buying quality that lasts than buying cheap clothes that do not hold up.
8. Reduce unnecessary driving and save gas. If people do not show up to events, sports, or other social functions because of the cost of gas, maybe someone will get the hint.
9. Rent the movie, don’t go to one. The cost of movie theaters and the food that they sell are ridiculous. This is just wasted money.
10. Live differently. Forget how others say you should live and go with what your instincts say. A more natural life is a less expensive life. Stop mindless consuming and buy what makes sense. Your money can change the way business does business. Don’t buy what “they” say you need, buy what you really need and watch your expenses shrink.

The so called “economic crisis” that we seem to be in is self induced. The banks and lenders did not have to raise rates. They did not have to make loans to people they knew were not financially sound. Oil prices did not have to skyrocket. Consumers did not have to waste millions on junk. We did not have to settle for poor quality and products that polluted the environment. What we have done by default, can be undone by conscious choice. Consumers can make its own “course correction” and by their action create an economy that is sustainable, efficient, environmentally compatible and logical.

The tips offered are just a beginning. If you are loosing your home, let it go if it was truly out of your reach. Use this as an opportunity to re-think your priorities, the way you live, the way you spend your money. Use this as an opportunity to re-shape your world into one that makes sense to you, and not one created by the latest commercials that would have you give all to line the pockets of those who have much. Buy a few less beers, eat healthier foods, get off the sugar habit, stand up to wasteful buying, ignore the adds and take control of your life.

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