How to Make the Best of a (Still) Troubled Economy

Depending on what source you cite, the economy is going one of two ways: up or still down. But it is more than a half full or half empty glass situation. A MarketWatch report from the Wall Street Journal gives us hope that blue skies and economy growth are ahead, reporting that “Washington is on track to pass budget bills to fund the government through the next two years and no new tax increases are coming down the pike.” What that means for us is more money in our wallets, which is ultimately the driving force of our economy. Yet, according to CNN Finance, one economist is somewhat less optimistic about this expected “growth.” While he says, yes, there is growth ahead, it will not be enough to increase wages for many Americans looking to cut back on vacation expenses and other discretionary spending.

An improving economy means growth, and growth means easier times ahead. But if you tend to gravitate towards the latter, it doesn’t necessarily mean there is no hope ahead. If you act cautiously and plan ahead, you can be prepared for whatever the economy brings this coming year. Without having to uproot your entire way of life, try some of the following tricks to make the best of the unpredictability of the economy.

Think Locally

As you pay attention to the national happenings and economical forecast, you certainly cannot forget about your local economy either. While local economies for the most part follow national trends, they affect the individual consumer–you–differently. Some states and cities are slow to feel the effects of growth and decline, while others are almost immediately affected.

No matter the shape of your local economy, the key to growth is spending. In order to keep the economy alive and see improvement, we have to spend money. Learn to shop economically to get the most bang for your buck. This means shopping around for off brand products, and paying into your local economy by looking for location-specific deals. Whether it is finding food at the farmers market, eating at local restaurants, finding mom and pop shops for your daily needs, or getting in on local TV deals, there are ways to save money while you spend it.

Play it Safe

Just because there is job growth and economic recovery plans in place, does not mean that we are out of the blue. There are other factors at play and risks that have many people up in arms about the future of our economy. Your best bet is to take precautionary measures to ensure that any change has little effect on you. You don’t have to give up your way of life because of troubling times. But here are smarter ways around it.

Whether you see growth or decline in the economy ahead, you should not let it deter you from your way of life. Before making any rash changes to your spending and finances, take the time to be informed. As long as you stay current and up to date with the goings on in the country, there are always ways to make the most of whatever situations arise. There is no telling which way the economy is going; so why not play it safe, hedge your bet and be ready for up or down.

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