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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Personal Opportunities for a Bad Economy

Things are tight for many of us. We have bought cars and houses that require payments. We have lived on the edge. Now, we are pulling back in case the money gets really tight. Many of us could lose their jobs or already have. Does that mean our lives have to be mundane? Do we hold our breaths until things get better?

No, we look for the opportunities right in front of us.

So, we don't go to the movies because of the expense. We rent movies and stay at home. We pop our own popcorn and buy the milk duds at Sam's. We pour our own soft drinks and talk as much as we would like during the movie. (Somebody has the opportunity of creating a movie sharing website. This way we could share our movies with others and not even spend the rental fee.)

So, we don't go somewhere exotic for vacation. We look for the local things that tourists come to see in our area. I lived in Nashville for years before I went to the Country Music Hall of Fame. I lived there for years before I went to the Hermitage. People were coming to Nashville every week to go to these places. I could have gone any day. Sometimes the best vacation is in our own back yard. You save the gas and hotel expenses. You spend the money to eat out so that it still seems like a vacation.

So, you suspend your membership at the health club (Don't cancel it or you will have to pay the initial fees again when you go back). You take walks with your spouse. It is just as good of a exercise program and it might pay back with special dividends in your relationship.

So, you don't buy the new video games. It is hard to imagine but families used to play games together. They can do so with dominoes and cards. These games are more social and interactive. They will help in the "relationship with your children" department too.

So, you don't take your kids to soccer, piano, ballet and baseball. You choose the best of the activities and leave all the others. Your children will get the opportunity of getting to know the other children in your neighborhood. They will be creative in the games they will create. They will have time for spiritual matters, like church, and may open up conversations about those things and many others with you.

So, you plan for meals at home. You no longer have to pick up your kids from daycare, have them eat the McDonald's meal in the minivan as you drive them to their next practice. You have given up some of those activities and you can actually go home and have dinner together as a family. You won't just save money; you will get to know your family.

This bad economy could actually make our families much stronger. It could make us re-evaluate what is really important. It could make us stop adding activities to our lives which have hurried us but have not truly enhanced our lives. It could make us sane again.

Look for the personal opportunities in this bad economy. You might find that you don't want to quit what you have found even after the economy improves.

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