1) STOP STRESSING OUT
What do you have to lose by taking a little time to just breathe or block the world out for a moment? Times are rough for a lot of people right now and they tend to communicate that to many others virally creating a deeper emotional depression for all those who will listen. The key here is to "STOP LISTENING" for ten or twenty minutes a day. More importantly, stop thinking about those bills, the broken stove, little Susie's braces … whatever. Have a cup of tea in your closet if you have to and think of something or a time when you were pretty worry-free. The world doesn't stop when you do, but sometimes you just have to let it go ahead for a second.
2) PICK UP A CAUSE
When my siblings and I would complain about how tough times were, mom in her great wisdom would always remind us "there is always someone worse off than you, be happy". Try volunteering a couple of hours a week at a charity or coach your kid's soccer team. It gives you something different to fight for, focusing your energy on finding a solution with the Cancer Society, American Diabetes Association, local church groups etc. You think things are tough on you? Try being that kid dying of cancer then moan about your late car payment.
3) CLEAN HOUSE
Clear through all the crap you've accumulated over the past few years and have a garage sale, hell through it all on E-bay. You'd be amazed how much you can make on a regular basis. There's a market for just about anything out there even that retarded beer bottle collection from college. My loving wife made almost a thousand dollars selling off old baby clothes, magazines and knick knacks that were just taking up space. It's funny how we moved from an 1100 square foot apartment to a house double the size and filled it with stuff in less than a year!
4) START A BUSINESS
Okay, not everybody's cut out to run Microsoft or Google, but may be you can expand your E bay tactics to blossom into something more consistent. The girlfriend of a good buddy made over $ 3000 a month reselling "great deals" like antiques, odd art and anything she found cute. If you are any good around the kitchen, try opening a small catering business — what can you do with an extra $ 500 a month? Auto insurance, gas, credit cards, invest may be?
5) USE THE GOVERNMENT
Federal and local governments have numerous programs to help with food, utility bills, and daycare expenses. As person who has lived through every strata of society (filthy rich to welfare and back within my first twenty years of life), I can honestly say it's better to have money than not. The key is if you have fallen on hard times you can't be too proud to ask for help to feed your kids. What the hell good are you if you can't feed your family?
May be you don't qualify or want to apply for these programs, fine. By forming a business (as easy as becoming a sole proprietor) you could take advantage of countless deductions and expenses allowed in the federal tax code to increase your return. Please consult your tax advisor about your particular situation.
6) TURN OFF YOUR LOCAL NEWS
Outside of the weather report your local newscast is full of useless, negative junk that warns of how your lawn can give you herpes- yeah, I said it. On occasion it has a cute story about rescuing a cat out of a tree. How the hell does that help your financial situation ?! Turn it off. The average middle-class citizen watches around an hour of local news a day. What can you do with the extra seven hours a week? May be do that charity work? May be work on that business?
This was a tough one for me to get back into. I can hear the excuses already — "I don't have the time", "whose going to watch the kids", "I'm too tired by the time I get out of work". Absolute, utter BS
Get off your assets and hit the gym for god's sake, for your sake. If you can make time to text, gossip, surf the net every day then you can spend 30 minutes to save your life and be around to enjoy your family when we get out of this supposed recession.
It could be as simple as taking the kids for a walk with the dog for 45 minutes twice or three times a week. You're too tired at the end of work because you don't exercise. The reason your spouse would rather hang out with his / her buddies instead of cuddling with you is because you've both gained 40lbs sitting on your couch watching CSI New Brunswick rather than jogging together.
This author was a power lifter for years before falling into the "I'm too busy trap". Been there, done that. Trust, it's even tougher for a former athlete to restart, it's a mental recovery thing. No one is saying become an Olympic track star; just get off your ass.
7.19) READ DAMN IT!
If you're so worried about your finances answer this question: When was the last time you picked up a Wall Street Journal, Money section of your local paper instead of the sports section? I heard somewhere 1 in 10 houses in the America is in foreclosure. How many of those people read their mortgage paperwork cover to cover? Have you? Love it or hate it those who hold the knowledge hold the world. Bottom line is financial knowledge equals financial power. You don't have to become an economic researcher, just pick something up. You're wondering why your 401k dropped 50% this week, yet you haven't looked up what any of the funds are invested in to make a profit. Do you know what a fund is? What's diversification really mean? READ SOMETHING!
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