Solutions for Hard Financial Times

Sunday, May 10, 2009

During these difficult economic times, are you focusing on the problems and concerned about the future? Do you feel hopeless, helpless, or powerless? Worrying or becoming stressed about the situation will not help you feel powerful or happy. In fact, they can make you ill and then you may have doctor and drug bills.

Good news! You can open to new possibilities and feel empowered by taking positive actions. The following are 12 ideas to improve your financial situation and mental state.

1. Explore new ways to earn money by brainstorming with others, or by yourself. Let your unlimited creativity flow by recording whatever ideas come to you. Then plan your actions and follow through. For example, invent something, start a new needed business, discount your services, or offer more of your marketable skills.

2. Make a budget and notice where some of your spending will need an adjustment. For example, instead of going out to dinner with friends, invite them over for a potluck. It is economical and fun when everyone brings a dish, drink, or desert to share.

3. If you have more time now, you can use it wisely. Some ideas are to read an inspirational or self-help book, listen to a soothing, or self-help CD, or study a new skill or career.

4. Rent an inspirational DVD with others and share the cost and refreshments. Then discuss how you all benefited from it, and what new actions or solutions come to mind.

5. Feel good by volunteering your time, energy, and/or expertise. Some examples are to help children in reading or math, walk the dog of an elderly or sick person, and volunteer to help out in a senior home or food bank.

6. Save money by car pooling to work, events, and shopping. Ride a bike or use public transportation.

7. Set your intent to learn how to cook and prepare healthy food. This can help your family and you save a lot of money on drugs and doctor bills.

8. Ask for energy, time, and skill exchanges. For example, help someone with their computer in exchange for a massage or babysitting.

9. Save money on babysitters by taking turns with other responsible families.

10. For recreation, invite others to play fun games such as charades, monopoly, and trivia.

11. Physical exercise can help you be healthy, and feel emotionally better. Invite your friends and/or family to join your work-out to a yoga or aerobics DVD.

12. Laughter is very healing. Watch funny movies, have a tell-a-joke social event, or read funny books.

In summary, focus on what you can do to be happy, healthy, and prosperous, and take positive action. What you focus on is what you will create. Realize that loving others and ourselves is a priceless, free gift. Be grateful for what you have, keep the faith that things will improve, and do what you can to make a difference.