The Great Depression of the late 1920s and 1930s was a reflection of high unemployment, staggering debt, and a collapsed stock market. The hardship that resulted has not been experienced by Americans since. Those at the time somehow lived through it, and will tell you lessons learned, including the following…
USE WHAT YOU’VE GOT
Find resources in unlikely places. Do not throw anything away. Find uses for things that otherwise would have been unnoticed. Pool your resources. Be practical about everything. Use space and resources wisely. Live and survive with less. Find multiple uses. Use cloth not paper. Waste not want not.
GROW YOUR OWN
Generate your own food in gardens to supplement your diet. Consider unlikely places for a garden like rooftops and vacant lots. Learn to preserve your harvest. Old wading pools can be re-purposed for planters as well as five gallon buckets. Think about lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers as meal stretchers.
CASH, NOT DEBT
Debt is a dirty word. Don’t dig yourself deeper in debt by using credit. Pay with currency that you have, and don’t borrow. Invest in your self, education is power. Own the things you need and not be owned by things for an affluent lifestyle. Borrowing money to fitter away on things is a good way to lose ones self.
MOVE IF YOU HAVE TO
You may have to move to where there is work. Some places have higher unemployment than others. Some places are safer than others. Red states that have reduced spending typically have higher unemployment. Look at standard of living when making decisions.
KNOW A DEAL WHEN YOU SEE IT
Cut spending by looking for deals. Buy only what you need and spend wisely. Learn to repair what you have instead of buying new. Recycle it for another purpose if unrepairable. Know what it takes to make a tool, grow a food, and make supplies.
ADAPT AND DIVERSIFY
You may have to change your business or your job. Learn skills that are more in demand for employment and those which can help you survive. Become flexible. There is no company loyalty or expectation of fair treatment in regard to benefits, wages, and retirement plans all are on the chopping block. This is true in public and private employment.
Communities that band together help each-other. There is power in numbers. Stick together for financial support, emotional support, better security and better production. This is bartering, and not some grand notion of socialism. There are safety in numbers and efficiency in the democratic processes.
Try not to worry. It will get better. Somehow. Optimism can move mountains.
“Tomorrow I could lose everything, but somehow I’m not afraid. I really am not.” Make every day matter by remembering them good times. Bake and break bread with your neighbors. Celebrate the ordinary day by sharing a good meal. Our economy is based on the good people that engage it. Our money’s worth is based on the belief that good people pay their debts and our government pays it’s debts. We have invented the gift economy and that currency is paying it forward.