Surviving Today's Tough Economic Times Unfortunately, everyone knows someone who has lost their job, their house, and/or their savings in the past few years. Bankruptcy and foreclosure rates are climbing. For every story you hear about, there are two or more on the verge. For some, every paycheck without a pink slip feels like a day of celebration. Filling up the gas tank in your car is costing double what it did just a few years ago. You can now spend $50 at the grocery store and walk out with less than a full tiny plastic bag of necessities. The house you fell in love with 5 years ago and got such a great deal on back then is now not even worth what you still owe on it. Times are tough and "the light at the end of the tunnel" is very far away if we can see it at all. What is a person supposed to do to survive? First, no matter how bad your situation is at the moment, there are others that have it worse than you. Something must be working for you. Second, realize that your survival is dependent on you and what you do to improve your situation. Third, be grateful for what you do have. Are you hungry? Do you have a place to sleep? Do you have a job? Can you cash your paycheck? Are your loved ones OK? If you have to without something you want for a while to get something you need, so be it. Fourth, share the good things in you life with others. "Misery loves company" is a destructive way to live. Positive energy brings happiness and peace into our lives. Embrace what is good in your life; share the good with others and it will return to you ten fold. This is the best attitude adjustment you can do to survive. Once you get your attitude adjusted, you can begin to plan, develop, and implement opportunities to bring more money into your life. Here is a short list of what I have done in my life over the last few years to get you to start thinking about what you could do for your situation: Clean out the clutter - You probably have hundreds of dollars in unused electronics, clothing, toys, and collectibles that are just buried away collecting dust. Have a yard sale, put things on Craigslist or take them to a consignment store. A cleaner environment is a breath of fresh air and a fuller wallet. Get a part-time job for a few nights a week to earn a little extra cash. If you do great work, you might get a better offer than your current employer. If you have a special skill or talent that others might be willing to pay you for, advertise on Craigslist or on bulletin boards. For example, a teacher can be a private tutor, a laborer can do lawn work or paint a house, a computer buff could teach a novice how to crop pictures or surf the internet, a bookkeeper could do a small business' books, or a stay-at-home mom could babysit another child or cook dinner for a working mom. Learn a new skill with the help of the Internet - You have a computer with Internet access if you are reading this article, use it to better yourself and make some money. Practice designing websites and then offer your services to others, write articles about what you know and submit them for publication, or become an expert on some new device or technology and offer others your expertise for a fee. Many of the large corporation of today were started during downturns in the economy. Walt Disney Corporation began during the recession in 1923-24. Hewlett-Packard Corporation began in 1938 during the Great Depression. Microsoft Corporation began during the 1975 recession. So even if things get worse, there is still hope that whatever you do that will help in your surviving today's tough economic times will be successful.