Friday, December 12, 2008

Detroit, be proactive

In the midst of what seems to be one of the most trying times in our state’s economic history, it does not behoove us to sit back and mourn the loss of better days. The time has come for us to take the bull by the horns and get life as we know it back on track.
It can be done; it is just a matter of focus and determination. Applying simple rules of logic to your everyday lifestyle can improve your standards more than you ever thought possible.
For example: yes, we are in an automotive crisis and, yes, gas prices are going down, but car-pooling continues to be a very practical and cost-effective way to save money. Cooking at home, while more inconvenient for some, is still a sure-fire way to save a few extra bucks. And stop throwing out those leftovers! Find creative ways to use your leftovers to create new and exciting meals for your family – stews, soups and casseroles are just a few examples.
Take the clothes that you don’t wear anymore or that your children have grown out of and sell them through consignment shops or boutiques. And don’t be too proud to shop there as well.
The holidays are quickly approaching and if things are a little tight in your household come up with some creative gift-giving ideas for this year. Photos, videos and food gifts are always welcome by friends and family members, and not to mention easier on your wallet.
If you are facing the harsh reality of a possible layoff, begin thinking of creative ways to generate other streams of income for your household. Assess your skills and figure out how to make them work for you. If you can sew, do side jobs making or altering clothing for family and friends at discount prices. Personal shop for your busy acquaintances or go through those over-stuffed closets to find things that you don’t need, then pay a visit to your local pawn shop.
Just because the present may look a little bleak that does not mean that all hope is lost. Things are a little tough right now but they will get better. Struggle makes us stronger and much more appreciative of the good times. And it also teaches us how to better prepare ourselves for the next time hard times hit.
Don’t be discouraged. You can make it, you will make it. We will survive and things will get better. It may not happen overnight but a change will come. Weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning.

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