When your budget won't let you give gifts to everyone in the world—which is always, by the way—who should you give...
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Depending on which cable network you watch, you hear a different message every day. One talking head says the economy is getting better. Another talking head says the economy is getting worse. The only thing that seems to be clear is that many people are confused about the whole situation. Who can you believe?
Honestly, if you've got a job and you're doing things the right way, the economy shouldn't affect you. Now, if you're sick and tired of the same old nonsense from Washington, then use the power of your vote this Election Day and let your voice be heard. That's the best way you can make an impact on the national economy.
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But the powers-that-be in Washington move at a snail's pace. If you wait on them to fix your personal mess, you're probably going to wait a long time—as in, forever. That's why you'll have a lot more success if you take matters into your own hands.
You've got to make your own personal economy better, then you'll be able to stand tall no matter what's going on in Washington. The national economy won't affect you that much because you'll be insulated from all of the chaos that has the media talking heads worked up into a frenzy.
What does a healthy personal economy look like?
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First off, it definitely doesn't include credit card bills and car loans. We're talking about the basics of personal finance that Dave stresses every day: no debt, a full three to six months emergency fund, and college and retirement savings underway. Sadly, many people think the only way to get out of a hole that was created by borrowing money is to borrow more money! That's like saying the only way to beat a drug addiction is to take more drugs.
If our country focused less on borrowing and more on saving and investing, imagine how we could help ourselves and each other—which would help the economy! Let the media and the talking heads worry about whether or not the national economy is getting better. Your concern should be saving $1,000 for your baby emergency fund and getting that debt snowball moving.
You can't change the past and you can't predict the future. If you want to change your financial life, you've got to focus on where you are and what you're doing right now, today. Work your Baby Steps, and the national economy will take care of itself. Make your personal economy the best it can be!