1. Go on a date. Most people overlook the little things that people can do to improve the economy around them. Your community thrives by money flowing from person to person and an economic downturn happens when that stops. You may not have the money to go out and splurge on the big ticket items, but any amount of money flow goes a long way if everyone is doing it. Reconnecting with your spouse through dinner and a movie will also stimulate more than just your local vendors!

2. Go on vacation. President Obama recently said that taking a trip to Las Vegas is irresponsible when the economy is down, and that immediately put thousands of people in Las Vegas out of work. Travel and tourism usually takes the biggest hit when things are bad, but that also means they are offering great deals for anyone who wants to take a trip. Vacation costs more than a date, but not as much as it usually does and you may be saving a few jobs all by yourself. If you have the money to get away there isn’t a better time than right now, and you can do it for a good cause as well.

3. Buy something from another person. Many people need to downsize their own household right now, so they are trying to sell a lot of things they don’t really need. You can but these items for unbelievable prices and you will be helping them out at the same time. They say one man’s trash is another man’s treasure; and with the economy down right now, you may be helping them pay their mortgage this month. Some people feel bad when they see someone selling personal items because they need the money, but I see it as initiative to survive. Doing whatever it takes to meet your obligations is a valuable skill that more people should learn, and they will be stronger when they come out the other side.

4. Invest in something. Stocks have been down at levels we have not seen in more than a decade. If you are a long term investor, you won’t see a better situation for decades to come. No one can tell you if the stock market is done going down or not, but if you are investing for the long term; I can tell you with 99% certainty that the stock market will be higher in ten years. Many businesses out there are good companies that need your investment money to grow and expand, and ultimately, to hire new employees and pay more in taxes.

5. Start a business. This is the all time number one thing anyone can do to help the economy and everyone around them. When the economy is down, large companies are laying people off and small business is doing all of the job creation. I chose to start an Ameriplan business, because it helps people with high healthcare costs and it allows me to generate an extra income for my family. If your business has a strong base, you can begin to hire new employees and help provide for their families as well. Businesses provide the majority of economic growth, and the big businesses of tomorrow are starting right now.

Saving money isn’t a bad thing; in fact it’s a necessity for any responsible family to do to ensure a good quality of life. The problem occurs when everyone stops spending all together and starts saving everything they have. Businesses can’t survive in this climate so they begin laying people off and the downward spiral continues. Giving to charity and helping the poor is a noble cause; but unless we all begin to spend something again, we will all need someone else to donate to us! Get out there and help your community and your fellow Americans, by doing something for yourself.

I have been working with Ameriplan Insurance; health and dental discount programs for several years now. During that time, healthcare has declined and become more expensive; but there are solutions.

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