Hot for Teacher: What Has The Economy Taught Us

pic by mmmOU812 @ Flickr

Recent information indicates (to me, at least) that the U.S. is gearing up for a modest recovery. But can we sustain a recovery without learning critical economic lessons?

This upswing is perhaps part of a cyclical recovery pattern. Severe downturns lead to growth–because, basically, how far down can we go, right?

But, that’s not the vibe on Main Street. Most people think the economy is in the tank and will stay there for a long time. What’s with the disconnect?

One reason, our economy hasn’t appeared to come up with any solutions to the problems of the poor economy. We had the software revolution to lead us out of the 70s stagnation. We had the internet boom in the 90s.

But, I wonder whether folks at that time sense the economic shift. Perhaps I’m no better in isolating the next wave of creative construction that is dawning after this latest round of creative destruction.

What I do see is that more people are approaching finances with intelligence and discipline. We’re talking about saving and spending and investing in the right way.

This doesn’t mean we’re in for some shocks. The full weight of our current economic policy hasn’t been taken in. When will we pay back this huge debt? What will the effect of the new health care set-up?

While we can’t know for certain exactly where the economy is heading in the future, we can take the lessons from this downturn and prepare for any unexpected shifts.

Having an emergency fund is a good place to start.Creating multiple income sources is another. Saving and investing is perhaps the best way to keep your finances in order, no matter what economic winds are blowing. Finally, not spending like an idiot is a great lesson from the stern taskmaster that some are calling the Great Recession.

What about you? What lesson have you learned from the recession?