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I always talk about how there’s a silver lining in everything. Some of you find it annoying. Some of you just simply don’t believe it. Well, I’m about to do it again. I’m about to show you 5 ways that this crappy economy has been a blessing in disguise.

1. Learning to Live Within Your Means

It’s pretty hard to blow lots of cash, make your minimum online credit cards payment, and buy that new sports car when you have no money. While I agree it’s not the best way, one of the most effective ways to teach people how to be more frugal and live within their meansis to live through a recession like the one we’re in now. More and more we’re becoming a hyper-consuming culture, and this economic downturn has been a huge wake-up call for a lot of people. There will always be those who never learn, but for many, the lessons learned throughout these past several years are ones they won’t soon forget.

2. A House As An Investment… Not So Much

Considering a large part of the economic downturn has had to do with housing, lots of people are now beginning to understand that owning a house may not be the best investment after all. It’s still possible to make money in the Real Estate market, but not for those that don’t do their homework or aren’t willing to take as much risk as is actually required. It’s like this: would you put 90% of your money in the stock market at age 64, one year before you retire? No? Then why would you put $1300 worth of mortgage payments into one type of asset (your house), leaving you with a small amount of money, if any, you might use to invest elsewhere? That doesn’t sound too diversified to me. 

3. Being Downsized Is An Opportunity

Call it what you will, being laid off, becoming a victim of downsizing, or plain ol’ gettin’ canned (being fired), but all of these things can be opportunities in disguise. Just like my guest post at PTMoney explains, instead of seeing the loss of a job as a horrible, terrible, earth-shattering thing (not that it isn’t), instead choose to see it as a chance to find something you enjoy doing more than that last job. Maybe take this time to start that business you’ve always dreamed of, or maybe just take a little time to figure out exactly what you want to do. Either way, you’ll have to figure out something, might as well make it something you’ll be happy about.

4. Recognition of Job Performance

On the other side of the coin, if you were lucky enough to have retained your job, chances are your employer still had to tighten his belt a little and makes some cuts somewhere, possibly including some of your co-workers. This means a couple of things. One, if you didn’t get fired, then you’re probably one of the more vital employees. Two, you’re now more visible, and there are more opportunities for you to make your mark and show off those awesome ideas you’ve had bouncing around in your mind. Three, the chances that your boss and coworkers will have a general feeling of appreciation towards you simply because you really stepped up during this hard time is pretty high, which results is a little social capital come performance and evaluation time. 

 5. Economic Ha rdships… Bringing Families Together Since 2007

Sometimes difficult situations can tear relationships apart, but more often than not they can emerge through the fires of the forge as stronger, more resilient relationships.  This applies to families, business relationships, marriages, and even simple friendships. Having a common enemy and a shared issue (the crappy economy), is part of it, but simply taking some time to realize what you’d have if you didn’t have any money or belongings at all, and to reflect on what’s really important can do absolute wonders.
Have any other suggestions as to how this current economic climate can be looked at in a positive light? Share your comments here.