Personal Finance FAQ Series: Do I Need to Care About the Economy?

About once a week, some big economic news comes out. Whether it’s GDP, unemployment, CPI, troubles with the Euro, or bank issues in Cyprus, something is happening.

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Find out by watching the video below. While you’re at it, you can get my 52 week Financial Game Plan by filling out the box right beneath this.

Do I Need to Care About the Economy?


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The transcript for this video follows below.

If you watch the news all of the time, then you’ll think that the sky is falling. Remember, it’s the job of the media to bring you stories which will keep your attention and keep you coming back for more. In order to do that, they have to come up with shocking headlines. Included in those are the headlines that the economy is bad, and that it will probably affect you.

Yes, times are tough. Unemployment is high. We’ve had bank bailouts, scandals, and crises, and while none of those are good news, the reality is that, in most cases, it won’t really affect you.

What does the CPI or the GDP numbers have to do with you personally? Very little. Still, if the media wasn’t making hay of it every night, there’d be nothing to get you to tune in to watch, and then they wouldn’t be able to sell advertising.

Instead of worrying about the economy, here’s what I recommend you do:

  • Work on improving your value to the marketplace. Just like real estate, personal economics are local. Whether or not there’s a coal miners’ strike in Walla Walla, Washington doesn’t really matter if you are a schoolteacher in Delaware. What does matter is how much value you can add for your employers or your customers. So, spend time every day working to educate yourself and to improve that value so that you can increase your job security or increase the chances of getting another job if something happens.
  • Get rid of your scarcity mindset. Someone else’s gain doesn’t mean your loss. Monkeys hoard bananas because they think that there is some limited number of bananas to be had. Take on a mindset of abundance and create and provide value in the world.
  • Turn off the television and stop reading the news. We get focused on things which we can’t change and increase the negative stress in our lives. Instead, focus on what you can change and what does matter to you. If something really big and important happens in the world, chances are that your neighbors will let you know about it. You won’t miss anything, and you’ll probably find that you have more time and less stress in your life.

If you focus on what you can control, then your own personal economy will be strong. Leave the rest of the economy to the news pundits to worry about.

What questions would you like to see me answer? Leave me a comment and let me know!

About Jason Hull, CFP®

Jason Hull, CFP®, is the Chief Technology officer of myFinancialAnswers, an online comprehensive financial planning service.

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