Improve Your Individual Economy: Take the August Financial Excellence Challenge

04 Aug Improve Your Individual Economy: Take the August Financial Excellence Challenge

Time to rebuild the economy one household at a time

Rebuilding the Economy Starts with You.

Hey everyone,

As I mentioned in this week’s podcast (episode 71), I’m tired of waiting on the government to fix the economy or create jobs. As far as I’m concerned, the Government doesn’t create jobs. In fact, I think they do more harm than good 90% of the time. I don’t believe it’s the government’s responsibility to create jobs. Businesses create jobs by finding a need, filling the need, and growing profits so they can reinvest in the community by hiring more people or building new businesses that fill new needs.

According to the Small Business Administration (SBA) website, small businesses:

  • Represent 99.7 percent of all employer firms.
  • Employ just over half of all private sector employees.
  • Pay 44 percent of total U.S. private payroll.
  • Have generated 64 percent of net new jobs over the past 15 years.

It seems to me, if we want to grow the economy, we need to focus on small businesses. Supporting small businesses creates jobs, and that doesn’t start with the government. It doesn’t start with making credit more available to businesses so they can go deeper into debt, either. It starts with you and me.

Economic Call to Action

How do we grow the economy? First, we stop worrying about THE economy and start focusing on our individual household economies. When we improve the micro economy for our households, and we do it en masse, the big economy will take care of itself.

Creating and stimulating our individual economies can take many different forms. For some families it means paying off some debts to free up cash flow. For some it means building an emergency fund so they have money to spend if we see a double dip. Some families may sell some stuff – that puts more money in their pocket and also provides goods to someone else at a discount. Some may teach other families how to budget better or save money or get out of debt. Some people may take extra jobs to increase their income and buying power. And some may even identify a need and fill that need by starting a new business.

I’m not worried about the method; I’m looking for results. What can you do this month, this week, this day to shore up your personal financial situation? When you make your personal financial situation better, you’ve just stimulated your personal economy. Stimulating your personal economy means you’re in a better position to support businesses, which in turn creates jobs. It’s a trickle-up effect.

Take the Challenge

So are you up to the challenge? All you need to do is take one step toward improving your personal economy and let us know what that step is. Leave a comment below this post or join the discussion forum to talk about it. Let’s rebuild this economy, one household at a time!


  • Jeff @ Sustainable life blog
    Posted at 12:22h, 04 August

    I’m improving my personal economy by paying down debt!

    • Matt Wegner
      Posted at 14:54h, 04 August

      Awesome Jeff! That’ll free up cash in your economy to have an impact on someone else’s economy.

  • James L (P2PNoob) @ Peerform Blog
    Posted at 13:39h, 04 August

    “You have my sword!” (corny LOTR reference)

    Goal this week: Help write down and plan a family budget.

    • Matt Wegner
      Posted at 13:45h, 04 August

      Ooh, good goal. Great place to start James!

  • Jon White
    Posted at 15:22h, 04 August

    Matt, I’m on board brother. What my wife and I are doing to help our economy is figuring out what to do with our extra cash we had been saving when my wife was pregnant. Now that baby is back home and safe we have some extra money to budget with. I’m thinking about putting it on the mortgage! We’re also deciding what’s the best way to save for my son’s college. He got some money from his grandparents specifically for school and so we’re deciding the best way to invest it.

    Looking forward to seeing what others are doing!

    • Matt Wegner
      Posted at 15:41h, 04 August

      Nice! Saving for your son’s college education will totally rock HIS individual economy.

  • Miss T @ Prairie Eco-Thrifter
    Posted at 09:47h, 05 August

    We are trying to save more. We haven’t been doing as well as we would like the last while.

    • Matt Wegner
      Posted at 11:38h, 05 August

      We haven’t saved as much lately either Miss T, but we’re still on a balanced budget. No debt for us 🙂 The economists will say that everyone saving more will cause a deeper recession but I say doing what’s best for your household will ultimately be good for the economy.

  • Amanda L Grossman
    Posted at 11:19h, 05 August

    Good idea!

    We are budgeting so that we can sock even more away in the flailing stock market. We paid off our non-mortgage debt of $25,000 in 2010, have a full emergency fund, and are investing some income. The way that we are helping local businesses more is that now that we are out of debt and have a lot of breathing room we have upped both of our discretionary spending by a few hundred dollars per month. Last month we visited a local, family-owned Cuban restaurant and the food was wonderful!

    I guess we’re an example of what you are trying to communicate in this post.

    • Matt Wegner
      Posted at 11:37h, 05 August

      Awesome Amanda! That’s exactly what we’re talking about. It’s amazing how much more disposable income you have when you stay out of debt and keep an emergency fund in place. Great job!

  • Kim A
    Posted at 13:55h, 05 August

    I am most definitely on board…

    I am working through my situation and really

    educating my son through the process.

    I am passing this challenge on via facebook and email!!

    • Matt Wegner
      Posted at 14:13h, 05 August

      Thanks for your support Kim. You’re changing your son’s economy and his future. That’s cool!

  • Shawanda @ You Have More Than You Think
    Posted at 11:23h, 08 August

    I’m focusing on increasing the value of my blog by posting regular, high quality content. Additionally, I plan on modifying my apartment to increase income earned through services like Airbnb and Roomorama. These companies allow hosts to make additional money and travelers to save money. It’s not for everyone, but I think it’s awesome.

    • Matt Wegner
      Posted at 11:56h, 08 August

      I’d heard of Airbnb and Roomorama but haven’t checked them out yet. I’m curious to see how much extra money you end up bringing in from that.

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