The years around the 1930s were a dark period for America. The era known as The Great Recession was one of the worst worse economic collapses in the country’s history, leading to widespread job losses and poverty. Average wages dropped 60%, and many industries ceased production. This was combined with severe droughts that turned the life of everyone upside down.
These difficult times required people to adapt. While things are much different today, with social programs available to help carry some of the burden until a worker can find a new job, it’s essential not to forget that terrible times can strike almost anytime. Just look at the recession and housing market collapse in 2008, or 2020 with the COVID-19 outbreak.
But we aren’t here to talk about economic loss. Instead, we will study a few lessons that people learned during the Great Depression that you can apply to daily life and during times of hardship.
Recycle and Reuse
Put your creativity cap on! Don’t spend money on new things when you can reuse old fabrics, buttons, furniture, and a lot more to craft new interior decor and clothing, such as rags, furniture upholstery, handkerchiefs, artwork, and so on! Disposable bottles and boxes can be used for storage purposes. Following this can help you to save a lot of money that you can then put into saving. Ideally, you have at least six months of emergency savings; some recommend as much as 12 months!
Check on Your Neighbors
During The Great Depression, communities formed to support one another. People worked to make sure that their neighbors didn’t go hungry or needed something they had lying around and not in use. In times of great crises, these communities provide emotional and financial support. Similarly, it would be best to take care of the ones who are less privileged than you.
Everyone’s guilty of spending extra on luxuries, from ordering food from a restaurant to overbuying and throwing out the excess, to paying for conveniences such as washing your car or mowing the lawn yard. It’s time to take responsibility for your actions and think about the savings you could enjoy if you performed the chores for yourself. Not only will it save money, but it will help you to change your relationship with money.
One of the greatest lessons from The Great Depression is to stay positive and be proud of where you come from. When life throws lemons at you, make lemonade. During The Great Depression, people found happiness in the smallest of things, be it spending time with their loved ones, watching a movie, reading books, or learning a new skill.
You should avoid debt like the plague because once you find yourself in debt, there is no way back. If you think that you can pay off debts in the future, you might be wrong because it takes a lot of patience and effort to get out of it. You need to take charge of your finances and list all the debts you have, starting from the lowest to largest. Know the golden rule: buy only what you need and can afford!
These are just a few lessons you can apply to daily life. You could call The Great Depression a major failure for America. Thankfully, many people learned from that experience, and the country was able to move forward.