With all the campaign rhetoric and Wall Street hustle out there, it's a bit hard to sift through and get a good feel for what's going on. My own sense is that on a global level, the U.S. is doing moderately well, but the European Union and China (our biggest trading partners) are sluggish. This has a negative affect on the U.S. So, things are okay for the national economy (but just okay).
Problem is, people live in neighborhoods, not in the nation as a whole. An individual's experience for the economic recovery has more to do with what he/she is facing in their own community and family than whatever the national pollsters are saying. Some regions/sectors/families are feeling recovery. Some are feeling malaise, even depression.
What to do? If you are in a tough economic circumstance, try to plan for the present AND for the future. Maybe there are some smart moves you can make today to help things out a bit. But the biggest changes to your life will take several years to reach fruition. Make a simple plan, remember to be flexible, then follow through. I know it's not as easy as I make it sound, but what choice do you have other than seeing things through?
Also, get creative. If you are looking and looking for a job, maybe you have to keep that up. But, in the meantime, is there any way to use your existing skills to make a few bucks? Can you: sew, do odd jobs, teach Spanish/French/German, teach guitar, tutor neighborhood kids in math, mow lawns, paint houses, run errands for elderly, teach basic computer skills, babysit, elder sit, etc.? My point is that most people have skills that they aren't valuing or "selling." Maybe you could make $100 a week selling your skills. Would $400 extra dollars a month help pay the bills?
Hang in there. Make a plan. Get creative. Hang in there.
Oh, and have some fun too.