- Go to the pumpkin patch with your family and friends. The new economy is centered around localizing industries, including food production. Get out to the family farms, pick some pie apples, pears, and the perfect pumpkin for that one design you saw on Pinterest. Fall asleep tuckered out and remember that your choice helped many local families put food on the table through the winter months. Don’t know where to go? Find local farms through this awesome web tool.
- Scope out local boutiques for holiday gifts. Vow to shop locally this holiday season and you’ll do far more than just find a great scarf for your mother-in-law. Due to the multiplier effect, you’ll be investing in your local economy while doing your annual shopping that you’d be doing anyway. Start scoping out local businesses soon, though: a unique selection means you have to act quickly if you want that brooch for your aunt (or yourself). Don’t know where to go? Fall is a great time of year for a stroll through your friendly neighborhood commercial district!
- Move your money to a credit union. Moving your money to a credit union decentralizes our fragile banking system just a little bit more and encourages a more resilient economy. Every little bit counts! Credit unions aren’t known to charge ridiculous fees and they usually have great kids programs, too. (This might have to wait until next week, but it’s worth doing and definitely worth noting here!) Can’t choose one or don’t know where to start? Try this credit union directory.
- Barter with your neighbors. Does your elderly neighbor need his tires swapped for his winter set? Do you need your lawn mower serviced? Trade services! Does your kid refuse to eat nothing but peaches? Does your neighbor can their own peaches and happen to have an extra 9 cans? (That’s the reality of canning, people.) Do they envy your dusty hedge trimmer that you vowed to use every week last spring? Trade goods! Bartering can be really fun! You can sometimes even convince local small businesses to barter with you. Nervous about bartering? Try this 5 Step Guide.
- Fix something. Mend something either yourself or have it fixed by a local repairman. Maintaining and fixing things rather than simply throwing them away and buying new ones is another great way to keep your local economy buzzing!
- Go to the last farmer’s markets of the year! The window is quickly closing to get convenient, cheap and local produce via farmer’s markets. Most markets end in October, so get to it! Don’t know where to go? Try searching this database.
- Consider renting out a room in your home. If you have a bedroom to spare, have a serious conversation with your family about the possibility of renting out a room to someone who may not be able to afford traditional housing arrangements. Affordable housing is a sincere issue in America and odds are, there’s a graduate student or independent elderly sweetheart that would be very grateful to be a guest in your home. Though you may lose some privacy, you can choose whoever you wish to be your tenant and their monthly contribution will help you whittle away at your mortgage a bit quicker than normal.