10 Lessons We Can All Learn From the Great Depression

Lessons We Can All Learn From the Great Depression

In difficult times, we need to learn difficult lessons. These lessons will shape how we react to difficult situations when they occur in the future. The great depression that happened around the 1930s was a difficult and trying time for many.

Many people couldn’t afford the Luxury they were used to; others had to abandon their careers in search of jobs that would provide a stable source of income, while the majority had to cut down on their budgets to adapt to the tough situation.

Want to know all the lessons we have learned from the great depression and how they can be valuable now? Read below.

Grow your Food

The term “depression garden” was very popular during the great depression. This was because people had to grow their food in a backyard garden to save a few pennies. The food grown in the backyard gardens during the great depression consisted mostly of vegetables.

Currently, most people take gardening as a hobby instead of a way to save money. However, growing your food is a great way of saving money and one of the important lessons from the great depression.

Do it Yourself

Do you know you can make clothes and other things that are essential in the home yourself? That’s another important lesson we have learned from the event that occurred during the 1930s. During the great depression, people made clothes from sacks. But that’s not all.

Children’s toys and other necessities were made using stuff that was lying around. Presently, you can adopt this lesson by learning how to make your cleaning tools, soaps, and other important things you can use in the home. Besides helping you save money, adopting this lesson will ensure you don’t shop for basic things, you can make yourself.

Fix it Yourself

In the age of the great depression, many people saved money by fixing their worn clothes themselves instead of getting new clothes. In addition, they used cardboard and new soles to fix their old shoes.

This process of fixing their worn-out pieces of clothing and shoes continued until they could no longer fix them and had to throw them out. You can adapt this lesson today by learning how to fix little things around your house. It may be how to change a leaking shower head or how to unclog a pipe.

Fortunately, thousands of YouTube videos will teach you how to fix things yourself without hiring a professional. Aside from helping you conserve a lot of money, you also get to have fun while learning how to fix things.


Before throwing out that stuff, go through them and pick the ones, you could reuse for other purposes. This practice was adopted during the great depression, and it led to a reduction in wastage and an increase in improvising ways new problems could be solved using old stuff.

For example, worn-out clothes were used to create rugs and rags meant for cleaning. In addition, old tires were used as flower beds in the backyard garden. Interestingly, the modern times we are in don’t encourage us to be creative by learning how to reuse our old stuff.

However, you can spend less and become more creative by finding out how your old stuff can be reused.

Go for Quality Products

Even during the great depression where people were looking for various ways to cut down costs and save money, quality was preferred over quantity. Nobody wanted to waste money buying stuff that wouldn’t last.

Interestingly, some people were even willing to pay a bit more as long as the product they were buying is guaranteed to last for a long period. Even though quality products are hard to find, you can try saving a little until you’re able to afford them.

Don’t Go for Luxury

In this modern era, everyone hopes to be comfortable, including you. However, a lesson we have learned from the great depression is that convenience is not always key. Instead of eating out, you could prepare your food. Besides helping you to save money, it also ensures you are eating healthy. But that’s not all.

You can think about the little luxuries you enjoy and then decide on the ones you can do without or look for a budget-friendly alternative.

Go for Cheap Entertainment

Most people don’t hold back when it comes to paying for something they love.

However, paying a lot of money to streaming services or amusement parks just to be entertained and catch some fun isn’t the way to go. During the great depression, radio shows and board games were used for entertainment.

You can adopt this great lesson by keeping track of the money you spend on entertainment and finding ways to spend less.

Be Open to Switching Careers

During the great depression, many people had to abandon their careers to seek better employment opportunities. They didn’t care about the jobs they did as long as it was legal and they could care for their families. If you are tying your identity to a particular career, then it is time you have a change of thought.

This is because many companies need workers with little or no experience in the field. In other words, don’t be afraid to leave your career and go in search of other jobs that would guarantee you a stable income.

Avoid Borrowing

People living far above their means is one of the major factors that led to the great depression that occurred in the 1930s. It soon became an important lesson that borrowing to do things you can’t afford is a bad idea.

In difficult situations, you need to cut down on your expenses, create a budget you can stick to, and find other ways to save money. Borrowing money during a difficult time is not a nice idea as you will incur a lot of debt. However, if you are already in debt, do your possible best to settle them so you can maintain a debt-free life.

Be Positive

Even when people had nothing during the depression, they tried to remain positive by keeping their environments clean and high spirits. They found easy and cheap ways to have fun so they could forget their present condition for a little while.

This is another great lesson to be gotten from the depression. Having the right mindset during a difficult situation can work wonders.

Knowing that this too shall pass may be all you need to survive the difficult time.


The lessons discussed in this article and many more are what we’ve learned from the great depression. Interestingly, these lessons are still valuable even in the modern area. In addition, they can be of great benefit if practiced currently.

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