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Nobody wants a recession, but to help make the best of what we’ve got, let’s toast these 10 good things about bad times.


1. Family dinners. Want to start a revolution? Try eating dinner together as a family.

2. Shorter lines at the pump. Especially true when gas was more than $4.00 a gallon.

3. Less junk mail. Since last October, credit card direct mail volume has dropped 19 percent.

4. More coupons. A recent survey found that 67% of Americans are likely to use coupons during a recession, regardless of their income.

5. Free fitness. When you ride a bike, walk to the bus stop or hoof it to the train station to commute to work, you get a free workout along with saving gas money.

6. Bargain SUVs. Prices of new and used SUVs and pickup trucks have plummeted.

7. Business startup opportunities. Wages are down, rents are cheaper, competition is scarce and the cost of goods and services can be found at a discount.

8. Growth in gardening. Regular gardening provides cardio and strength training, improves flexibility and relieves stress. And you’ll save money doing it yourself.

9. Musical inspiration. The climate would seem right for the emergence of new artists who can rekindle passion and urgency in American music.

10. New perspectives. This is a great time to reflect and reassess the true meaning and goals of our lives.

— By Jay MacDonald, contributing editor • Bankrate.com