Individual households and businesses have a majority of their attention on how to cut expenses, but that will not improve your financial situation during a recession it will only ensure that you get further behind. You must find ways to increase revenue for your household and your business as this is the only way to improve your financial situation. The economy is not going to help you and the Government will not bail be able to bail out the common man.
It is critical that your money, energy, resources and time be invested in projects that have the potential to add to the revenue to your household or your company. If there is no potential to add revenue DO NOT do it. If it has the potential to drive revenue, sales, or income do it and do it over and over again.
Also do NOT pass on any opportunity to drive revenue even if you have to make allowances that you would not have considered in other years. We are in a "new world" and it may require for you to do some things you would not have done in the "old world." This may include the price you are willing to accept for your product or service or even a job you may have to take to keep moving your finances in the right direction. Don't let your pride or earlier fixated ideas get in your way of keeping the flow of income moving in the right direction!
Also, you have many resources other than money and they need to be leveraged; time, focus, attitude, willingness, work ethic, creativity, your family, your name, reputation, connections, and more. The recession has not affected your most valuable assets but you must use them.
In 2009 be willing to do the following:
1) Do those things that other households or businesses are UNWILLING to do. Go where others will not go and do what others refuse to do. Those that do, will survive and those that do not, will find themselves in a worsening state of financial affairs. Maybe the kids need to contribute by washing cars or your employees are following people home in order to make "the sale". Be willing to do what others are unwilling to do so that your financial situation doesn't go backwards.
2) Seek out problems to solve. Most people retreat in the face of problems when the reality is that problems are opportunities. Those that solve problems for others in the upcoming year will be rewarded. There is no shortage of problems which means there is no shortage of opportunities. Let's say you have a vacant foreclosure in your neighborhood. Bring together the other neighbors and create a TIC, (tenant in common), and purchase the house and rent it out. This will protect your neighbor, the pricing of your real estate, provide all of you with income and position you and your neighbors the potential for future profits.
3) Keep your attention on what you can do to move yourself, your family and your business forward regardless of what the economy or the government does. You can only cut your budgets so much before you will realize that you have to produce in order to protect yourself. What you focus on is what you get. So stay focused on what you can do!