The economy must be a very complex, volatile thing. Mind-blowing stock market tables, charts and graphs, GDP figures, foreign exchange rates are what appear on the business pages of newspapers. No wonder the media turn to economists, the high priests of this mysterious world, to explain what this means and why it matters. We hear from them several times a day, usually through monotonous market updates that interrupt most news broadcasts.

Shares of Company X are up double digits. Company Y is down by two digits. Analysts are bullish and analysts bearish. But is all that financial hyperactivity really about the economy? Is economics really that complicated and incomprehensible? Should we trust all "experts"? Maybe you should figure out what's going on for yourself.

Forget market updates in this position now to learn the economy. This is a good way to learn about the economy. Take a look at your finances and ask yourself some questions.

Start at the front door of your own home to learn economics. How many people live there? Which generations? Who works outside the home and how much do they earn? How long have they been working there? How long do they plan to work and how will they support themselves when they retire? Who does what household chores? have children Who takes care of them? Does anyone else in your household need care? Do you own a house or apartment or do you rent it? If leased from whom? If you own one, how much did you pay for it and how did you pay for it?  What size is it?

Now keep inquiring from your surrounding area and from the next area. Are the houses or apartments all roughly the same or different? Does everyone have a home? Do most people have jobs? What kind of jobs? are they good Can they comfortably pay for what they and their families need?

See your neighbors on their way to work, school or other places. How are they traveling? Do they travel in their own cars? On public transport? walking? How much money, time, and physical space is dedicated to moving around in your neighborhood?

Is there a school near you? the hospital? the library? Who will pay for those buildings? Who works there? How do those facilities compare to their surrounding private homes and businesses? Are they new or old? Nice or shabby? Is there a park near you? Can a man go without paying?

Are the roads clean? If so, who cleaned them? Is the air fresh or foggy? Are there any parks in your neighborhood? Can people in your neighborhood safely drink their tap water? How much do they pay for drinking water? And to whom?

Walk through the nearby shopping district. What types of products are displayed in the window? Are any of them manufactured within 100 miles of your home? Elsewhere in your country? In another country? Can your neighbors afford what's on display? Are they generally happy or disappointed with their purchases? Do they pay by cash, bank card or credit card? Can they afford what they buy?

To know what the economy is like, we can take this example of a local bank, go there and see what is going on in that area. As you read about leveraged buyouts, financial speculation, foreign exchange in the business pages of newspapers, compare those activities with deposits, withdrawals, loans, and list your estimated monthly income. Then list how much of it falls into the following categories.

Rent or mortgage, income tax, car payments or public transport passes, groceries, other stuff, and entertainment other than going out. Can you pay the bills every month? Do you save regularly? Is your income higher or lower than it was five years ago, or about the same? If you had a little extra income, what would you do with it? If you go back to that bank and ask for a loan, will they give it to you?

We inquired about schools, shops and banks. Are there any other workplaces visible in your vicinity? Which factories are there? What do those factories produce and what sizes of products are they? Any commercial or government offices? Other services? Can you see any office buildings around you? Who works there? Can you guess what they do? Imagine the cleanliness, quality of furniture, security, care of the office environment and compare it to the situation in your local school.

Have new jobs opened up in your neighborhood recently? If so, what do they do? Have you seen any 'Workers Wanted' signs posted at local workplaces? What kind of jobs were they advertising for?

There are many things to know about the economy. You can learn a lot just by walking around your neighborhood. To understand the economy, we have created an aggregated economic profile of our community. Although there are no statistics, charts or graphs, just by looking around us, we can identify important factors that determine the economic development of our society.