I have to admit I've been pretty preoccupied with what has been going on in the world recently. I'm also very excited because I am one of the lucky 65,000 that have a ticket to the Obama rally this Tuesday. I am going to witness history firsthand (I hope).
I listen to NPR on my way to work in the morning and hear all the speculation about the future of the economy. I read The Huffington Post every day. And I pray. And I am not a religious person, but I still pray. What else can we do?
Well, there is one thing, although to express it here makes me feel like a heretic because it goes against what our economy is generally based on. But I'll just say it. Stop spending money. Better yet, stop spending money that one doesn't have.
Actually, I wouldn't dream of telling anyone else what to do. That would make me like Suze Orman and she kind of annoys me with her dogma. When I see her on TV saying people shouldn't spend any money, I want to respond "Suze, people can't stop living! They have to celebrate their child's birthdays. They have to have some fun. They can't just work and pay debts. They may as well be in a debtor's prison then, even if it is one of their own making." Honestly, I don't think she has a clue of what life is like for most people. She's out of touch. Some of her ideas are good, but she is too extreme for me.
Here at the 2-flat, we are evaluating our plans. We have debt and we have savings. We have been planning a few projects for this winter like adding some kitchen cabinets. We need a new sofa. Things like that. Because of what has been going on in the world, we have decided to wait on any big expenditures.
Rather, we will work on projects where we already have the materials and I am going to get some pillows recovered to spruce up our living room rather than buy a new sofa. There are things we can do that will not cost much and those things will move to the top of the list.
We have cut way back on eating out and are buy things on sale at the grocery store whenever possible. We have entered what I am calling, "the no-spend zone." It's a mind set and I think it will be good for us. We will pay off our debts and save money. This feels like the right thing to do at this time.
We are fortunate in that my job is pretty secure. I work for a high-end company and sales are still up- i.e. the rich are still rich. Steve has his own marketing and communications business and steady customers, but advertising is vulnerable in a bad economy and so we have reason to be cautious.
I just wanted to post about this because it is really a part of what is going on right now and years from now, I want to remember this. And I would also like to hear from other people as to what they are doing and how this whole mess is affecting them. My heart goes out to anyone who has lost their job. I know people in this situation.
With all this going on, I am still hopeful. Studs Turkel just died and I think of him and his book "Hope Dies Last: Keeping the Faith in Difficult Times". I think now is the time to check that book out of the library.