Due to the economic woes we are in, many people seem to have stopped (or at least cut back) spending. Are you one of them?
The worst thing about all this is that it becomes a self fulfilling prohecy. We are told that we are in a financial crisis - people stop spending - affecting cashflow within the economy - businesses suffer - cutbacks follow - jobs are lost - people have no money to spend (escept just on the essentials) - the economy suffers. Back to first base.
I haven't stopped spending ... nor even cut back really. For me, life is an endless search for whatever pleasures I can find ... and shopping is a pleasure. Fortunately, as a healthcare professional, my income is fairly secure. Prices go up ... and sometimes they go down. Tis a fact of life. I watch for bargains ... but pretty much spend what I want, when I want.
I was never a big spender in the first place. Not a good citizen I'm afraid.
Maybe, just maybe, this one will be big enough that we rethink our economic models?
My government is trying awfully hard to make sure I spend any money I have though. They want to fix the financial crisis by using the hair of the dog that bit us. 0% interest rates, talk of a tax on savings. Borrow borrow borrow. Lend lend lend.
As though it will never have to be paid back. Typical short-sightedness. We got in this mess by over-borrowing money that did not actually exist. How they think they are going to fix the problem by doing more of the same is beyond me.
People will still spend, but possibly they will start spending on things they actually need instead of garbage that gets destroyed within a short space of time.
You suspect correctly. Once the European and American workforces priced themselves out of the market by demanding a wage they could afford to live on, it was inevitable all this rubbish would be made elsewhere.
Then the same workforce allowed themselves to be persuaded to buy this rubbish that they lost their jobs for.
And were persuaded that the only way to make good quality rubbish was to make it abroad.
Just see how well Walmart does out of the recession selling rubbish made abroad.
If every American refused to buy anything that was not made in the states tomorrow it might actually change something. Although we have also been persuaded that it is a "global" problem and the only way to fix it is for people to go even further into debt by buying a new car.
We are stupid. And will continue to be kept stupid all the time we allow our institutions to keep us that way.
No money for education in a recession.
I stopped spending because I was traumatized by having had to manage too much stuff when I got sick. I am still paying for the storage box because I couldn't move all the stuff into my new apartment. another aspect of asperger's - collecting.
i am collecting hubs now...free!
Nope. My favorite president told me to spend more...so that's what I'm doing. It's my patriotic duty.
You are just hoping and wishing to provoke Mark, aren't you?
Personally, I keep about 1 million dollars under the mattress but only shop at thrift stores.
It's easy to stop spending when there's nothing to spend!
Yeah, I stopped. We buy groceries. And pellets for the stove.
Since my husband and I have done everything right...saved for retirement, bought vehicles we could afford and took a mortgage that we could afford and now that it is time for the hubby to retire we have been hosed by the greedy and the ignorant, I refuse to cut back severely or to delay my retirement plans. When I am an old lady (even older than I am now) and have run out of money due to the ignorance and greed of others I will hold out my hand to the government for a bailout....
Also, I believe that the media is making the situation worse than it has to be by their constant weeping and wailing and nashing of teeth...oh, how horrible it all is...they are causing people to panic and do exactly the wrong things.
I agree wholeheartedly. The media is worse than the crisis. In Australia, we have a budget surpluss, not a deficit. But, there is already talk of a recession here by the end of the year. Gess what? We may be in deficit, and be in a recession by the end of the year.
And many people call (some christians) as doomsday, naysayers.
Sorry dj - you are wrong. Whatever the doomsayers are saying - it is much, much worse. Several international banks are now insolvent and have needed massive cash injections from the governments. And if you believe your economy is magically insulated from the rest of the world's............
Oh, that's right - you believe stuff with no basis in facts
Worry not, I suspect Oz will be the last to be hit for several reasons, but mostly the delayed effect on commodity prices, which were fixed at peak rates. Your level of consumer debt is on a par with the US and the UK. and you have one of the largest current account deficits in the world.
The End is Nigh !
I haven't stopped spending, but I have changed how I spend my money, which means I hardly go shopping, visit Starbucks (my one big spending habit) or even have the desire to do this, as I prefer to save my money to travel once or twice a year to NY and Florida in order to get together with friends in NY, and spend time with my sister in Florida.
"...banks are now insolvent and have needed massive cash injections from the governments."
Yes, Bill & I were just talking about this last night. TARP has been used to conceal how bad things are, not to 'help' credit markets. It's actually way WORSE than it looks.
The "I did everything right," attitude is unfortunate. Many people here in the U.S. have the same attitude. If life has never kicked you over a cliff for no apparent reason, it's really not seemly--or smart--to resent the losers who surround you. You may need help from them someday.
Actually Krugman wrote about it today at the NYT. Check it out:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/19/opini … .html?_r=1
See if you can guess which giant multinational bank "Gotham" is.
I couldn't possibly guess
Getting pretty bad in the UK too. RBS is now 70% gov owned, Lloyds more than 50% and Barclays looking to be in trouble. And they think printing more money to lend to "kickstart the housing market." is going to fix it. Dream on.
What a friggin' mess.
What I find entertaining is the sheer number of people who think it will not affect them.
Lawyers, health care professionals and Australians to name just a few
Well, here in the U.S. that attitude has been stroked and fed so the Republican Party could use the far right for their own purposes. So people are no longer embarrassed to speak openly of their own (imagined) superiority. I actually feel kind of sorry for them (the far right, not the Republican party) because they really DO think they won't be affected--They think, like our Aussie friend, that because they "have done everything right," they will be spared any ill effect. But when money has no value, the playing field is leveled and all that matters is having the support of your neighbors and knowing how to survive, and even that can go down the toilet if violence breaks out. People who are riding a high horse right now have the farthest to fall.
Australia is not in deficit (yet), but they are woking on it.
I can tell you from experience, that we ARE being affected. Hence the thread. I have noticed a MARKED downturn in business since late last year. I think it's a case of thinking we won't be as "badly" affected as many other countries. I'm not sure that's realistic, but it is better than doom and gloom.
OK. The world is ending and you will be swept up and taken to heaven, but you don't want to talk about doom and gloom in the economy.
Makes sense to me.
This is about your nonexistent current account defecit -
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australia' … f_payments
Not a problem during growth periods and increasing demand for commodities.
As I said before, we are in a budget surplus (in the order of $60billion), not a deficit. Yet!
Your link did not work. Besides, I didn't get it from wikipedia,but our daily news updates.
Oh, by the way, I took the information by "faith"1 I believed what they told me!
You only related certain facts, which you don't believe, because you have no faith, right?
Well I dont have any money in the first place to spend, so I guess I would fall into the category of someone not spending, I guess? hehe
Yeah first I think I would need to get a job to get a paycheck, and then maybe I could spend some money, hehe.
PS: Not to proud of not having a job.....
I'm all for a new economic model, this one doesn't work - it just bloody doesn't. Though I'm not savvy enough to know what to replace it with. I do love the structure and workings of a Debits Tax for a start, where nobody is immune to paying their fair share.
In Australia aged pensioners were given a one off payment. It was clear their pensions were well below the poverty line. The government could not raise it at this point however, gave this bonus with the expressed hope they would spend it and boost the economy. I can tell you now most are not in a position to waste the bonus and are hanging onto it to cover utilities and food.
I for one am hoping the whole economic system implodes in on itself - bring on the depression, or at least make major change.
One idea I want to see happen is the Detroit car industry be totally overhauled. See US government give a temporary injection toward the sole manufacturing of electric vehicles and these vehicles be affordable to the average wage earner. Forget the guzzlers altogether.
Is interesting how the US is trying to offload big cars onto the Australian market - we don't want them either, but you should see the commercials - trying to get to the Aussie bloke mentality.
You can feel the desperation in the commercial sector, enticing spending. You hear the news where another business has closed down and 60 more people have lost their jobs, and the commercial break shows a car yard wanting you to buy a jeep cherokee!
I would love to hear alternatives to the current economic system, or good ideas that could boost what seems an unboostable situation.
I think we need to allow the current model to die quietly, and then allow a new model to emerge.
As it must.
People need to eat and have homes and transport will go out and get them. All the govs are doing is compounding the problem at the moment.
Who cares if the economy doesn't grow?
Only the guys at the top of the tree.
If we genuinely allow the free market economy to flourish - a new breed of car will emerge. One that is cheaper, uses less fuel and lasts longer. Because that is what there is demand for.
The real problem with the current system is that it relies way too heavily on non-productive financial services to "create" wealth. From nothing.
Propping it up using the same tools that created the crash is a pointless waste of time. I am extremely disappointed in my government for even trying. And as for Mr. Obama's change plan .... It looks suspiciously like the old plan.
I don't know who to believe anymore but I just received an email explaining that a few of the large car manufacturers made available a few models of electric cars and leased them out - perhaps testing the market - not sure. They were very successful and the users wanted to purchase them but were not allowed. The cars were destroyed at the end of the lease - is it far fetched - who knows. But the oil companies are hugely powerful and have a vested interest in the electric car not succeeding.
And I am holding my breath that Obama does not go down the road already traveled. Geez, we can do without more of the same.
That absolutely actually happened. GM developed a viable electric car and leased it in California back in the late 90s. The reason they did it was California was tightening up their carbon emissions standards drastically, and GM wanted to show them that no one would buy low-emission, energy efficient cars because what Americans really want are big, gasoline-powered cars that go fast. Instead of Californians rejecting the little cars, they loved them--so GM recalled and destroyed every last one. You can watch a documentary about it, "Who Killed the Electric Car"--it's available for rent at and video store.
Here's the link:
And Toyota had done a RAV4 version of the electric car. They were very popular and those who leased them wanted to buy them. They wouldn't sell them and did the same - trashed them after the expiry of the lease. I find this disturbing, but also smell an oil barren fat cat.
Thanks Pam I looked at the video prelude. A few days ago I sent a note via the Suggestion Box - not really knowing whether Obama or his administration actually get the suggestions - addressing electric cars and pushing for this type of alternative vehicle to become commonplace. Wouldn't it help the US car industry? Do you think Obama has the balls to put this in the face of the rich and powerful?
No, That was your mistake Mark. You assumed it was "trade", I meant "budget", when referring to "deficit". I tried both links, the 1st one did not work, the 2nd was only about the definition.
And my faith was not in the polititians, but the fact that the Howard Government left behind a budget surplus, which the current Labor Government wants to spend, to "stimulate" the economy. (heading us into a B/deficit).
RE Faith, you agree then that you have faith. (Just not in God, or polititians.)
No. It was not my mistake. I intentionally said "current account deficit." Not "budget."
Re: Faith. Guess I need to resurrect my sarcasm smilie huh?
And yes you are right - that is a bad URL. Not fixable either. Weird, must be god keeping you in the dark.
The U.S. auto industry is run by some of the most brain dead, greedy incompetents in the history of business. What might help the auto industry is firing every last one of these idiots and giving some smaller start up companies a shot. Canada is already producing an electric car called the Zenn that cost about $13,000, but it needs a better battery in order fot it to keep up with highway traffic. They have a version that is due out by 2010 that goes father on a charge and goes faster. The Tesla is an awesome electric car but unaffordable by the masses. It can be done, it is being done, but will Detroit do it? I doubt it will do it in time or do it well.
It makes me mad that Washington keeps bailing out incompetent CEOs and rewarding them for their bad decisions with golden parachutes, but those of us at the bottom, we get the stern lectures and bootstrap advice.
I agree, smaller operators would be a better option. It needs to happen in Australia as well because the flow on effect of America has seen our car industry drop dramatically as well and the recession/depression means updating the family car will be a low priority for most.
Without becoming too dramatic, I see the current financial crisis as a major window of opportunity. Change, but change in a big way. There are so many systems that just don't work, they are stacked in favor of the minority - the rich. I liked Mark's comment - don't worry about growth for the moment. I'm for a better foundation. Demolish the old one and get one that works.
But if people don't speak up now only small change will happen and in another 70 years or less the same thing will happen, only worse.
This is the same thing only worse. We are paying for the last two "minor" recessions. I too, see this as an opportunity to make some changes. The govs and corps do not see it that way. They are trying to resurrect a dead system. Not going to happen I think. I look at what Obama is promising and I see nothing really to make a change. Pouring money that does not exist into "public works" is a waste of time and will just prolong the inevitable. This is a quick precis of his $1 trillion dollar plan:
"Energy: $32 billion to fund a so-called "smart electricity grid" to reduce waste; $20 billion-plus in renewable energy tax cuts and a tax credit for research and development on energy conservation, energy efficiency and renewable energy, and a multiyear extension of the renewable energy production tax credit for wind, hydropower, geothermal and bioenergy; $6 billion to weatherize modest-income homes.
Science and technology: $10 billion for science facilities; $6 billion to bring high-speed Internet access to rural and underserved areas; $1 billion for the 2010 Census.
Infrastructure: $32 billion for transportation projects; $31 billion to build and repair federal buildings and other public infrastructure; $19 billion in water projects; $10 billion in rail and mass transit projects.
Aid to the poor and unemployed: $43 billion to provide extended unemployment benefits through Dec. 31, increase them by $25 a week and provide job training; $20 billion to increase food stamp benefits by 13%; $4 billion to provide a one-time additional Supplemental Security Income payment; $2.5 billion in temporary welfare payments; $1 billion for home heating subsidies; and $1 billion for community action agencies.
Education: $41 billion in grants to local school districts; $79 billion in state fiscal relief to prevent cuts in state aid; $21 billion for school modernization; $16 billion to boost the maximum Pell Grant by $500; $2 billion for Head Start.
Health care: $39 billion to subsidize health care insurance for the unemployed and provide coverage through Medicaid; $90 billion to help states with Medicaid; $20 billion to modernize health information technology systems; $4 billion for preventative care; $1.5 billion for community health centers.
Housing: $13 billion to repair and make more energy efficient public housing projects, allow communities to buy and repair foreclosed homes, and help the homeless.
Law enforcement: $4 billion in grants to state and local law enforcement.
Individuals: $500 per worker, $1,000 per couple tax cut for two years, costing about $140 billion; greater access to the $1,000 per-child tax credit for the working poor; expanding the earned-income tax credit to include families with three children; a $2,500 college tuition tax credit; repeals a requirement that a $7,500 first-time homebuyer tax credit be paid back over time.
Businesses: An infusion of cash into money-losing companies by allowing them to claim tax credits on past profits dating back five years instead of two; bonus depreciation for businesses investing in new plants and equipment; a doubling of the amount small businesses can write off for capital investments and new equipment purchases; allows businesses to claim a tax credit for hiring disconnected youth and veterans."
http://wsj.com/public/resources/documen … 009115.pdf
Not one single, solitary thing here that will enable a change. None of this creates anything. More government, more money spent on encouraging consumption, more taxes to pay for all this. More debts that will have to be paid sooner or later. No permanent jobs. No change of direction. Nothing.
High speed internet access to rural areas. What a waste of time.
He has the opportunity to make a big change, but I imagine he is already under pressure to "fix" the current problem. By using the same advisors who got us to this point.
Even worse in the UK - We are actually broke. Talk of nationalizing all the banks. Good grief ! If they cannot make money run privately, how on earth do they think they are going to do so being run by the morons in the government?.........
I would love high speed internet access in this rural area! In fact, I would like any internet access in this area other than crappy 2G
Sounds like you need to move to the US. They will see to it that you get it. If you arein a remote area.
http://meraki.com/products_services/har … _overview/
So why don't you buy it yourself ?
Or are you waiting for the government to do it for you?
Sadly, if I had the few thousand dollars required, I would need to use it to pay off my Ouzo tab at the taverna.
So you are not prepared to give it up for high speed internet?
I don't blame you. This thing seems pretty cheap to me $1500 for the whole setup. No affiliate by the way.
On one of my sites (not hub pages) I send about 30 visitors a day to ebay. Normally, about 10% of them bid and about half of those win, so 1-2 small commissions a day, 1 large commission a week, and 1-2 ACRU's a month typically add up to about $100-$150 a month.
However ... there have been no bids, much less winners since the first week of January, even though the traffic levels and source haven't changed.
People have, indeed stopped buying. Nearly all of my "sales-based" commisions have fallen substantially.
Yes - I have seen a similar slowdown through ebay. I think they have other issues going on there as well though.
Take a look at this photo gallery -
http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/gall … =341883529
That is a lot of unsold cars right there. It has to have a knock-on effect for used cars. The crazy thing is - they will have to reduce prices, which affects the resale value, which means no one want the bloody things, which means they sell less, which means ............ And around we go.
As Jewels said - it is an opportunity to go in another direction.
Apart from Ron Paul, I have not seen one politician suggest an alternative to printing more money.
Let the banks fail, guarantee depositors money, break them up into much smaller banks and sell them to the highest bidder who may only buy one; let the car industry fail, guarantee the wages, break the auto makers up into much smaller companies and have them compete to come up with a viable alternative that makes economic and environmental sense.
Sure we would have a rough few years while they sorted themselves out, but we are going to have that anyway. At least this way we might end up with something different to the international behemoths that control our every move and are so big that "we cannot afford to let them fail."
Nope Mark, I disagree, it is not gonna work. Not too sure about bankers, but in case of auto industry you have to remove Unions first. No business can compete if it is forced to pay for the labor what it can't afford.
That is why you let it fail first. If the unions want to buy a piece later - they can
LOL Yeah, but if you have the old legislation in place - it will all start again, that is what I meant
Ah - that is why you rip up all the old legislation that was written to ensure the success of the huge corporations at the expense of the little ones.
Which is exactly the opposite of what is happening now. In two milliseconds flat - the UK gov just ripped up our anti-monopoly laws that prevented Lloyds bank from buying HBOS - making it bigger than the law allowed.
I usually don't spend too much and always buy stuff on sale. That hasn't changed at all. So I suppose that I haven't stopped buying and shopping right now.
I'm not spending much either but I really need a new PC.
I've checked the dales and can't decide on what to get or features
Change change change. Don't be afraid to remove legislation that doesn't move with the times. Let it fall down. I can grow vegies in the meantime, I don't mind. There must be ways to transition that are smooth, but then removing a rotting tooth means putting up with a little pain before the healing. It's worth it in the end.
It's great to see some common sense solutions. Everyone's great at the complaints and blame game, but the solution think tank - now that's worth listening to.
"High speed internet access to rural areas. lol What a waste of time."
No, no, that will provide even more competition for people working at home, like me, and as we know, competition is always good. Soon I can look forward to writing foot powder descriptions for a fraction of a penny per paragraph.
But if deflation kicks in hard enough maybe that will be plenty of money to live on.
We are so freakin' doomed.
Was that you asking for a pay cut?
My C***su***mother****er of a bank has just cut the amount of money I can take out of my account with my ATM card by 75%......
Doomed, we are all doomed.
LOL! No, no, usually I don't have to ask!
I have noticed though that it's harder to get work lately at Elance. Lots more bids on everything, and I'm thinking, must be all those OTHER out-of-work bankers trying to earn a few bucks online. I think it will get tougher and tougher. I always seem to have work, but I put in more bids to get a project now than I did a year ago.
Having the same problem on ODesk - a lot of new writers desperate for money. The quality of jobs has gone down, and it seems to be all 'article mill' work, for a dollar per article.
You could start writing bus slogans for the atheist movement! It's the current rage I see.
Oh God, those are the worst--the ones that are all like, "OK I need 500 words with 10 keyword phrases repeated at least three times each within each article and then please spin them 10 different ways each. I will pay $1 per article and I DO use Copyscape."
Isn't there a software program that can do that? There should be. Man, there's an idea for an enterprising out-of-work web expert. Design a software program to write articles comprised of nothing but longtail keywords with some passive verbs and periods thrown in and be sure to include a feature that writes each article 10 different ways. Ugh.
I find Elance to be worth the cost, which can be paid incrementally, unlike Guru. The user interface is pretty intuitive and I've gotten some good stuff there. I did check out Odesk but as you say found only a horrendous amount of vague low paying crap at that site. I find I am always competing with India but not everyone only cares about price and nothing else. I do think there is lots of work and there is work for everyone, it's just a matter of finding your niche and getting a dozen or so repeat clients.
lol - you got it. I did try Elance, but I tend to use the sites sporadically, so I do not like paying upfront. ODesk was very good until about 3 months ago, when a flood of laid off workers joined. Wages have plummeted and I do not have the time to spend 3 - 4 hours per day writing cover letters for the few good jobs. I just about have enough private work, because I specialise in academic writing, so we are getting by - to return to the topic, we are doing without a few things!
Luckily, we have no mortgage or rent, so we do not have to panic about that every month. There are people in a far worse situation, and it is a matter of waiting - many of these new people will realise that writing for a living is not easy, and give up.
Quality eventually wins - I have one great client who keeps putting my wages up.
Like Sufi, I use Elance for finding academic work, and although I'm only setting out I'm getting good feedback and am making a few pennies.
But I recently had to take my house off the market (mixed blessing), as it wasn't going to sell. I've been really lucky in that a friend is now renting my house. A few more dollars.
That leaves me living in a camper. Again, I'm really very lucky, because I've been able to keep the camper at the house, and connect the plumbing and electricity. I don't know what I would have done otherwise.
I recently had to give up a secure job (tenure at a university) and take disability retirement. So my own circumstance just happens to coincide with the current economic downturn, making me realize just how precarious many people's situations actually are.
It is sobering.
So am I spending less? Hell, yes.
I am in a similar situation with a house. I moved to Michigan in 2007 and had my home in Indiana on the market for about a year before the move, and here I am, in Michigan, in 2009, in a new home nearly two years now, and I finally took the Indiana house off the market last year because it will not sell at any price. Plus, I lost the job I came to Michigan for, and my partner Bill lost his job of 20 years due to the economy and now drives 60 miles north to work.
I had my Indiana house listed for $45K, and my realtor just kept at me constantly--remodel this, paint that, spend this, spend that. Meanwhile, houses all down the block were going into foreclosure and prices were plummeting. At the time I took the house off the market there were four houses on that block with four figure price tags and no lookers, not a one, nevermind a buyer--and I was scared to death about scrappers stripping out the plumbing while I'm up here in the frozen north.
So now I have a renter but it took me three months to find her and the rent only covers part of my costs. I am self-employed and wondering how long I can hang on to that place now. I am going to try to hang on, both because I think it's the right thing to do and because my renter is my son in law's mom--so I don't want her out in the street (or in their back bedroom), but it's hard. I've thought of letting the mortgage go past due to see if I could get the mortgage company to agree to a short sale to an investor, but that's a gamble, and anyway, I've researched it and it seems they don't like to take less than 75% even if the buyer has cash in hand. My renter can't get a mortgage, and if the city finds out I'm renting it will immediately hike my taxes by $2000 and year and charge me the difference back to 2007.
So there it is. It could be worse, but it makes me nervous.
I buy food, gas. And now, not even that much gas.
Actually, there are several, I'm tempted to put an affiliate link to one of them ... but I won't
No way! I promise this will be my last off-topic comment, but seriously, you should do a hub on that. I'd be interested. I might not buy any of those programs, but I'd be interested to read about them.
and they said I was paranoid about keeping my money in the bank.
Doomed, we are all doomed!
Debt free! Way to go, at any time of the economic cycle.
Maybe we all want too much (stuff)? It's times like now that many stop and evaluate the purpose of it all. What is really important, valuable and lasting in life? I think we should invest more into peopleand relationships. Especially family.
On the original question I stopped spending well over a year ago. I was never one for indiscriminate spending anyway. My credit card debt is a direct result of being unemployed over a year ago while trying to make ends meet. I'm paying that debt down and putting as much as I can into savings right now, as a buffer.
Thankfully I wasn't one of those that believed the Howard government (I'm Australian)when they said that the resources boom would buffer us. My family has been in the coal mining industry for generations and are well aware of the boom/bust cycle of the industry. We'll be hit as a knock-on effect of reduced orders and with it falling prices for minerals within the next year or so. Most probably sooner.
The whole basis of our economies needs to be relooked at. We can't continue to consume like we have been. It just won't work long term.
No real change, here. Neither of us have ever liked having too much stuff cluttering up the place.
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