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March 19, 2009

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Jennifer H

Jenn, thanks for the link. You're right - the comments have been really great, and personal in many cases. I appreciate your way of thinking, and that your family is acting with purpose. A rising tide lifts all boats, indeed.

Thank you for your thoughts in the comments on my post, and here, too. I know talking about money is sort of the last frontier, but I really think that there are ways to talk about it, politely (as you've done), and for us to feel supported by each other. Taking the shame out of this (hopefully very temporary) struggle, and realizing that we're all invested in each other, may very well be the thing that can save us.

kcinnova

Jenn, you of all people -- after going through Mr. Fix-it's loss of job last fall -- certainly understand what it feels like to be facing financial crisis.
We are naturally frugal folk at my house, but we live in an area full of wealth and old money. We've got a fundraiser coming up and the people running it don't seem to understand why it is so hard to get donations this year for the silent auction, or why some kids aren't going on the spring band trip. Teens are having a tough time finding a part-time job.

It is a good reminder for all of us to go ahead and spend a little if we can, to keep jobs open for those who have them.
And you DO come across at grateful for the good things in your life!

Nora

Very thought provoking. It is hard to talk about money.

Busy Bee Suz

I agree with you. If anyone is in a position to still spend a bit, by all means it should be done. I hear it too on all the talk/radio about the economy.
Coach and I are still dining out at least one day a week....but we are only hitting the Mom-Pop local restaraunts now.
And you are right, we should NEVER feel guilty about buying something just because someone else can't.
Great post Jenn. No one could ever say you are bragadocious. (real word? yeah)

imom

I feel the same way. We've made a couple purchases for the house, but I haven't blogged about it because I feel a little bad that we can make these purchases and others cannot.

Today I did blog about a personal purchase I made, with money I've been saving. My family is very thrifty, we have no debt except for the mortgage, our cars are old. It does feel good to contribute to the economy when we can.

suburbancorrespondent

As I mentioned over at Jennifer H's place, I have never begrudged anyone their being able to spend on the extras. I am only irritated when they don't realize that they are, indeed, well off. Or when they whine because they have to ratchet down to a level of spending that is still above what the rest of us spend normally.

And thanks for joining in on personal stimulus program. America needs you!

suburbancorrespondent

Aaack - that last comment should have had a hyperlink for "personal stimulus program" - I forgot Typepad doesn't allow hyperlinks.

http://suburbancorrespondent.blogspot.com/2009/03/doing-our-part.html

Jen on the Edge

Thanks for writing this.

As you know, we just moved into our new house. The house that we spent five years saving for, including every penny of my paycheck for the past two years. If we had known a year ago just how bad things would get with the economy, there's no way we would have taken the plunge. But, we had already broken ground and signed contracts when all hell broke loose, so we were committed.

I'm glad we were able to do it, but I recognize that my blog posts about it could be painful to read if one is really struggling financially.

In the meantime, we've tightened our financial belt, as we still own two houses, although we will have renters moving into our old one this summer. Luckily, we both still have our jobs and have been told very clearly that there will be no layoffs. So, I'm very aware of how fortunate we are.

Smalltown Mom

My husband was on a 20% pay deferral for most of last year. (Deferred salary is still owed to him.) I'm probably going to be laid off, and his employers are talking about another deferral.

Yes, we did go to Ireland. Because he was sent there on business, the trip cost us only my half. When would we get another opportunity like that.

I've tried to cut back spending in other ways. But then that impacts the businesses who depend on it. It's a dilemma, all right.

Manic Mommy

Don't feel guilty because you can afford the niceties. We work hard and deserve them. Bragging is entirely different.

I've been quiet about a few of our purchases lately for the same reason. I can't say the reasons for our buys were entirely altruistic but I do recognize that what we're doing is helping the economy as well as helping ourselves.

That being said, we've now moved back to our "period of austerity".

Leslie

Here's a question for you... How do you really get your children to understand how lucky THEY are? I have explained and explained, but being 7 my daughter pretty much brushes me off. The other kids at her school are as well off as she is, so she doesn't think there are any problems in the world. Again, she's 7. We donate our items that we no longer need, buy used, etc... any suggestions??

apathy lounge

Lucky...yes. My husband's business has seen no turndown and I will still be working next year. Possibly full time. We're very fortunate.

mandy

Even in the worst recession or depression, there will always be those who have enough extra to splurge.

Quite frankly, I can't see anyone thinking of your previous post as excessive. And if everyone spends the next 1, 2, 4, 7? years being serious, somber and staid we will all off ourselves from the pure drudgery of it all.

Stacie

I understand a bit about how you feel. I feel dirty talking about our travel plans when some of my friends (and much of the country) are struggling. Please rest assured I never would have read your post as bragging. I hope I don't come off that way, either! :)

phd in yogurtry

I had the very thought today. Seeing people canoe on a lake, I decided then and there, I don't care what the economic fear forecast is for our family and the nation at large, I'm going to look for a kayak for my kids. I want one, they'll love it, and the economy could use the boost.
But still, it's hard to face such an uncertain future by digging into savings.

Suzy

Relax everybody. According to my Washington Insider, we'd have to spend over a quarter of a million per household to help the economy at the rate it's going down.A couple of grand just ain't going to do it.

Quynh

You gotta spend something to jump start this economy. You work hard and you deserve it.

Melanie @ Mel, A Dramatic Mommy

Bragging you are not! (Apparently I'm Yoda today). No one knows what goes on behind the blog. Maybe you won money on a Scratcher or got a reward for finding a lost purebred show dog. You don't have to justify anything. But, I do realize where you're coming from. I had the same thought posting about our new dryer (which I got a really killer below retail deal on. I guess I'm justifying too!)

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