Christmas TogetherWe're here year round and even though we are scattered all over the world and most of us have never met face-to-face we find ways to celebrate the season together. From our annual Christmas exchanges to scheduled chats our Christmasing together is discussed here.
How bad is it really out there with the economy? What are the signs you're seeing?
A couple of weeks ago I was driving from LA to Fresno, an area I'm quite familiar with, and I was shocked to see some of the smaller farm town areas along Highway 99 practically abandoned. It really bothered me to see that.
Then, earlier this week, we had a job fair where more than 400 people showed up, which is not unusual. Except that we didn't really advertise the job fair. We just put a small sign up in the shop a couple of days before. We only needed a couple of people this year and --boom!-- we got slammed when all these people showed up
So I see things like that and I begin to think that it's really bad.
But then again, as I got on the plane earlier this week, it was packed with families going to Disneyland. I mean it was like the middle of summer and the airport was like Thanksgiving weekend. The hotel was swamped.
Every Friday night I take my wife out and we go early so we don't have to wait in line to eat.
That's what I'm wondering.
Every weekend, the restaurants/clubs/stores are packed.
The housing market here is booming. There are people buying brand new vehicles off the lots. Diesel at that.
So....I am wondering what's really going on!
I think if you have your money in the stock market it's a REALLY scary time...If you just save what you can, buy only what you need and live within your means it's only a scary time...I don't see it as bad as they say it is in my own world though!
Nothing is more important than the soundtrack!!!
i'm not sure how different it is in the U.S to us in the UK, but i would say things aren't good here.
yeah, people are still eating out and going out dancing/drinking etc.. but those with mortgages and cars to run are doing so alot less.
i am sick of filling my car up with petrol, only for it to need filling up again way too soon! my father in law is a self employed painter and decorator, work is slacking, no one seems to be able to afford to get their house decorated. same goes for beauticians/hairdressers that i know, work is slacking.
it's not as bad as the media is making out, but it's still pretty grim. people are losing their homes here because they can't keep up their mortgage payments, interest has gone through the roof!
nobody seems to be able to sell their property as no-one can afford to buy it from them, first time buyers just cannot get a mortgage. it's a vicious circle.
well we went to a resort last weekend in wisconsin - we scaled back a little but kept our plans because we are doing fine right now. the hotel and everything - restaurants, shops - were all packed. so i haven't seen that.
however, i do work for a university and this week we have had 2 large meetings about the economy. endowments for non profits like university are essentially funds.... so the endowment here is very much affected.... endowments fund our operations and our financial aid to students. the univ is on an immediate hiring freeze through january when they re-evaluate the budget.
as such, my husband and i are saving quite a bit right now just in case we find that there are cuts made this winter.
my husband's position is stable but his company is not. it is looking like they will cut another 20% of the workforce at his company within the next 8-12 weeks.
i am seeing the economic affects more in business than personally. but we are setting ourselves up for the worst, hoping for the best.
Things with me and my fiance havent really been differnt. We were both given raises with in the last month or so at our jobs. On the side i donate plasma so i still go out and spend money..But thankfully i don't have any stock in the stock market i do have 401 k but im only 21 so im a LONG way from retiring(cant spell).
I think a LOT of it is consumer confidence... it's often a self-fulfilling prophesy. If you THINK things are bad, you'll act accordingly and things WILL get bad. From my perspective, the only people who are going to get bit are those retiring within the next five years... most 401-K plans lost up to 20%... not a big problem if you can wait things out until the stock market goes back up. In fact, you may be better off. But those folks who are due to retire soon (like my mother-in-law) won't have that luxury of time. They'll take the bite pretty hard.
So you can only spend $20 on a Christmas present instead of $40... is that really so bad? You and yours will still have a wonderful holiday. The only ones wailing will be the retailers and, after working in retail for ten years, I can tell you, they're ALWAYS whining about a "sluggish season".