Has the economy had a negative impact on you/your family?


#1

I will say that we don’t eat out that much–and it’s affected the industry I’m in (insurance), so bonuses are a little lower than usual. But, my husband works for Disney now, in planning trip itineraries, and he said you would think there is nothing wrong with the economy–people are still spending lots of money on vacations to Disney, it seems. :shrug: We are looking forward to the the stimulus check, but honestly? We are just putting it in the bank, in savings. I think that the government is a bit off in thinking that everyone’s gonna run out and buy that big plasma tv set or whatever, by the thousands. The people I have talked to, say they are banking it or paying down debt.:o

I do notice the sting of the economy no doubt at the gas pump, and in the grocery store. I do buy organically some things, but still–the bill is always so high for what seems to be ‘the basics’ I’m buying week in/week out.

Just curious if the economy is affecting your place of business? I’m in insurance, and we are losing business left and right because our fees, we’re told, are just too high–but we have been in business for a long time charging these fees, so this has to be having an impact.

Are you or your family affected negatively at all? Just curious how the recession (are we fully in it?) is affecting you/your family? If at all.


#2

Heating costs have risen dramatically. Fortunately, I work from home so I haven’t had commuting costs go up like lots of folks. No wardrobe either… working in my jammies is great.

My company has not had any downturn and I just got a raise. :thumbsup: I am trying to be more conservative on trips to “town” for groceries and such, but I’m not very good at that… seems like there is always one more thing I need! We are still working on our house renovations and those plans haven’t changed.

DH is a farmer and ALL the input costs have gone way up, so with the upcoming growing season I think it will really hit his business hard. I don’t know what that will bring from a balance sheet perspective but it won’t be good. While the input costs grow, the amount we are paid for our milk has decreased. American farm policy at work-- it really punishes farmers.


#3

I wonder though, when people pay down debt, do they run up more soon after? If so, the stimulus will have a delayed effect.


#4

YES! Did you hear that shout?

We own a business and we sell agriculture equipment. We bought another dealership the first of 2007, and with all those start up costs, plus no rain, we had a horrible drought this past year, add in prices of commodities being low, and fuel being so high…

All we can do is pray!


#5

EXACTLY MY AND DH’S THOUGHTS. Couldn’t have said it better, KCT. I of course will not turn away an extra $1000 coming our way soon–but…not sure if the government is going to see any ‘stimulation’ in the present economy over it. I mean, foreclosures in Florida are soaring by the week…we have lost a few large homebuilding clients–why? Because they went out of business. You know what I find a little strange though–why are so many businesses closing, being bought out–when times were great for them, why weren’t they storing up money somewhere? It just seems odd that such thriving home builders are gonig bankrupt, just a year after the downturn of the market.


#6

Hi 1ke;

Yes, we have forgotten about heating costs:o , now that we’re in Florida, and we run our fans a lot lately, without the ac being turned on until the evening, thankfully, the weather has not gotten too hot, YET. I will say that so far, things haven’t been bad for us–but we don’t eat out as much, that is our big ‘sacrifice.’ (I’m surprised how I don’t miss that, though?:o ) Our company has cracked down on traveling…so, there are areas where people can tighten up, and it can make a difference.


#7

Nope. Gasoline prices are up. But there is still a lot of residential and commercial construction going on. [Our town has NO empty lots, so folks do add-ons or they do tear-downs.] There still is a lot of mall construction going on along the major arteries. And the airports are all regularly reporting delays … so I guess a lot of people are traveling.


#8

That’s true about the travel aspect of things–I wonder what the numbers are, specifically, like over the past five years, if there is a noticeable downturn? In Florida, home building has slowed down considerably. Highway construction is an ongoing joy here:rolleyes: and mall construction, come to think of it, seems to be doing fine. It’s the home construction market that has been hit the worst…My nail tech’s husband works as a plumber, normally making great money-but he is worried for his job, now. Not that many jobs (new construction) as he is used to…I pray they will be ok.


#9

Air travel has had a downward trend since 9/11. It’s not as noticeable b/c airlines have decreased the number of flights they are offering-- so planes seem more crowded, but the # of people traveling is down.

I had a busines meeting in LV earlier this year and my cab driver was a plumber. He’d had to take the cab driving job b/c there is no residential construction in LV and foreclosures are soaring.


#10

Yes, that shows imprudent management. One of our company’s financial strategies revolves around accumulating X months of operating capital.


#11

What I find deplorable, is that these subprime lenders at the time, weren’t even checking people’s salaries, etc…people were putting down ‘whatever’ on applications, and even people with horrible credit were getting approved for loans that under different circumstances, they would not have been. Who wouldn’t want a beautiful home…but you have to be able to afford it. Now, with the insurance rates soaring, by the time the interest rate climbs and settles at what those loans climbed to, the home ‘owner’ wasn’t able to afford it…how sad! It angers me that these lenders were making such incredibly bad lending decisions…and now so many people are without jobs (ie like a Bear Stearns) and homeowners are left scrambling to find another residence. I dunno…makes ya wonder how it got that out of control.:shrug:


#12

Also shows greed. How many companies that are ‘going under’ or are laying off half their work force, have a CEO floating away with his/her golden parachute? I don’t get that!!:mad:


#13

I have an equally big problem with the loan applicants. Where is the personal responsibility in all this? I know how much money I make, I can look at a $500K home and the required mortgage payment and know I cannot pay for it. That doesn’t take being a rocket scientist.

And, I completely disagree with government bail outs of the people or the companies. It is going to pull our economy down even more, prolong the recession, continue to devalue the dollar, and leave the US taxpayers holding the bag. Let the bad apples fail, take the hit, and move on.

I am sorry for those who will lose their homes, but all of these loan modifications, interest rate “freezes” and such are only delaying the inevitable. They need to move on and live within their means.


#14

I work for a tech startup focusing on commercial-scale legal and financial software. In southeast Michigan.

Yeah, we’re in bad shape (although I gotta say this for myself, total debt is about $30 and while I am at the end of a rope here I’ve got a few more strings lying around if I absolutely have to). Some of the blame I can lay at a particular doorstep – a well-meaning but incompetent doorstep, if you catch my drift – but a lot of it’s just the general economic malaise turning people off and shaking things up. People are skittish about buying, there’s more red tape to go through, layoffs are screwing around with testing and release schedules, and so on. I don’t even like to think about how much I’m owed out of this mess. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel, but it’s going to be a stretch to make it that far.


#15

you make a very good point. I too feel for anyone claiming bankruptcy or in the midst of a foreclosure, or two…(or three in many cases where people bought multiple properties hoping they would flip them and turn big profits) But, I agree–I know what dh and I make, and what we can afford…and I have to wonder if our culture is just so enamored with ‘looking’ rich, when many people are not. I see it with some of my neighbors who own mercedes, etc…and yet they are thinking of ‘giving their houses back to the bank.’ Why are you driving a mercedes then? I try not to be judgemental, as I’m not exactly a financial guru…I have learned the hard way years prior about debt, and over spending, but looking at people living beyond their means, it seems to be a disease in this country, it would seem. I notice this more in Florida than I did up north–where people seem to be trying to always outdo their neighbors, or buy things that they cannot afford, or put themselves into debt to appear like they have more than they really do. The next thing we’ll hear is that so and so is going through foreclosure, but the week before that same couple was telling us how they just bought a cruise for next year. So, yes personal responsibility is key.

I think that’s a lost art though, 1ke.:wink:


#16

I agree with both your post AND the post by whatevergirl. I think both sides are equally to blame.

When we brought our house, we were approved for 200K, but we brought for significantly less then that (I know in some markets that’s peanuts, but here it is solidly in the middle of home prices). Why? Because we knew that strapping ourselves and becoming house rich and cash poor was a bad financial decision. It also wouldn’t allow any cushion for a very long time. If you are a little stretched on a car loan, you might be able to wing it for a few years. A little too stretched on a mortgage will catch up with you.

I think some very good things will come with the home prices crashing, namely that some first time home buyers and larger families will actually find houses that they will be able to afford. If home prices were to continue to go up at 15% a year, and wages go up 3% a year…well, we all know that means that soon no one who doesn’t own a home can afford one. It also logically cannot continue forever.

We live in a capitalist economy. That means it’s cyclical in nature. But it’s better than all of the alternatives. I do fault the mortgage lenders for blinding themselves to the fact that downturns are inevitable and giving out loans on the basis of pure greed.

We have a responsibility to preserve our resources for the inevitable downturn and be good stewards of our families resources.

Remember the parable of the virgins who still had oil in their lamps compared to those who had run out??? That’s how Jesus tells us to manage our resources.

Andy


#17

House rich, and cash poor. I like that phrase!


#18

I am fortunate to be making good money and to be debt-free, but even so I have been poor, so I am cautious even now. I have scaled back on the fringe items and have held off on some things in order to have the money for more important things, such as home repairs, rainy-day funds, and of course, the tithe to the church (let us never forget to support our churches and clergy!).

I know that technically we are not in a recession; in fact, our economy is actually growing, albeit very slowly and only in the tenths of percentages. Economists show the numbers to prove that we aren’t even close to an actual recession yet, let alone a depression. But you know how it is: the economy can actually be good, numbers-wise, but as long as gasoline is expensive, then as far as everyone is concerned, the economy is terrible.


#19

When we read the real estate section of the paper and look at those “sell this house” kind of television program, we gag at the high house prices.

Seems to me that a house can be built for not a whole lot of money. Granite counter tops are optional. Three car garages are nice but not essential. Refrigerators can be purchased at prices ranging from $300 to $9000. And the $300 models work just as well as the $9000 models. I personally don’t need an ice maker in the door; and the extra water and drain lines add a lot of cost to the house. Cathedral ceilings work in the tropics only and the magnificent vestibule and entry areas contribute wasted/ useless space to a house … space that is expensive and must be heated and cooled.

The appeal of mobile homes and factory-built modular homes is that homes can be built for less money.

As an engineering professional, I’ve always been fascinated by pre-engineered steel buildings. And you can buy a shell for $5 to $10 per square foot. To which you need to add delivery and erection, foundation and interior finish. But that doesn’t add up the kinds of prices we have seen advertised. In fact, yesterday I was on a steel company site and they had both commercial and residential steel buildings … and the residential construction was very modestly priced. [To which interior finish must be added.]

I’ll put the link here … just for comparison sake.

66.162.2.42/dispatch.php?what=displayHomeFrameset&pl=rhino

Taxes are at an all time high … and getting higher. As are restrictions imposed by all levels of government. At some point, these taxes and restrictions become the driving factor in creating negative impacts on me and everybody else. AND government and QANGOS) … Quasi-non-governmental organizations) have been ineffectual and even negative in allowing development of energy supplies. The lumber industry has been shut down in parts of the Northwestern United States crippling the economy there. We need nuclear-powered electrical generation, but that’s been prevented by insurmountable rules and regulations.

So at some point, all the rules and regulations cause so much drag on the economy that it all bogs down.


#20

While DH and I definitely feel the sting of increased costs like gas, food, milk, etc, we are FINALLY starting to do better financially.

We recently bought a house (was able to get a good deal d/t the housing market being a buyer’s market), we both now live very close to work (save a TON on gas) and the area we now live in isn’t economically depressed and food is cheaper than what I used to pay for (the area we lived in before was economically depressed, food and gas WAAAY too expensive for the kind of money people make around there).

In short, we are finally paying off all our debt!! :dancing:And making good head-way on it too! But we are living very humbly (not spending too much on scrupulous items) in an attempt to pay off debt faster.


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