Lessons from the Recession

17 05 2010

Have you changed anything in your lifestyle during the recession? I know that for myself, I became more thrifty. If I needed to make a major purchase, I did my research and got the best deal possible. I did not make impulsive purchases and I used coupons! I also stuck to a strict budget… and if there was something that I wanted, or needed to get that was not accounted for on the budget, then I moved things around to accommodate it (i.e., no movies that month) or I simply did not get it.

During this time, I told myself that I would learn from the process and continue living on a budget and being frugal with my money. I promised myself that when things started to get better, I would not live beyond my means, and would live wisely within my income. I am grateful that things are starting to look better, yet it makes me wonder, will I fall into the lifestyle of consumerism that is seeming to pick back up, or will I come out of this recession with experience and wisdom?

According to an article on CNNMoney.com, luxury retailers are reporting sales increases. For example, Coach reported an increase of 12% from last quarter. The savings rate in the US is also down at 2.7% from 6.4% over a year ago. Why is everyone so comfortable spending on such non-essentials again?

Some feel that this is not necessarily a surge in excess lifestyle, rather a relief in holding back. For the last couple of years, people have not replaced appliances, cars, computers, etc.. so spending may seem to be increasing – but it is really families are deciding it is okay once again to replace worn out items.

Although the recession was significant, was it enough to make a lasting impact on our lives so that we live within our means and don’t get ourselves into this mess again.

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