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December 19, 2011 / sharoncopy

To spend or not to spend

All of the news is talking about how much people are or are not spending. It seems to be a good trend and an anti-depression signal if people are blowing cash. One comment said that the sale of electronics was up over the weekend but the proceeds at restaurants were down. Aw, imagine that: people actually ate at home before they went to Best Buy! Don’t they realize that means that the sale of groceries would be up? And if the store sales go down, it should mean that the sale of electricity and gas is up because if people are at home they are using it more. It is a product, after all.

Maybe if people bought less stuff because they were actually saving money that could be measured too. Saving money could mean a good thing for the economy – it might mean fewer people going bankrupt or losing their homes and needing government aid to live. It might mean that people save up enough to buy one of those shiny new cars (or at least make a good downpayment) or to afford the downpayment on one of the homes that isn’t selling.

Sometimes it’s hard to realize it, but pennies add up to dollars and dollars to hundreds. Making a sandwich at home for .50 cents saves the extra $4.50 for having the girl at the store make it for you, and while it might feel convenient, it probably takes less time to make it at home and is therefore more convenient. Same with coffee.

But hey, it’s fun to be waited on, isn’t it? I enjoy it. There’s a sense of freedom to running out the door at the last minute and stopping for a bacon-egg-cheese-croissant and OJ just because I can. But if I was thinking straight, I would realize that I just spent 30 minutes’ wages for something I could make at home in five. Even counting buying it ahead of time (which is really the problem) I’d come out ahead.

2012: has to be a time to get rid of “stuff” and buy less “stuff” and pay more on the “stuff” we’ve already accumulated and not paid for yet. Sigh.

One Comment

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  1. Ms.Patti (@meespatti) / Dec 20 2011 8:24 pm

    I saw Suzy Orman on tv and had to laugh at her desperate attempts to save her money guru career. She was apologizing and begging people to forget all of her lessons to leverage their lifestyles, and carry debt, play the stock market and cash in. Now she is advising people to live below their means, save, provide for retirement, and tell their children NO when it comes to shopping for mood elevation and self esteem issues. She gave advice to pay for house work after chores and responsibilities which were done free. No allowances that you don’t earn. Teach your children to work hard and please the boss. Hoo boy. LOL.
    I know I lived a thrifty life, and avoided a mortgage, and now have been able to ride out this depression. It didn’t protect me from losing work before retirement age and being ignored as I look for work.
    I only have age discrimination to fight to find part time work. Only.

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