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Old 02-20-2009, 11:08 AM
 
5,861 posts, read 14,073,764 times
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My wife and I are certified Baby Boomers and have not changed our habits. We've always lived below our means. We've managed to put together a pretty comfortable lifestyle without having to acquire the things that typical Americans in our income range do. Some may argue that people like us are partially responsible for the economic mess our country is in, since we've saved much more than we've spent, and spending is what had been driving our consumer-based economy.

We are saddend that our retirement money has dwindled so much in the past 6 months. We may have to work a year or two more than we had planned, but we'll cross that bridge when we get closer to it.
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Old 02-20-2009, 01:23 PM
 
Location: Bothell, Washington
2,704 posts, read 4,683,213 times
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My wife and I have always lived below our means. I suppose we would be considered lower middle class, we have a basic house, a couple of basic cars, and occasionally splurge on going on a trip or buying a toy here and there, but basically there is nowhere we could cut even if we wanted to, because we almost never eat out, don't really go out to movies, bars, clubs, etc- so the only step backwards we could take would be to scale back to a slum apartment instead of the house, or to have one car for both of us to somehow share (which never would work in today's car oriented society living in a place with really no public transportation).

So, in short nothing has really changed for us, we live life as we did in the good economic years.
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Old 02-20-2009, 05:27 PM
 
Location: Cleveland, OH USA / formerly Chicago for 20 years
3,716 posts, read 5,810,007 times
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I haven't changed my spending habits so far. But then, I've always been frugal, always lived below my means, and never was much into shopping and accumulating a lot of toys and other "stuff". It just doesn't interest me.

My one extravagance is that I do eat out a lot, but I tend to stick mostly to little one-star ethnic restaurants where the food is both cheap and good. It's actually easier and more efficient for me than cooking for one.
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Old 02-21-2009, 05:42 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC
657 posts, read 1,313,019 times
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I believe that people will be living in smaller, more cramped quarters not only out of financial necessity, but eventually out of ecological/environmental concern. We can't keep sprawling out into the countryside, destroying precious wilderness and building homes that are too big to heat/cool efficiently. Plus, the commutes get longer, wasting gas, polluting the air, and wreaking havoc with your personal time.

And what happens if the global economy goes haywire, and we stop importing cheap stuff from Asia b/c fuel costs and quality issues/safety concerns make it too expensive to buy "made in China" goods. Do we end up with having less or do those things get made in American again, helping our manufacturing base redevelop?
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Old 02-21-2009, 07:44 PM
 
Location: West Cobb County, GA (Atlanta metro)
9,188 posts, read 30,265,171 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by back2dc View Post
And what happens if the global economy goes haywire, and we stop importing cheap stuff from Asia b/c fuel costs and quality issues/safety concerns make it too expensive to buy "made in China" goods. Do we end up with having less or do those things get made in American again, helping our manufacturing base redevelop?
That would be a good thing.

Maybe we need to be forced to stop buying cheap imported junk. We certainly don't learn on our own to "buy American" - but then, it's hard to even FIND American-made products anymore. Maybe that's exactly what we need... shut it all out and start making our own stuff again.

Sure, you won't be able to buy an $8 Chinese blender at Walmart anymore, but then, you won't have to worry about it burning your house down by just turning it on if you buy a better quality one domestically made, either. It's time for "quality" to replace the word "quantity" in our personal dictionaries.
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Old 02-21-2009, 08:06 PM
 
812 posts, read 2,117,637 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atlantagreg30127 View Post
That would be a good thing.

Maybe we need to be forced to stop buying cheap imported junk. We certainly don't learn on our own to "buy American" - but then, it's hard to even FIND American-made products anymore. Maybe that's exactly what we need... shut it all out and start making our own stuff again.

Sure, you won't be able to buy an $8 Chinese blender at Walmart anymore, but then, you won't have to worry about it burning your house down by just turning it on if you buy a better quality one domestically made, either. It's time for "quality" to replace the word "quantity" in our personal dictionaries.

you know, i'm sick and tired of the erroneous and ungrateful rant that is so stupid but common about 'cheap' chinese or imported goods. calling it all junk is wrong and a heinously rude but typical arrogant stance of americans. considering those poor workers who are sweating away more than 12 plus hours seven days a week are probably more conscientious and better workers than the majority crap american citizens that have the luck and good fortune to be complaining about this and that of their products! and could they produce better? i don't think so! lol

sure, you usually get what you pay for but no one told you to shop at the cheapest stores either. whether they are made in america or elsewhere, there is a quality gradient and products made in america were from the lowest quality to the highest before china took up the brunt of america's mass produced products. so don't give me that false lie and charade that american products always necessarily mean quality!

if it wasn't for china a lot of lower to middle income americans wouldn't be able to fulfill their desires for many things and just be dreaming of having things they could never afford.

i've gotten plenty of made in china goods that were good and they certainly don't all break down or burn your house down. go to hell, racist. what an exaggeration.

but i do agree that it's best americans got back to manufacturing their own goods and this recession certainly is going to have a silver lining and a positive lesson on being a gross consumer as well as environmental and lifestyle concerns and consciousness. no one needs to be a gross consumer as it's bad for the environment period. technology is also going to help shift the primitive desire for 'quantity' like a pack rat and signs of affluence for practical but good living in the future.

Last edited by leaana; 02-21-2009 at 08:15 PM..
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Old 02-21-2009, 08:49 PM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC (in my mind)
7,946 posts, read 15,070,337 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atlantagreg30127 View Post
I think we already ARE in a depression. They keep comparing what's happening now to the great depression of the 1930s. This isn't the 1930s. The World, and America, are vastly different now than what they were then. The whole definition of "depression" should be reconsidered, and if so we may find that in today's world - we are already well there.
Depression is more than a 10% decline in GDP. This isn't a depression. Today, people may not be buying HDTVs and $30,000 SUVs, but they are still eating.
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Old 02-22-2009, 11:22 AM
 
Location: Kentucky
2,927 posts, read 7,583,969 times
Reputation: 1327
Quote:
Originally Posted by bchris02 View Post
Depression is more than a 10% decline in GDP. This isn't a depression. Today, people may not be buying HDTVs and $30,000 SUVs, but they are still eating.
Actually people are still buying those items. The media would want you to think otherwise however. They have went way overboard with the economy talk all the time.
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Old 02-22-2009, 11:26 AM
 
Location: Texas
43,607 posts, read 52,818,062 times
Reputation: 70944
The average American lifestyle needs to change b/c the current one is based on financial lies and excessive borrowing in order to collect material goods that people really can't afford.

So I don't see a problem with the change. Back to adequate savings, buying what you need rather than what you want, and borrowing within limits.

That being said...no, I have not changed my lifestyle, b/c I already live a responsible lifestyle of moderation (if not frugality).
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