There are a lot of words pinging around in that space inside my head -- sometimes they come together and make some kind of sense. When they do, I put them here, to make room for more.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Cheap is the New Wealthy

I love a recession!

Yes, I know that “technically” the recession is over, but I also know that jobs are scarce and gas prices inch up every hour and people are nervous. And they’re finally living life the way I do, every day. Recession or no.

It hit me right after the start of this last recession. Dr. Phil announced he was doing a special show on “How to Survive a Recession”. I was so excited; I got pen and paper and dutifully sat on the couch, ready to take notes.

“You want to turn your thermostat down.” Ok, I already did that, down to the nippy temperature of 60 during the day, 66 when kids were home, 58 at night. Check.

“Buy groceries on sale.” Ok, ditto for that.

“Pay off your credit card bills.” “Prepare meals at home instead of eating fast food.” “Use coupons.” Check, check and check.

And then I realized: I already live my life as if every day was a recession.

This was a revelation to me. I knew we lived cheaply, I just had no idea how out of the norm we were.

And now, thanks to the recession, everyone else is living like me! Yipee!! I’m seeing more of my neighbors at the further-away grocery store, the one that’s thirty percent less expensive than the three in or near my town. The one that people used to say to me “You go all the way over there for groceries? Isn’t that kind of far?” (Actually, no, it just takes a few minutes longer than getting to the other places.) People are bragging about how they’re keeping their thermostats low (I still think I’ve got them beat there), and how they’re “only” taking one vacation a year.

So yes, I love a recession. It means everyone else is finally lowering their standard of living, to almost as low as mine. And I welcome the company.

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