The Eclectic One

…Because labels are a poor substitute for thinking

Our Recession -For Now

Posted by Bill Nance on May 22, 2009

Andrew Sullivan has a terrific series running called: “The View From Your Recession.”

I highly recommend it, you can read every thread from here.

From our end I thought it might be worthy noting what our recession is like.

To be honest, it hasn’t affected us much. We had one credit card cut back on our limit, but other than that we’ve seen no personal effects.

We have a decent income and are able to meet our bills without any great difficulty. More importantly I think, is that we already lived like monks before last fall.

Our discretionary spending has been essentially zero for a very long time. It’s  habit I learned from being poor and I’ve never moved beyond it. When it’s time to give to others we’re generous. But when it comes to us, well, not so much. We do without lots of things, like presents to each other, frivolous things like flowers for a holiday ($100 per) etc.

What does that entail?  Well, first of all our eating out is essentially nil. We don’t go out to movies much and when we do go out it’s usually something free like a park, the local nature preserve where we can let the dogs off-leash to enjoy themselves or something of the like that’s free or at least very inexpensive.

Our only real expense, entertainment-wise is ammunition, which we save on by reloading.  It’s amazing how much money can be frittered away on things like super-expanded extra cable, a couple nights out on the town and lunches eaten out instead of brown-bagged, but it all adds up.

We buy our clothes from factory outlet stores, we shop in New Hampshire a couple times a month in bulk to save on sales taxes and generally try to save whenever we can. All in all I’d say it’s saving us an average of $300-500 a month. I don’t know about you, but $3600-6000 a year is a lot of money to us.

Our needs are very simple. Food, clothing, housing and doggy-care. The rest we take on a priority basis of “What will we be doing with this in six months?” If the answer is “nothing” then we generally don’t spend the money.  Internet is an essential for us, but we figure that’s money well-spent, for employment if nothing else (We both use it for work).  Ammo is strictly an entertainment thing and really one of our few luxuries.

What are you spending?  On what? Does the recession affect you? How?


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