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Are you changing your behavior in response to current events?


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485 replies to this topic

#1 of 486 DaveF

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Posted September 23 2008 - 02:22 PM

The fears of a tumbling economy are inescapable from the news and office conversations. I've thought about whether I should pro-actively change my behavior, to conserve more cash in the event of tighter times ahead.

But so far, I'm not changing my behavior -- I'm still hoping to build a deck next year for my house and maybe get a new TV.

How about you? Is the news practical -- are you changing your spending habits because of current events?

#2 of 486 TonyD

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Posted September 23 2008 - 03:11 PM

I would like to change my spending habits, but these habits are hard to break right now.

btw this is very similar to the "just gave myself a $6000 raise" topic.

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#3 of 486 nolesrule

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Posted September 23 2008 - 06:18 PM

Racking up debt would be a bad idea, but if you have enough cash reserves to handle a typical unemployment period, there's no point in cutting back on non-credit spending.

Cash flow is important to help a struggling economy. If people don't spend money, businesses lose revenue, creating job cuts. Then people don't have money to spend, so businesses lose revenue, creating job cuts....except in the credit industry, but that's part of the problem.

#4 of 486 Lucia Duran

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Posted September 24 2008 - 12:11 AM

YES. However, my spending habits changed last year in February. I have cut back on many things that I use to do such as movies, eating out, books, music and so on.

I just don't have the money to spare on extra stuff right now and I can only afford to buy neccessities. I realize that cash flow is good for the economy, but when you just don't have the funds or means, it makes it hard to put money back into the economy.

Where I live, movie theaters and restaurants are really struggling. One theater here recently shut down because they were just not getting enough customers.
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#5 of 486 drobbins

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Posted September 24 2008 - 01:10 AM

I finally have both my cars paid off and with less than 100,000 miles on each, I don't have any plans on buying a new one. I work for an automotive supplier and our production is 50% of what it was 2 years ago. We have laid off and went from working 24/7 days to 24/5 days per week. It looks like further cutbacks early next year. So my spending habits have been cut back some and I am not considering any large ones in the future.

While they are buying out bad debits on wall street, I think they should expand the program and have a national debit forgiveness day! Say as of 9/24/08 ANY debit that ANYONE owes is erased!! That would free up trillions of dollars that people would spend and boost the overall economy. Instead of everyone hurting to bail out a few, a few would hurt to bail out everyone. Posted Image

#6 of 486 Garrett Lundy

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Posted September 24 2008 - 01:42 AM

It may sound bolshevik, but I'm willing to give Drobbins (or is it Dr. Obbins? I'm confused) plan a shot.

PS: Please forgive the debt before my motorcycle-accident settlement check comes in.
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#7 of 486 Jay H

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Posted September 24 2008 - 01:45 AM

No debt whatsoever except for my insanely priced house.... But I always conserve cash, it's the nature of having way too many hobbies (including home theater) although I really don't buy DVDs and I'm no longer upgrading HT equipment, I have way too many other expensive hobbies like biking, mountaineering, kayaking that suck up my free time and wages.

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#8 of 486 drobbins

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Posted September 24 2008 - 01:57 AM

Quote:
(or is it Dr. Obbins? I'm confused)
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#9 of 486 Steve_Tk

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Posted September 24 2008 - 02:25 AM

I did budget myself. I only play golf once a week and I have stopped eating out for lunch and dinners. I don't have any debt either. I got kind of lucky in that right about the time I was planning on buying a home the housing market tanked. So glad I didn't buy two years ago, no way I could sell now.

#10 of 486 Michael Reuben

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Posted September 24 2008 - 02:40 AM

This has been coming for a long time. I changed my habits a while ago. While everyone else was piling debt onto their home, I was paying it down.

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#11 of 486 nolesrule

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Posted September 24 2008 - 02:54 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucia Duran
I just don't have the money to spare on extra stuff right now and I can only afford to buy neccessities. I realize that cash flow is good for the economy, but when you just don't have the funds or means, it makes it hard to put money back into the economy.

I was by no means encouraging people to spend money they don't have. That could result in irresponsibly increasing debt.

#12 of 486 Michael Warner

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Posted September 24 2008 - 03:10 AM

Since getting my stupid college debt under control 10 years ago I've made sure that I always live within my means and only carry debt on my house. So no, I don't intend to make any major spending changes at this time probably because I'm not a big spender to begin with. I was planning to make some big financial investments a few weeks ago and boy am I glad I waited on that. I can't imagine how anyone carrying piles of avoidable debt is sleeping at night these days. Note I said avoidable. Sometimes life just hits you upside the head at the worst possible time.
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#13 of 486 JohnRice

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Posted September 24 2008 - 03:19 AM

I wonder what is going to happen (for the first time, I believe this really could be bad), but there is also nothing I can do. I've been living insanely frugally for years, so there is absolutely nothing to cut. I'm actually spending slightly more than I have for years, but my situation is a bit more secure than it had been, plus, I also am starting to have a slight social life.

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#14 of 486 DaveF

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Posted September 24 2008 - 03:22 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyD
btw this is very similar to the "just gave myself a $6000 raise" topic.
That thread was on my mind when I posted this. Posted Image

Quote:
Originally Posted by nolesrule
Racking up debt would be a bad idea, but if you have enough cash reserves to handle a typical unemployment period, there's no point in cutting back on non-credit spending.

Cash flow is important to help a struggling economy. If people don't spend money, businesses lose revenue, creating job cuts. Then people don't have money to spend, so businesses lose revenue, creating job cuts....except in the credit industry, but that's part of the problem.
Indeed. I didn't understand this until I bought a house. And yet, to take my case, building a deck will cost $10k - $15k. It's a good thing, I can afford it, and if my "consumer confidence" were high, next year would be the time for it. But if I have worries about next year, then saving $10k+ feels very good, and I don't worry about esoterics like doing my small bit for the huge economy. (And I think it becomes a tragedy of the commons scenario).

#15 of 486 nolesrule

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Posted September 24 2008 - 03:26 AM

Well, if you want a deck, come over to my house and remove mine. You'll need to replace a few rotted planks but otherwise it's in good shape. Posted Image

The deck is just more work to maintain than I anticipated when we bought the house.

#16 of 486 drobbins

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Posted September 24 2008 - 03:35 AM

Quote:
And yet, to take my case, building a deck will cost $10k - $15k.
If you can cut a straight line and screw in screws with a drill, you could probably build your owns deck for $1k-$2k depending on the size. I believe that if you took the rough sketch to a place like Lowe's, they will give you a materials list and custom drawings. Decks are one of the easy construction projects from a skill level point of view.

#17 of 486 ChristopherG

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Posted September 24 2008 - 05:33 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by drobbins
If you can cut a straight line and screw in screws with a drill, you could probably build your owns deck for $1k-$2k depending on the size. I believe that if you took the rough sketch to a place like Lowe's, they will give you a materials list and custom drawings. Decks are one of the easy construction projects from a skill level point of view.


It seems a bit more complicated than you paint it, yet...this is how I will change my behavior - I will attempt to build my own deck instead of paying 3-4 x cost of materials for labor on top of the material cost...

Also:
- I am bringing my own lunch in instead of buying it
- I am switching from Comcast to FIOS for an overall cheaper deal for the same services (good for a year of savings anyway)
- selling a bunch of no longer used or needed items on various forums including ebay, craigslist , etc
- installed a programmable thermostat to try and cut back on energy costs
- thinking about getting out of aquarium hobby (save energy and time)
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#18 of 486 DaveF

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Posted September 24 2008 - 05:39 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by drobbins
If you can cut a straight line and screw in screws with a drill, you could probably build your owns deck for $1k-$2k depending on the size. I believe that if you took the rough sketch to a place like Lowe's, they will give you a materials list and custom drawings. Decks are one of the easy construction projects from a skill level point of view.
The materials alone would cost about $2500-$5000, I think (450 sq ft, using Trex) It's 13 ft above ground (over the walk-out basement), and I'd be spending every weekend for months building my first major project. I'd rather contract it out, have it done professionally, and done in two weeks.

But you're right. If I really wanted a deck and also wanted to save money, I could do it myself and do it smaller. Posted Image

#19 of 486 Carlo Medina

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Posted September 24 2008 - 06:30 AM

Five years ago I made the decision to pay higher rent within walking distance to where I live, in exchange for:

1. Filling up on gas only once a month vs. every 6 days
2. Despite living only 8 miles away from work my commute in L.A. would often creep up to 45 minutes or more one-way.
3. Wear and tear on my psyche (due to road rage, mostly from other L.A. drivers)

Back then gas was nowhere near what it is now, so I turned out to be a bit prescient. It's actually cheaper now to live where I do, despite the higher rent, given the current gas prices.

But that's pretty much the only thing I've changed for the economy: walking whenever I can vs. driving.

I just bought a new receiver, because I figure if banks are failing, I might as well put my money to use instead of keeping it in a volatile institution! Posted Image

#20 of 486 Buzz Foster

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Posted September 24 2008 - 06:41 AM

I was already riding my motorcycle as much as possible, so that continues.

Although I had not intended to rack up any new debt, and I have just paid off quite a bit, I needed a newer vehicle with more room, so I bought a 2003 Toyota Tacoma double-cab. $16,000 seems to be almost half what a new one would have cost, so I don't think it is an extravagant expense. I financed it through the credit union at a decent rate. Now, I just need to sell the one I already have. Fortunately, Tacomas tend to be fairly recession-proof and always in demand. It will sell, but probably a tad below book ($5,500).

I have bought supplies for home improvement projects, but they are relatively minor. I did have plans to build a gazebo out back, but that is on hold both for time and not wanting to charge the supplies to a credit account.

Otherwise, I see no major expenses on the horizon, and no intention to finance anything anytime soon.
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