Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Ain't it the truth?

I read other people's blogs a lot, and on one blog I'm following (hey, BJ :-) ), the writer talks about how friends and family were all about appearances and spending a lot for Christmas, even during these tough economic times.

The thing is, that's been true a lot for me, too, only I've never really been a big spender before this, and I'm uncomfortable with this value system that says we should have to try to keep up with the Joneses, always have been. I don't necessarily get nasty reactions from people when I don't; it's more, "Oh, that's too bad you don't have enough money." That can be a little frustrating sometimes, considering that the people who say that to me probably don't have enough money either, but they do it anyway. So I've always been a bit out of step with what at least seemed to be the general mindset of, "Spend, spend, spend" before this little economic crash we're having.

A "good" thing?

I get a lot of people riled up when I talk about how this economic recession or depression or whatever you want to call it might actually be a "good" thing, in some ways. Not the massive loss of jobs, no, but the so-called "credit crisis" in general. You see, the so-called economic "health" we've been experiencing has actually been built on debt in large part, for a long time. Our own debt, our government's debt, and so on. Fake money, in other words. So maybe this correction we're undergoing is actually going to put us back in the mindset our parents or grandparents had, which is that you only buy what you can afford and nothing more, using real money that you actually earn before you spend it.

In some ways, I'm lucky because I'm single and I've never had to discuss my finances with anyone else, so my money has always been my own to earn and spend, without having to worry about what others might think. (I do have a boyfriend, but he feels exactly the way I do about spending and is just as frugal as I am, so we have no disagreements there.) And freelancing can be spotty indeed, with good times and bad times, so I've experienced my own economic "depressions" when the rest of the country was just flush and fine, which makes me a bit of a (dare I say it?) maverick that way, too.

Anyway, I just wanted to say, "You rock!" to all the folks who follow sensibility and don't spend money just to keep up with the Joneses, but only in things they truly want or need -- and can really afford.

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