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Old 09-23-2008, 07:38 AM   #81
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Originally Posted by thescpellsView Post
Same here, Donna. We've been in our house for 23 years in Oct. and would LOVE to move, but have tried to be realistic. I have a hard time swallowing that I may have to help bail out those who knew they wouldn't be able to afford that bigger house if interest rates shifted the slightest bit north. The same goes for those mortgage companies/banks that made those loans on such insane terms (while their brokers made handsome commissions).
Julie

P.S. To answer your original question, Joan, I have definitely cut back in the last couple of months, not just this past week.
I agree - my husband and I make decisions keeping in mind what we can spend so that we can take care of ourselves. Knowing that we have colleges to pay for and other things. Now we all have to pay for their decisions - I don't think that is fair - will they help us pay for our kids college? Don't think so.

For those of us that have been laid off and are having trouble finding jobs - I am sorry. I know it is difficult to start over - and the bills just keep coming. We are all facing tough times and need to watch what we spend and make careful decisions.
We also need to teach our children to make wise choices and to only spend within their means. I know around me the kids seem to spend well beyond their means and don't understand the word no. I am constantly trying to teach my kids the difference between want and need.
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Old 09-23-2008, 07:57 AM   #82
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Luckily, our household hasn't felt the effects yet, but we're taking a proactive approach and cutting back on non-essentials. I'm thinking carefully about every purchase, and I've voluntarily cut my stamping budget back to $0 for the time being.

I'm sorry to those who are struggling.

If you are not totally clear on how the whole mortgage crisis happened...this is an interesting radio program that explains it really clearly!

http://thislife.org/Radio_Episode.aspx?sched=1242
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Old 09-23-2008, 08:02 AM   #83
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Thanks for the link - I appreciate you taking the time to list it.
I find it all very interesting.
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Old 09-23-2008, 01:10 PM   #84
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We're thankful that we're not effected.
Hubby's in the military and I work for a state university.
But, on average, our monthly spending has not changed much.
We don't drive to the city as often and hubby's been carpooling.
We buy locally for food and we lessen up on meat eating.
Actually we don't eat beef now.
Shopping on base does help.
We can buy chicken legs and thighs for less than $2 still.
We've also bought consignment or sales clothing.
Shoes we still do splurge.
Not sure if this makes a difference but I've been buying organic since 1999.
Yes it's gone up but it's not that bad I think.
Our milk has been $3.75 or so for the last few years for half a gallon.
Our cleaning supplies cost over a $100 but it'll probably last us 15 years, ha!
They're all natural/organic.
We have a 2000 sqft home and our highest energy bill this summer was $53.
This is an all electric home.
We stocked up on energy efficient lights and appliances besides uber thick insulation when we build the house two years ago.
Spending wise for craft/hobbies... the same.
Maybe a bit more now that I'm into it more.
But I am done I think. I got everything I need.
Oh, I just need one more set of Nestabilities.
Right now I just spend $36/mo on a scrapbook kit and $50 on SU/stamps.
I work two classes/mo at my local scrapbook store and I make $50-$80.
So I am doing well with my part-time fun job
After my last Nesties I might just buy stamps here and there and more supplies.
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Old 09-23-2008, 01:31 PM   #85
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Our spending hasn't changed at all, not in the last week or months. Then again, we've always been pretty simple people with simple lifestyles. We don't like having "stuff". I know, we're weird and un-American LOL!

Although my husband's job seems secure, I know that the economy is rough for many right now. However, I'll be blunt and say I don't have much sympathy for those who are in serious credit card debt and/or bought homes they couldn't afford. We're not happy about bailing people out who knowingly spent more than they could afford (and, yes, we have a few family members in this boat and we love them, but do not condone their financial irresponsibility).

Even with my husband's job not in danger right now (I'm a SAHM), we still have a plan in place in case he does lose it and we have our faith, so we are at peace with whatever comes out way. Right now, we are focused on continuing to live simply and to help others who are struggling. We know of several friends who are hurting, despite being responsible, and we feel compelled to help them. It doesn't feel right to buy frivilous things when they need basic necessities met.

So while our spending hasn't changed, it was never a lot to begin with.
We're not very American either. We do have credit cards but we will pay it off the next month. We use it for mileage and just for credit rating purposes. When we do need to make a big purchase we usually open an account with the 0% for a year from the store and we never spend more than what we have in our account. For example if we want a $1,000 TV we'll use the credit card even though we have the $1,000 in our account. It hasn't hurt our credit ratings and we only do this once every 2-3 years. I don't know, I just rather keep the $1,000 in our account. So in a year, we'll have the $1,000 paid and still have the $1,000 on savings.

Actually our TV is from 1999, ha! We don't have cable/satellite service.

Yeah, I feel the same way towards those who have a lot of credit card bills and/or too much house for their pocket book. But the housing issue I blame on those lenders who were not working for the best interest of the borrower. If I were a lender I wouldn't let a borrower buy a house that's more than they can afford or an interest rate that will blow up in three years. I don't care if it's my commission that it's costing. Our cousin lost a house. We already knew they couldn't afford it but they insisted. Oh wait, make that two cousins. These people were uneducated (and want too much, I have to blame them for that) and the lenders got them.

So far we know of nobody who lost their jobs. We're grateful for this.
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Old 09-23-2008, 03:41 PM   #86
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The economy is not what is getting us right now, it is our daughter. LOL Hailey fell in May and broke her elbow- Emergency room, orthopedic surgeon consult, co-pay, office visits, deductible, etc.
The end of August she suddenly develops Asthma, ER, 4 day hospital stay (1.5 days In the PICU) co-pays, office visits, our 20%, meds, etc...
Last week, while our power was off for 48 hours she had another attack- ER, Co-pay, 20%, Dr visits, meds, etc
Yesterday a trip to the Allergist- co-pay, 20%, scheduled follow up with 2 DRs, etc... (Oh, and she is not allergic to any of the 52 things tested. LOL)
DH said this is preparing us for Prom and her wedding- thank goodness we can save up for those for a long time- she is only 2. LOL
I did go to the LSS last Monday- they had power, I spent less than $10.00.
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Old 09-23-2008, 03:46 PM   #87
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Oh I bet the Texas Ragweed blew in to your town. It is killing me today. One day last week the pollen count was over 10,000-yep I did that right. My little girl used to have all those attacks and had asthma. We kept her full of Benedryl most of the fall.

Uh, yeah, girls cost more. Wait til the showers start-discover boys and shower 5 times a day for 20 minutes each. The hot water bill alone kept us in hock!
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Old 09-23-2008, 06:27 PM   #88
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JOOOAN!!! Love you! This is a great survey...just thought I'd add my 2 cents worth...lol

Even though the economy is not soo hot, my family seems to be holding up well. My hubby too, is in the military and we save like crazy. We spend when we want, but its usually just for essentials. I'm not a big "stuff" shopper not clothes shopper...is my hubby lucky or what??...lol I do buy my share of stamping supplies, but will order in smaller quantities...usually no more than 20.00 per order. I'd rather buy 15 in supplies and pay 5.00 in shipping vs. having to spend 50 to get free shipping. This of course is only for supplies that I'm not able to purchase at my LCS.

Some folks say the military doesn't get paid ENOUGH, but it all works out...people don't realize there are "extra ways" to make more money in military besides having to go and get second jobs. The gov't actually pays us to move from duty station to duty station...if done correctly you can make almost triple what it cost you in supplies to move. In turn, throw all the money into CD's or a high yield savings acct.

You just have to wise about money. If you sale your crafts/cards etc. make them with the supplies you HAVE not the supplies you have to go to the store and buy...otherwise your making nothing! I try to lay off all the bulky embellishments because they can be pricey to buy. You can make a simple and elegant card without all the "chunk" on it...lol Remember postage is not getting any cheaper!
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Old 09-23-2008, 06:42 PM   #89
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Joan BView Post
Hugs to those of you who are hurting. Let's hope that all of you who need a job get one soon.

I am being much more selective. Here is what I would have bought this week and did not:

-did not drop by the local art store for my 2 - 3 copics/cocaine weekly habit
-did not drop by AC Moore or Michaels to use my 50% off coupons.
-did not go to my LSS to pick up the stamp I ordered because I know I will be there next weekend for a class (Karen Lockhart's!!!!).

So, by my way of thinking, I've saved at least $75 this week.
I love your rationalizing! this is how I tell my DH how much I have saved him. I try to always avoid telling him how much I have spent, but rather how much I didnn't spend.
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Old 09-23-2008, 07:13 PM   #90
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Not much change here, but then we're always struggling to get a budget we can stick to. Both DH and I have good jobs and so we feel pretty good about our security, but I would be lying if I said that watching those around us get laid off isn't enough to make us nervous. I am committed to making gifts for everyone this year rather than buying, we carpool to save on gas, I've started clipping coupons, and we are tightening our belts to be on the safe side. Wait - did I say things hadn't changed? I guess I just mean we are still spending as much, just differently.

I understand about everyone's irritation at having to help bail out those who bought more than they could afford, I feel the same way. But I have to point out that as a country, we don't make anything but credit and debt anymore. I have also read that the execs at those bailed out companies got some super sweet bonuses. I don't know it it's true, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was.

I am in manufacturing and I have watched business after business in my area close - manufacturing jobs that have either disappeared or been moved out of the country. I have watched our applicant pool triple for jobs we post and unfortunately that means that the competition is fierce and those who need a job have a much harder time of it.

I believe that this is a systemic issue that includes not just those who overextended themselves, but the incentives companies have to leave, a dependence on an outrageously expensive source of fuel (myself included - no high horse here), and the idea that when things turn bad our duty is to go out and spend (can we all say stimulus check?). I don't mean to be gloom and doom, but it just seems that this problem is larger than the people who bought in to outrageous mortgages.

Just MHO which no one asked for...sorry!
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Old 09-23-2008, 09:01 PM   #91
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Thank you Kristie. This makes an interesting read. I will be sure to share this will all of my family and friends because it helped me to understand a lot better.

Kisa
Quote:

Originally Posted by krystie leeView Post
Luckily, our household hasn't felt the effects yet, but we're taking a proactive approach and cutting back on non-essentials. I'm thinking carefully about every purchase, and I've voluntarily cut my stamping budget back to $0 for the time being.

I'm sorry to those who are struggling.

If you are not totally clear on how the whole mortgage crisis happened...this is an interesting radio program that explains it really clearly!

http://thislife.org/Radio_Episode.aspx?sched=1242
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Old 09-24-2008, 07:12 AM   #92
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Not really tied to the current economic news, but for the last several months I have curbed my spending on stamping magazines, which I used to buy frequently. Now I will splurge on Take Ten (or something similar) once every few months. I prefer to spend $$ on stamps and supplies. I'm also trying out making master boards. Seems to be an efficient use of paper and ink, as I can get several card panels and decorative elements from one or two sheets of card stock.

I'm also being more careful about supplies I purchase. Don't have nearly the amount of stamps and supplies that most people here seem to have, so have been trying to figure out what is good to have and what can be passed up entirely or at least delayed. LOL . I have been reading topics here about what things people use the most and what things people regret purchasing. Threads like that have been very helpful.

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Old 09-24-2008, 08:19 PM   #93
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Some folks say the military doesn't get paid ENOUGH, but it all works out...people don't realize there are "extra ways" to make more money in military besides having to go and get second jobs. The gov't actually pays us to move from duty station to duty station...if done correctly you can make almost triple what it cost you in supplies to move. In turn, throw all the money into CD's or a high yield savings acct.
So, where do you live? We should do a how to live well with the salary you have seminar I know it's not my life but I always gets so pissed when somebody just blows their re-enlistment money, or extra duty, or whatever. Then they start whining about not making enough. My husband and his co-workers passed their tests and early next year they're getting their next rank. His friend's wife doesn't work and they have a lot of debt already and what does she buy him to celebrate? A $3,000 computer - on credit card!!

Another one, he got back from deployment and what did he do, get a bigger NEW truck. It's not like they're farmers! They live a mile away from the base and it's just him and his wife. To make things worst, they ALWAYS say they're broke and catching up on bills.

Obviously some people's spending hasn't changed.

I think hubby's biggest regret was to not give me his re-enlistment bonus back in the days. I would have bought some Apple stocks at $7/share. Have you seen how much it is lately?

We have a friend whom we're converting. He's now eating healthy, working out, AND putting more into his savings/retirement. Yeah!!!
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Old 09-24-2008, 08:33 PM   #94
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Not much change here, but then we're always struggling to get a budget we can stick to. Both DH and I have good jobs and so we feel pretty good about our security, but I would be lying if I said that watching those around us get laid off isn't enough to make us nervous. I am committed to making gifts for everyone this year rather than buying, we carpool to save on gas, I've started clipping coupons, and we are tightening our belts to be on the safe side. Wait - did I say things hadn't changed? I guess I just mean we are still spending as much, just differently.

I understand about everyone's irritation at having to help bail out those who bought more than they could afford, I feel the same way. But I have to point out that as a country, we don't make anything but credit and debt anymore. I have also read that the execs at those bailed out companies got some super sweet bonuses. I don't know it it's true, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was.
It took us a few months to get a good budget. This is what we do and it works very well for us (but only if you don't mind having a lot of accounts). This started out when I was with my 1st husband. He LOVES to spend on new technology pieces. We bought and HDTV when it first came out and had 11 computers in the house. INSANE!!! I didn't have a hobby then but even though we both made good money in the tech field our spending was huge too. So I came up with the idea of having our account and a his and her. The our account is for bills and the his and her is for our hobbies. For big purchases, we'd put $100-$200 aside each month which gives us time to research and wait until the price goes down.

I calculated up our bills and our daily needs and came up with a number and since we both work making about the same amount (he made a little bit more) we put it close to 50-50. I think he put in $200 more each month. It took us a few months to get the right amount but after we got it there it was great. We managed to save too and we had a holiday account on top of the regular savings. Our retirement were deducted before we even see our check so that was a bonus too.

The marriage didn't last but that was the one thing that worked great was the financial arrangements and my current husband loves it too. With our his and her accounts we can do whatever we want without asking and since what we have in our "play" is whatever's left from the joint account and the savings (retirement, college, savings) we don't have to feel guilty about spending.

Hubby's in the military and I am fortunate that I have a job but if we move and I'm a stay-at-home mom we plan on him giving me an allowance so that we'll still have our play accounts. It'll be smaller but it'll give me some joy and happiness

My friend uses cash for eating out and dates. If the cash is gone then it's stay at home time. It forces them to always bring food to work and to really stick to a budget. We might try that too.
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Old 09-24-2008, 09:08 PM   #95
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I actually made a few purchases I do not normally make. I only spent about $20...but still, out of character.

I am used to being on a budget for extras. I lost my job Jan 2007...and I was lucky enough to be able to get unemployment for a time...and then I found out I was pregnant and when I went on job interviews the people can't ask me if I'm pregnant...but after about 4 months, no one had to ask. So I stopped looking. The cost to put both my kids in daycare while I worked would have been astronomical, and unless I made $50/hr, I wouldn't have brought home enough to help with the bills. So I have stayed home ever since.

We had a few windfalls with our tax retuns and stimulus check...so that has kept us from being swamped. My husband works for Home Depot, and things were looking a little hairy for a bit, but then the hurricanes blew through on the eastern coast and did enough damage to give him a little more security.

So it is normal for me to spend no money for a long time, and then a few extra (less than $30) for supplies.

My baby is a year old next week and the older she gets, the cheaper it is to put her in daycare. I have tried to do some things at home, and some craft fairs to bring in some extra money for my scrapping/stamping hobbies. I am thinking by this time next year, my oldest will be 5 and in school, and my "baby" will be 2...so VERY close to potty training age. If she is in the process of potty training her daycare rate is much cheaper. I may find a part time job to pay for our fun stuff and extras.

We are still renting (have been since baby #1 was born), and hope that by next year the market will be so horribly depressed we can get a good deal in the area we already live in. I feel bad for the people losing their homes. But only a little...b/c if you have to do shady things to get your mortgage, wouldn't you expect that there's something wrong? I know quite a few people who got "creative" loans. They are doing okay, b/c they had the money to begin with. They just couldn't prove it b/c they didn't have pay stubs (self-employed). There are SO many houses that are vacant, and the neighborhoods are getting upset over that b/c they are being vandalized and look horrible. I am totally counting on that to get me a nice deal on a 4 bed/2 bath/2 car garage somewhere. Ya know those goofy car sales where the cars are like $5?? I am hoping someone gets creative and starts selling homes that way.
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Old 09-24-2008, 09:59 PM   #96
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My spending is not impacted. If anything, this economy is better for our family business because people need my husband's expertise more. That said, we rarely spend more when we earn more, because we do not know what next month will hold. We have no debt outside my grad school loan.

That said, I feel very strongly that people who are in debt and struggling should not be looked on as bad people or with shame or anger. I mean, come on, these fancy pants investment banks are going bankrupt right now, much less ordinary families without MBAs from Wharton to run their finances. I think it's really sad when we judge our neighbors over this economic situation. Maybe they bought a house that turned out to be more than their budget could handle - but who was it that made a decision to give them that big loan? Who didn't explain exactly what can happen with some of these crazy loan products like ARMs? Someone with a lot more training in finance and lending than the buyer, that's for sure. Same goes for credit cards, etc. You may decide to take the credit, but someone else decided to extend it to you. There is responsibility on both ends, and frankly, I would tend to place more blame with the better educated party with the upper hand - and that's almost always the lender.
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Old 09-25-2008, 08:24 AM   #97
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Oh yes I've had to cut back.....with gas prices, grocery prices and higher energy costs.........the stamping $$$ had to be cut back.

sadly,

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Old 09-25-2008, 09:01 AM   #98
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My spending is cut way back. The hot water heater died and we need new windows on the house. Luxuries must come after necessities. I've been having a lot of fun playing with digital and hybrid projects and I've been using up my stash. I got it for a rainy day' and I'd have to say, it's raining.
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Old 09-25-2008, 12:35 PM   #99
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Kinda freaking. I was supposed to be possibly let go in December and I was prepared for that possibility, but it is becoming clearer that it may be sooner than that. Not sure why 3 months is freaking me more, I guess with Christmas and all I was planning on cutting back and making stuff and putting my checks away for next year being a little lean until I get some PT work but now I am thinking it is looking like NOW so I am not buying ANYTHING unless it needs to be -- DH's income covers us but mine was always for the extra unbudgeted items like car or medical work over and above so I guess we are a little lean until I get something else that fits into our schedule.
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Old 09-25-2008, 07:41 PM   #100
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That said, I feel very strongly that people who are in debt and struggling should not be looked on as bad people or with shame or anger. I mean, come on, these fancy pants investment banks are going bankrupt right now, much less ordinary families without MBAs from Wharton to run their finances. I think it's really sad when we judge our neighbors over this economic situation. Maybe they bought a house that turned out to be more than their budget could handle - but who was it that made a decision to give them that big loan? Who didn't explain exactly what can happen with some of these crazy loan products like ARMs? Someone with a lot more training in finance and lending than the buyer, that's for sure. Same goes for credit cards, etc. You may decide to take the credit, but someone else decided to extend it to you. There is responsibility on both ends, and frankly, I would tend to place more blame with the better educated party with the upper hand - and that's almost always the lender.

Thank you for saying this. I read this thread and knowing my own situation I know I am not a bad person but seems like most people would think I am.

In my case I had an amazing job and self employed husband when I bought my home and it was very affordable. We owned both our cars and have no credit card debt so that was the only payment. Then I got divorced. No big still had enough, barely to make payments. Well, then MS got much worse and was out of work. Took over 6 months to get on disabillity. I moved out and 'foolishly' rented the house to a friend. She was sending the payments in so I didn't have to get it from her and then send it. Come to find out she wasn't such a great friend and after the first year quit making payments to everything. House, water, pud (all in my name). The mortgage company did not call me until the payments were 5 months behind. Ofcourse she had to move out but a little too late for the damage was done. I had bad credit, bills skyhigh, and a forclosure.
So for trusting in a friend and being too kind hearted I suppose I am this bad person that is stereotypically in debt.

Its not always being overzelous or an overspender that gets a person into this situation.

My mom had plenty of income and owned three houses. She had to start caring for her older sister and medical bills began to pile up. She refinaced two of her homes to pay down the bills and eventually funeral. The renters in one of the homes trashed it and did not pay for the 5 months it took to get them forcefully evicted. Everything complied and to keep two out of three of the houses she had to let one forclose.

Life has a million ways to bring a person down.
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Old 09-25-2008, 10:26 PM   #101
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Originally Posted by putriView Post
So, where do you live? We should do a how to live well with the salary you have seminar I know it's not my life but I always gets so pissed when somebody just blows their re-enlistment money, or extra duty, or whatever. Then they start whining about not making enough. My husband and his co-workers passed their tests and early next year they're getting their next rank. His friend's wife doesn't work and they have a lot of debt already and what does she buy him to celebrate? A $3,000 computer - on credit card!!

Another one, he got back from deployment and what did he do, get a bigger NEW truck. It's not like they're farmers! They live a mile away from the base and it's just him and his wife. To make things worst, they ALWAYS say they're broke and catching up on bills.

Obviously some people's spending hasn't changed.

I think hubby's biggest regret was to not give me his re-enlistment bonus back in the days. I would have bought some Apple stocks at $7/share. Have you seen how much it is lately?

We have a friend whom we're converting. He's now eating healthy, working out, AND putting more into his savings/retirement. Yeah!!!
AMEN!!! I've heard this story time and time again. My husband has never received a re-up bonus until this year! Our bonus was immediately dumped into a comfy CD and will not mature until next December. One thing we also never count on is our tax return. We do have two mortgages as of July(my hubby is Chinese so we are paying for an overpriced condo in Arlington, VA for his parents...don't get me started...lol) and we are still able to make things work. Our returns are pretty hefty, but we never dip into them or "count" on them. We lived the last 3 years in NYC where our BAH was astronomical...2700.00 which is what the gov't gives us for basic housing allowance and thats on top of his basic pay. Now, since we did live in NYC, we chose to live on base...anywhere else and we would have lived in town. So we don't take home the BAH, but most folks will put their families in the dump so they can make extra money of the BAH. I'm not willing to sacrifice my family's safety over extra rent money...lol If I were single...well, I might consider....lol

We are currently stationed in Jacksonville, NC...Home of Camp Lejuene! Where are you stationed?
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Old 09-26-2008, 10:16 AM   #102
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I have severely cut back my crafting purchases. We had to move from our old 2 story house to a ranch style house for medical reasons and our old house still has not sold. (At least we were smart enough not to have adjustable loans on either house.) On top of that DH works in the construction industry & can't get work. Most of his regular customers have put their projects on hold. I did not renew my stamp club membership and have been trying to limit purchases to life's necessities. I actually went in Archivers the other day and did not spend a penny! I was proud of myself (although they probably had to mop all the drool off the floor after I left). The one thing I have been purchasing is Michael's cubes when I get a 50% off coupon. I only buy 1 at a time so I can spread out my purchases between different paychecks. This way I am working on getting my scrapbook room in the new house organized. I have also made 2 mini albums for gifts totally from my stash so I'm pretty proud of that. Right now I am planning on doing some items for Christmas gifts to save on my Christmas budget. Even though money is tight and the financial situation can be pretty stressful at times I still know others are having a harder time than we are so I'm grateful for what I do have. I know it's just a matter of time before everything turns around so I'm just hanging in there.

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Old 09-26-2008, 10:25 AM   #103
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I have cut way back on my spending. Rather than being a compulsive shopping I'm asking myself if it's something I really need, or if it's just a want. I have more than enough supplies to keep me busy for plenty of time. I think part of it has to do with the fact that I see so many neighbors that HAVE to cut back because of job losses and whatnot. I'm 'testing' myself to see if I can do it without needing to do it. If others can do without, surely I can as well.
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Old 09-26-2008, 10:36 AM   #104
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My spending on new items is way way way down. I have bundles of unopened, unused items I bought because I thought I would use them, then never did - so they got sold on ebay. When purchasing, I have really focused on the difference between what I need and what I want.

I am also in the frame of mind to use down all that I have purchased and stashed and hoarded in the past. There is no need for me to "save" pounds of rivets, buttons, ribbons, eyelets, etc. I am on a mission to use them! I have measured my stacks of paper and cardstock in inches tall (when stacked in a pile) and am working on reducing the nearly 4 feet in half before the end of the year then again in half before summer starts.
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Old 09-26-2008, 01:50 PM   #105
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Whoohooo...hubby just accepted a promotion...it will double our present income....can you say more stamps..lol
Blessings.
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Old 09-26-2008, 02:00 PM   #106
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Whoohooo...hubby just accepted a promotion...it will double our present income....can you say more stamps..lol
Blessings.
How exciting for you - congratulations! Glad to hear someone has some GOOD news.
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Old 09-26-2008, 02:23 PM   #107
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Whoohooo...hubby just accepted a promotion...it will double our present income....can you say more stamps..lol
Blessings.
Fabulous!!!
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Old 09-26-2008, 02:37 PM   #108
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It hasn't really changed in the past week, but it has changed somewhat recently - we're paying for college for our oldest. Gas prices are high, grocery budget has increased (due to costs)....we're just being more cost-conscious and energy-conscious. I find myself turning off lights, staying home, consolidating errands, asking myself if I "need" this or that...packing my lunch instead of buying etc..

I lived through the energy crisis of the early 70s and still remember my parents waiting in line for gas and being told to turn off lights etc.. We weathered the double-digit inflation of the early 80s...I hope we don't have a major long-lasting economic downturn, but it's looking more likely, so I think it's wise to buckle down and prepare for the worst while praying for the best.
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Old 09-26-2008, 03:43 PM   #109
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It wasn't affecting me, but the other day hubbys company cut all overtime (he would work at least 2 hours extra every day), bonuses and pay rises argh! so now we are minus that money, we won't be able to spend as much!
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Old 09-26-2008, 03:52 PM   #110
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My husband is in the military and we just recently moved from Missouri to North Carolina. I think that the only thing we are spending more money on these days is gasoline. I filled up yesterday and it was $85. that is with gas at $3.69. That is really the only thing I see impacting my family budget is the gasoline expense. We don't live on post like we did in MO, we have to drive further to get to things, so that is why we are using more.

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Old 09-27-2008, 09:20 PM   #111
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My spending is a little edown, but let me tell you, the shopping centers here in Mesa, AZ are really empty. I can remember not so long ago it was an effort just to drive around parking lots because they were so crowded, and other friends have said the same.
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Old 09-27-2008, 09:20 PM   #112
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My spending is a little down, but let me tell you, the shopping centers here in Mesa, AZ are really empty. I can remember not so long ago it was an effort just to drive around parking lots because they were so crowded, and other friends have said the same.
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Old 09-30-2008, 07:31 AM   #113
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Right now both my hubby and I have jobs that are secure, but I decided about 6 months ago to cut down my spending and try to pay off debt. I love stamping, but I love all my other hobbies (sewing, knitting, gardening, painting). I end up spending way to much on all of them, and sometimes wish I could be content with just one, lol. But I look around my craft space and see all the paper and supplies and think I should just use up what I have!

We are trying very hard to pay off the credit cards, contribute to savings, let alone the RSPs, and RESPs. Food and Fuels costs are rising and now we only have one car, which while difficult saves us money. We also have an older home which is going to need updates and I would like to save the money needed. Scrapbooking and Stamping are so much fun, but I have to admit they are the first choice of all my hobbies to put on hold.
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Old 09-30-2008, 07:37 AM   #114
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We are employed and I hate to use the word Secure because as soon as I use it something will go wrong. We have over the past few years try to really pay off debt and build a savings. You just never know. And with having a senior in High School and another 2 years behind him - big expenses are coming our way!

I love my hobby and business but I can't over spend on stuff I already have.
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Old 09-30-2008, 07:52 AM   #115
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I don't buy any stamping things anymore. I have plenty to play with when I find the time. I'm facing paying for college for my oldest daugher next year and another to follow only two years after that (and I thought having two in diapers at the same time was expensive!). My DH and I are watching our investment accounts go down, down, down - although the experts are saying this morning that the stock market will rebound IF/when the bailout occurs (thank you, Pelosi, for ticking off the Republican House members with your speech - NOT great timing on that one).

We have always kept lights off, combined trips, stayed home, bought mostly only goods on sale - especially at the grocery store - and can't think of another thing we can do to cut our expenses. I'd go back to work, but I live out in the sticks and jobs are few and far between, are mostly part time, far away and pay too poorly to be worth it. Besides, I already HAVE a job of cook, maid, chaueffer, handywoman, wife and mother! I just work for free and the love of it (yeah, okay - some days that would be a stretch of the truth). I'm trying to have faith that it will all work out and not stress out about it daily. But every time one of my daughters comes to me and says, "I need this for school", I cringe.
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Old 09-30-2008, 08:20 AM   #116
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I'm employed full time and fortunately it seems secure at this point. For 18 years, I lived with depression era grandparents and learned so much by watching how they fixed things and , bought reduced items, shop at thrift stores or outlets, fleamarkets,and/or second handed things. I've learned to buy cheap and freeze or can the extras. Every year I plant a garden. My fridge needed repairs, and I had two big vet bills last month. Sometimes I think it is hard to keep up with the bills. Like most, I try to purchase when I can get a deal...either sale price, coupon items, free shipping, no tax, etc. I've not gone on vacations in several years and figure some of the money I sink into my hobby offsets what I would otherwise spend.
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Old 09-30-2008, 09:06 AM   #117
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My spending is definitely down and has been for the past 3 - 4 months. I'm spending much less on clothes, etc and I'm using a little of what I'm saving there to spend on stamping but even my stamping spend is less. DH and I are even car pooling to work now!
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Old 09-30-2008, 10:29 AM   #118
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I have to say that although the income has just risen..I am still cutting back severely on my spending. I am focusing on paying off debt. Heaven knows that I have way more than I need in my stamp room.
Blessings and prayers for each of you as we face this challenging economy.
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Old 09-30-2008, 10:47 AM   #119
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I have no "budget" ... because I have no money. I just hope I can find a gas station that's open, can put SOMETHING on the table for food (I'm getting tired of spaghetti), ... one daughter in college and my DH out of work for the second time this year. This time unemployment ... not an option!

I just keep thinking ... "this too shall pass", hopefully on to better things. I have to sell my house when my younger DD turns 18, so it's T-2 years and counting ... getting the house ready to sell is stressful.

But more stressful than thinking about selling is the fear that because of all this mess I may not be able to buy another house. It upsets me big time. I have a 12 year old car and friends have traded theirs every 2 years, and no equity in their house ... losing their home ... but are they really the ones losing out?
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Old 10-01-2008, 08:25 AM   #120
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I think after what's been going on in the last few days with the economy, I think I'm going to quit being a hobby demo starting next year. I'm going buy what I need this next quarter and just let it go.

I am the only customer with two workshops a year. We both have great jobs and he's military so more security there but still. Just in case. Right now the expense doesn't hurt us but being a demo makes me buy buy buy when I don't necessarily need to. I have stamps and tools that I haven't touched since it was purchased or use very little.

We have a few big trips planned but I think we'll put it off until next time. Plus the dollar isn't as strong right now anyhow. Who knows, in the next 2-3 years we might be stationed in Europe or Japan.
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