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The New Normal

April 8th, 2009 at 05:51 am

The current economic recession is deep. Deep enough that some are already speculating it will shape and define the decade to come.

Good! I had lamented before that, once the economy is in recovery, the lessons of this recession will be forgotten. I feared that people will go back to their old ways of super-sizing everything from cars to credit card debts.

Fortunately, that appears less and less to be the case. In fact, as I was listening to the radio, they brought up a buzzword that I really like: The New Normal.

Still, as the radio program begs the question, how has this economy affected your every day life? What is your New Normal?

- - -

Since I'm asking, I suppose I should also be the first to answer. The truth is... besides worrying about becoming unemployed, I can't say the economy has affected me that much. Don't get me wrong though. It could have, but I already turned frugal as a result of my divorce, before the economy got really bad. But if that had not happened, then yes, I think the economy would have had a bigger influence on me.

Actually, and at the risk of stabbing myself with fateful irony, perhaps this economy HAS influenced me in a rather peculiar way. Despite being re-born as a frugal person, the economy is quite the consumer's market right now. There's just so many good deals out there that I ended up spending on a lot of stuff that I've always wanted, but kept putting off.

20% off for micro-fleece Snuggies blanket with sleeves and super absorbent made in Germany wonder towel Sham-Wows at the local Bed Bath and Beyond? Heck yeah, sign me up! Just kidding.

Anyways, back to the question for you, has the economy changed you somehow, and if so, how?

13 Responses to “The New Normal”

  1. Blue Eyes Says:

    I haven't done much different since the recession. I've always been *fairly* frugal. Like you, I have been through a divorce prior to (about a yr or so) the downward turn with the economy. I haven't made any large purchases in over a year. I have decreased the spending in the "dining out" category somewhat to compensate for attorneys' fees that I will never get reimbursed for from my ex. I feel somewhat concerned about job loss (as no job is recession-proof), but I'm holding on to my Saturday job right now for additional income (of which I am saving 100%) as added security.

  2. Aleta Says:

    I was a frugal person before the economic downturn. That being said; there are alot of bargains out there if you're in the market for those items. Even if you're eating out less, you can find more coupons to save you even more money.

    The other change is how people now see your frugalness as a good thing rather than thinking something is wrong with you. It's true, before you could see people hiding their coupons and now they are proudly giving them to the cashier.

    I find it much easier to say no to some purchases or to certain gifts that I would have given before. I think everyone is in agreement about that.

  3. Ima saver Says:

    I have been frugal for years, so no changes yet. However, when my husband's work runs out in a few months, I am sure things will change.

  4. Caoineag Says:

    We were actually in the process of cleaning up our debt when the recession hit and I have to say it set us back a little. We did a lot of things a little sooner than we would have otherwise and that adds up. On the other hand, it saves us a lot of money in the long run so we will just buckle down and pay everything off in the next year.

  5. miclason Says:

    It's affected me because everything is A LOT more expensive here, so my budget became totally unreal and had to be redone... as a result, my plans to be debt-free before I turn 40 are now completely gone! ...

  6. cptacek Says:

    Well, I got laid off, so yes, it has changed things for us dramatically. The good news is that I get to see my husband every day! The bad news is that the paycheck is gone, and I haven't found another job yet.

  7. Broken Arrow Says:

    Here's hoping to you finding a job real soon!

  8. dmontngrey Says:

    The economy hasn't changed me so much, but it HAS scared DH a bit! Can I be thankful for that one?? He needed this reality check to just sit back and assess what's important in life. He's not quite there yet, but it's a step in the right direction. As a result, he has taken a slight interest in our debt situation and wants things paid off asap. He has always been about instant gratification, but I am seeing a change there too. Sure, he'll always want want want, but he liked not owing on a car and now he wants his car debt gone! Slow progress.

  9. monkeymama Says:

    We're the same, but our frugal ways are now "in vogue."

    My grandparents grew up during the Depression and my dad grew up in poverty. I feel like they have spent their whole lives preparing for this economy, and teaching us to be prepared to.

    I do try not to listen to the news too much any more. Depressing! If I turn off the news, life seems to be like normal...

  10. KellyB Says:

    I also lost my job and am looking for a new one. Have never been "frugal", but am careful about not getting into debt and making sure I budget for any expenses. For the past year, turned on the debt payment plan full force and luckily paid off my HELOC, so now just have my mortgage. Had to cut back dining out, entertainment, and education savings for now, hope to restart once I get another job. So the good thing is that already doing all the right things caused the job loss to be a small setback but not an overwhelming problem. (For now - if I don't get a job within 18 months, then we may have other issues to deal with).

  11. frugaltexan75 Says:

    The economy has affected me, in my being laid off. But before I was laid off, I hadn't really changed my spending habits very much, because I've been attempting to be frugal for many years. Smile

  12. My English Castle Says:

    We're a bit more careful on everything. Spring break vacation was downsized, and discretionary spending is carefully monitored. But so far, so huge changes.

    The vegetable garden this spring will possibly be a change for us.

    Perhaps the one thing that has changed is I'm not the only person at the grocer with a fistful of coupons, a carefully plotted list, and recycled shopping bags. I've been cloned!

  13. baselle Says:

    Pretty much the same, but the come to Jesus frugal moments for me came in the 70s, 1982, 1987, 1991, 2002, and right now.

    A lot of people are overshooting, so my normal buying of stuff looks like cheapness in 2006 and looks like spendthriftyness in 2009.

    The zeitgeist is frugal, but when the good times reappear, the worm turns and most will revert back. But with every zig zag, we pick up a few more. Frugality sometimes feels like a secret club - the real frugals know our people, and our fakers. Smile

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