Be frugal in face of American financial crisis
What’s on everyone’s minds these days? The economy.
The problem is most of us aren’t financial wizards or even versed in the lingo. We have no idea when there’s an upturn or downswing in the stock market until we start hearing murmurs either about how the economy is doing well, or conversely, in a decline.
And by the time that information drizzles down to the masses, unfortunately as in the situation right now, it’s so dire that we begin to panic.
Currently, the very serious problems in the American economy — such as hyped-up unreliable mortgages which are causing massive defaults and a meltdown in the housing market, high rates of unemployment, and skyrocketing costs of fuel — are bringing out the “R” word, particularly since the United States is in the midst of election campaigning.
And, of course, a recession in the U.S. does not bode well for Canada, though our economic factors so far remain stronger.
For we women, all this talk of a worrisome financial situation hits us in our daily lives since we do so much of the spending in most households.
Should we panic? Should we start selling off any jewelry we own?
Absolutely not — but we’re smart enough and aware enough that we don’t need experts to tell us when and how to be cautious with our spending. This clearly isn’t the best time for extravagances we know we can live without. In fact, it’s a wise time to look at our budgets and see where we can cut extra costs that we’ve let accumulate.
For example, if you haven’t been bothered to search for the best deals on some of your expenses, such as telephone and Internet rates, or your home gas bill, now’s the perfect opportunity to do some comparative shopping.
And discount shopping is no longer just an alternative. Most smart people today have recognized the markups on goods we buy are exorbitant and unnecessary — especially since there are places all across our cities that have cleverly become household names by selling the same high quality and designer goods for lower prices.
In our homes and in our relationships, women have a lot more power than we sometimes recognize. We are often the ones who set the style and tone for our partners and families.
In tougher economic times it is often up to us to find the balance — creating more simple meals, which require less exotic and pricey ingredients, cutting down on excessive purchases, switching extracurricular activities around for less costly ones, and creating entertainment rather than paying for it.
And if anyone asks you why you’re suddenly being a bit more careful on your spending, just give them the answer that once helped get Bill Clinton elected president of the United States: “It’s the economy, stupid.”