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The following is a guest post.
Times are tough. But, are they really? Think about everything you know about the Great Depression of the 1930s. Try and recall the photographs of the era that were plastered in virtually every history book you’ve ever seen. Skin-and-bones unfortunates lined the block to get a bowl of soup. Barefoot families hopped the rails in hopes of finding a better life elsewhere. Back then, if your neighbor had a radio you could listen to through the walls on a quiet winter’s night, you were the luckiest guy on the block besides your neighbor.
Putting Today’s Recession Economy in to Perspective
Relative to the rest of history, and especially within the history of this country, that wasn’t very long ago. Yet today’s “tough times” are very different from those of the 1930’s. You might be facing foreclosure, but let me ask you something: how much do you have today that a struggling family didn’t have during the Great Depression? How much of that can you let go of, if times are really that tough?
For a majority of Americans, audacious adjustments in their standard of living are not being undertaken to better preserve a solid financial future. For example, how many families with sub-par income have expensive monthly mobile phone contracts? Loads! Even reducing down to prepaid phones is leaps and bounds compared to the sacrifices previous generations had to make when it came to limited communications. But, it could save families countless sums if they severely restricted or even eliminated their mobile phone usage.
What about food? Americans are notorious eaters, and little has changed in terms of what’s on our plate since the start of the Great Recession. It’s not so much what’s on the plate but how much is on it, that determines whether a family is effectively limiting themselves in order to squirrel away enough for the future. Nobody is suggesting families reduce themselves to the rations of the third world, but honestly, no one needs that second helping in this country, and smaller portions can easily equal to larger savings over time.
Families need to seriously stop and think about what they take for granted. We all want to be up-to-date on the latest technology, enjoy the best entertainment, and indulge in the comfort foods of choice. But, what’s the point if it impedes on the security of the future? There was once a time when tough times meant tough life. Maybe the reason we’ve yet to recover from this economic mess is that we’ve failed to live as tough as we ought to.
How about you all? Has your standard of living changed at all since the start of the recession in 2008-2009 (I know that mine hasn’t)? Do you feel you’re saving as much as you should be?
Share your experiences by commenting below!
***Photo courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/danielvoyager/3893900302/sizes/l/in/photostream/