As we all know, thanks mostly to the economic downturn here in America (or, should we say, in the Western world?), life as we know it is changing -- and I hope it's for good. It's time we reevaluate our priorities if we haven't already. Here are some ways that people are making changes.
Hey, look! We're already making some changes that they listed. Sweet! Oh, and it should be known that while the area that we live was affected in a different way by the recession -- we've survived because we have insanely low cost-of-living to begin with and our job force was already running at its lowest ability (in most areas; schools are finally getting pounded). So, I think that most of our residents were already used to the "tough stuff." But, we weren't completely safe -- I mean, our house WAS a foreclosure.
Anyhoo, here are the changes that we've been making (as compared to the 21 listed at the link):
1- Monthly Debt: We're living without this, but to an extent. We were already watching our credit debt since we both have it. We're both working HARD at cutting down on our debt, so clearly we're still making monthly payments, but not adding a penny to it.
3- Simpler Gadgets Rather Than Bells 'n Whistles: This is one we've considered. We have 3 computers (2 laptops and a VERY important desktop) between the 2 of us -- sounds off, right? Well, we do host the theater's web site and Dave stores lots of movie and news stuff on his, so what we're talking about doing is selling my hardly-used older laptop and purchasing a simple netbook -- especially since we're newly in LOVE with GoogleDocs. He's already using it for his writing! I'm so proud. :-)
4- Clutter-kicking: Since we have such a small place (and had moved two pretty sizable apartments into it just about a year ago), we've been working at getting rid of lots of STUFF. Dave's much better at this. I need to work on thinning out my wardrobe; he works VERY hard at selling off comics and other randomly-found items. We also have an annual garage sale -- fun!
(5 - Quitting Cable: MAAAAAN have we considered this!!!)
6- Cell Phone Over Land Line: We're both cell-only, which has followed us from the apartment days.
8- Home Cookin': When Dave and I were first friends, I used to grab his favorite dinner at McDonald's on my way to the theater -- knowing that he got out of work really late and would head straight to rehearsal rather than eat. Sweet at the time, perhaps, but since then (and much more recently), and thanks to the fact that we're going organic, we eat at home a lot more. We're also a lot more verbal about when we are going out to eat.
11- Coffee Out, Tea In: A norm in the McCoy-Dellecese household is tea -- and usually quite inexpensive tea (can we say Christmas Tree Shop?). I drink this at work and home; Dave grabs his coffee (when he drinks it) at work. Plus, we don't have a single Starbucks. Yes, I said that. (Dunkin' Donuts, however, are rampant. A lot easier to avoid those.)
12- Guilt-Free: I shed my guilt complex for buying "the best" within the last day. I set my standards when shopping accordingly -- "Will buy sandals if under $10" -- and, today, went to Goodwill for the first time to actually SHOP. I've gone for theater stuff (and, once, inadvertently found our awesome TV stand) and was able to do so with a clear mind, so why not try it for MYSELF? By the way, two skirts and a glass cake stand for the wedding. Ka-ching! I'm braggin', you know it. I will only allow myself cheaper clothing, at least until the wedding is paid for, my credit debt is gone, and I've got better savings. Yep. I can do it pretty easily, actually. :-)
17- Run It Into the Ground: Dave's doing well with this one; I, however, purchased a brand new Sportage last year. It's served us well, though, and I'm not planning on getting a new car 'til...eh, the kids are driving this one, maybe? Anyhoo, Dave has a policy on his car where he can trade this one in for a new one or keep paying on it (like lease-to-own) -- and he's doing the latter. He's proud that his car has held up relatively well, and there's little to no reason to get a new one. I'd say this is definitely "new wave" way of thinking.
18- Regulating Ourselves: We're lucky. When we moved in, we already had a programmable thermostat. And, that heinous tree out front has helped us keep the cool in during the summertime (although we do occasionally run an air conditioner in the bedroom). You'll find me covered in blankets (and sweats) in the winter and scantily-clad in the summer (Dave's not a fan of wearing shorts, but he's getting better). We try.
20- Low-Key Dating: What?! Who has time to date anymore?? No, actually, we've come to enjoy our "home time" together (especially on work nights) more than we ever thought we would. So, heck, the rare date we do budget for is even more enjoyable -- and we usually use gift certificates for those, so it's pretty much free.
21- More Debt: This seems like a repeat of #1 to me, but who am I to complain? Like I said, we're workin' on it!!
So, this makes me wonder how others are faring on these stats. Rolling your own cigs? Driving your '98 jalopy into the ground? Oh, and here are the 10 things that people AREN'T giving up during this recession (although the TV findings seem contradictory to this study).