With the up and down news lately that unemployment is getting better, getting worse, consumer spending is back, now it's not — I thought I'd ask the center of this key universe —

Is the Recession over for YOU?

So I'm really hoping to hear from TwitterMoms....and I think some other readers would like the opportunity to check in.

I'll start - The recession is most definitely not over for my family. Jobs are still there - but pay cuts are still there as well. Hmmm. (yes, freelancers can take pay cuts too!) And we're being pretty watchful of spending - something I think we'll continue with for quite a while, even when the economy picks up more.

I like that we're spending less actually. I like that we're buying less "stuff" and eating more at home. I think we're being more healthful about what we're prepping for meals, and I think we're being MUCH MORE creative about downtime. I love both those decisions.

I'm also looking towards the holidays -- yes, already! ;) -- and thinking about what we can do that's more creative and fun. We have a big party every year (it coincides with my daughter's birthday) and I don't want to give that up. But I do want to think about how to be more creative (yes, there's that word again). Maybe just a cookie party? It's something I have always wanted to do -- plates of homemade cookies, hot chocolate, homemade marshmallows and chocolate truffles -- but my other half seems to cram empañadas, cheeses, olives and other goodies in as well....which all taste pretty great, come to think of it, after a glass of Cava....

So what's your opinion? Recession over? Not? Seems like it over for you, but you're feeling once bitten, twice shy about spending again? Decisions you're already making for the holidays, let alone back-to school?

It's moms out there who really know what's going on in this economy (yes, I do believe that) so open up and tell it like it is!

Views: 21

Tags: back-to-school, barack, christmas, economy, lauren, moms, recession, tmbusiness, tmfc

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Comment by Joanna on August 25, 2009 at 7:11pm
unemployment rate in CA is still hovering around 9-10%. many people are unemployed and I am worried about the future because the government is spending so much in the economic recovery plan. This will just mean more debt to pay off for everybody.
Joanna
Comment by Zora Kluka on August 22, 2009 at 5:54am
We are in Maryland.
Comment by Lauren Barack on August 21, 2009 at 2:25pm
Where do you guys live Zora? This is what I'm seeing too -- employment is not picking up for people....
Comment by Zora Kluka on August 21, 2009 at 1:12pm
Not yet. My DH is still laid off. His company closed back in March. Really tough here.
Comment by Lauren Barack on August 21, 2009 at 10:41am
Phyllis, I love the "need" vs. "want" conversation. I've been having this regularly with my 6-year-old, and I think it's really made a difference. Coupon cutting? Me too - and it reminded me of my mother doing that during my childhood with her Ralphs coupon envelope!
Robin, if you could share some of your no-leftover tricks, I would love that. My family of 3 somehow always has leftovers. I try faithfully to eat them at lunch (easiest for me since I work from home) but that doesn't always use them up. That would be a great tip for the rest of us!
Hey Jen -- love Goodwill! Unfortunately, the one in New York is picked over pretty quickly. But when I go home or visit other family, I always make a thrift shop plan! (Plus, it is SO fun!)
And Catherine, I think you're right - that this is hitting some people harder. Having zero credit card debt is a great goal for everyone....right now, I know that's not possible for all families, but it's great you've been able to make that happen for your family. (I'm still working on it too! ;)
Comment by Catherine Vicks on August 21, 2009 at 6:44am
We do not let the economy affect us! My husband did have a cut in his pay, but we've never splurged on much, so we will get through it. As for shopping or dining out, for us dining out is a "treat" and we do not do it on a regular basis. We love to cook and enjoy the time at home. We've always done the movie night theme at our house or board games. Thrift shopping is something I've done for the past 20 years and I'll tell you, more people are surprised when I say that my designer clothes are a Goodwill find! My girls LOVE going thrift shopping, they've grown up on it! We have ZERO credit card debt..I used to work for Citibank back in the 90's and when I learned the ins and out of credit cards, I paid our off and cut them up! We ONLY have debit cards..and it's worked well for the last 15 years. If we can't pay for it in cash, we don't get it or obviously don't need it. We are also a family of faith...and rely and depend on God to sustain us, it's on His economy not the world's. We still have our mini vacations and spend lots of time doing family stuff.

I do know that this recession has hit my parents HARD and I feel their pain and wish that they didn't have to experience this, however, I also see that the road they went down was spend, spend, spend for the past 20 years and now that they are retired, they lost quite a bit. My mom looks to me to help her shop more carefully and doesn't laugh at my "thrift" shop finds anymore. Perhaps it's a lesson for all of us to learn.
Comment by Jen on August 21, 2009 at 6:20am
Thank God we haven't been affected by the Economy. I am a SAHM, my Husband is a Union Laborer doing Road Construction and makes great money. I purchased my house 20 yrs ago with cash so we don't have a mortgage. We have less than $1,500 in credit card debit and don't buy things unless it's on sale or it's a "must have". I use coupons and shop at Goodwill ALL the time.

I've seen so many people struggle through these times that I manage my money as though I am affected by the Recession. Even in hard times we were able to purchase a New Camper, Truck, Disney Vacation and a Seasonal Camp Site for next year.

I have a lot of respect for you Ladies who ARE doing what you can to survive!
Comment by Robin on August 21, 2009 at 5:30am
We are slowly coming out of the recession. The biggest hit for us was the drop in the real estate market. We build homes and we had to carry two houses over the winter which was tough. Finally, our one house sold in July and we are slowly getting back on track. During this period, I learned many ways to cut back and will continue doing so. It is amazing how much money you can save by looking for deals and only buying what you need. I have learned how to grocery shop more economically and how to cook so that we don't have a lot of leftovers. I find that we don't eat fast food or dine out very often now which is healthier for us anyway.

www.momtothepowerofthree.blogspot.com
Comment by Phyllis on August 20, 2009 at 6:57pm
Recession is far from over with our family. My husband lost his job the second time in less than a year. We have pretty much hit rock bottom financially. The only way it can go is up for us. I have to admit that going through this, it has brought us closer as a family. We are saving together, talking to the kids about money and the lack there of. They realize that when we go to a store, they don't get to just get something, just because. They have to use their own money and decide if it is a 'want' or a 'need'. We have begun to teach them a new way of spending and that is the best lesson there is. I have gone back to couponing and comparison shopping where I didn't bother doing that for years. I am excited for the new us once we get our credit fixed, it will be like a whole new life to live!

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