Posted by A consumer no longer, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Nov 26, 2012 at 2:13 pm
After having been un-employed for nearly four years since 2008(lucky to find work for about 19 months during this period) I look at spending in the economy very, very differently than I did when I was gainfully employed for 25 years. Now, the most important thing to me is remaining housed, not going hungry, and keeping the utilities going. It's a struggle every month, but I have become incredibly frugal to the point that I don't spend for anything, I don't need.
And, no charitable contributions will be coming out of my pocket, as none of those entities are really available to help you in times of financial crises when you really need help. They say they exist for you, but that is far from the truth. Perhaps, my status now is also a reflection of where one currently is in life age wise. In my twenties, dining out, and buying the latest gadget was important. Now, these things are not important, and after these past four years of a tough economy, those things are not going to ever become important to me again.
So, to all the retailers, and restaurants out there, this is one customer you have lost for good. Particularly, when some of those local retailers and restaurants are places where I applied for employment, and was turned down. One thing I know, I would not spend any of my money in those establishments, local or not. As it has been said, it's not what you earn, but what you keep that matters. I am very thankful for this recession, as it has taught me there is a better financial perspective. This is one consumer, the American society will not see any contributions from in terms of unnecessary consumer spending. But, I will do everything I can to remain housed, fed, and warm.
Posted by Ducatigirl, a resident of the Old Palo Alto neighborhood, on Nov 26, 2012 at 3:03 pm
I haven't been a Christian since I was ten years old, and converted to Buddhism at 30, but I still feel compelled to participate in the whole gift-giving thing. As a non-Christian, you would think I would be off the hook, but no. The family and extended family still expect gifts and decorations and huge, rich meals....even though some of them are non-Christians, too.
It is definitely more cultural than religious, and something that we all come to expect once a year. But the work and the expense take any joy out of it for me, other than seeing the youngest family members open gifts and play with them. By the end of Christmas Day, my back hurts too much after loading and unloading the dishwasher 7-8 times. By New Year, I am thinking about how much better spent that money might have been, or better not spent at all
Between individual brthdays and the accompanying parties, and an elaborate meal at Thanksgiving, isn't that enough consumerism for one year?