posted on Nov, 6 2009 @ 12:35 PM
I am still gainfully employed, and better off than most, so it hasn't hit me as hard as it has others. However, that doesn't mean it hasn't changed
my Quality of Living.
I have always lived as Debt-Free as possible, however now it is a necessity rather than a luxury to live that way. Rather than even carry something on
Credit for 30 - 90 days, I won't even consider a purchase unless I can afford it in full outright.
Even when I can afford large purchases I have indefinitely put off making non-essential purchases. Do I really need a new car right now? I've been
doing fine for the past 4 years using my bicycle, Public Trans, and my own two feet. Is it worth the cost, let alone the added monthly expense of
Fuel, Maintenance, and Insurance? Although my computer is about 7 years old, do I really need a new one? Sure it might be nice to have a computer that
can play the bleeding-edge games at full resolution, but do I really need to blow my money on that? Do I need a $100/month HD Cable Bill when Hulu
gives me the three shows I would ever want to watch for free already? Do I really want a $100/month Cellphone Contract for the next 2 years when I can
just use VoIP for free? Do I need a new Digital Camera to replace my 7 year old Digital Camera? Sure, 22MP is > than 3MP but would I ever make prints
bigger than 8x10 any way? Even when I want these larger purchases I find myself reconsidering and realizing I can live without them just as happily as
I would with them.
Saving for a Rainy Day has become saving for a Clear and Present Danger. What used to be $100 here and $200 there has now become putting away 30% of
my Net Income into Savings and stockpiling Food and Consumables like there is no tomorrow. I've always kept a month supply on hand in the past, but
now I am stockpiling 2 years worth of Food, Consumables and Savings.
Knowing the plight of others, and realizing I could easily be in the same boat, I've become more sympathetic towards the homeless and jobless and
always help out how I can. Giving a homeless person at a time a warm meal, a couch to crash on, a warm shower, and Internet Access for an evening has
become not just something I do once in a while but something I now do daily.
The other thing that it has changed is my hope for the future. For the past 10 years the Housing Market in my area has been so far out of control that
there was no way I would have ever been able to afford a house even making twice the Median Average Salary in my area. When the cheapest,
rat-infested, roof-collapsing, ghetto house goes for $500,000+ even the Middle Class falls into despair knowing that Home Ownership is no longer a
reality. However, with the House Market plummeting, a lot of these ghetto houses are now more reasonably priced at $60,000-$100,000 which puts them
easily in my price range. All of a sudden I can dream of Home Ownership again, now that it has become a potential reality for me. (However, I find
myself questioning whether or not I would want to risk spending my Savings on such, or if it would be better to hold unto those Savings and seeing how
low the Market can go first.)