I don’t want to get political (and don’t want you guys to get political) but the State of the Union always seems like an appropriate time to evaluate how your family is doing in comparison to the rest of the nation. (Here is a preview story about the official State of the Union.)
Supposedly the economy is rebounding. We are officially, according to the government, out of the recession. But what are you seeing at home? Are you better off than you were a year ago? What about two years ago? Do you feel more positively about your money and have confidence you will have money in the future? (Christmas spending seemed to indicate some confidence. Online spending was up.)
I definitely think that certain segments of the economy get hit before others and then are on the front-end of the recovery. For example, we have a friend with a trucking company and then my dad who is engineer selling HVAC –types systems to large buildings. Our friends’ trucking business always seems to get hit first and is starting to recover by the time my dad’s company gets hit. Our friend’s trucking business seems to be doing well now. My dad’s business finally seems to be picking back up.
This is just what we have observed. Any economists out there I would love to hear your thoughts on how the recession moved through different industries and who was affected first and then last.
I think Michael and I were both on the back-end of the recession. I feel like we are worse off than we were two years ago despite increasing saving and reducing spending at the front-end when we saw friends hurting. (Also saving and not spending now.) I have definitely said things in the last two years that I didn’t say much before: “We can’t afford that. Mommy doesn’t have money for that. We can’t eat out. We can’t go to the beach.” (It kind of makes life easier just always saying no and they’ve definitely gotten on board with it. Their Christmas lists were so tiny and sweet. And Walsh didn’t want to get his hair cut to help the family save money. I told him I could buy him a hair cut.)
So where are you in the cycle? Are you completely out of the recession? Are you still in it? Are you just plain gun shy now? Or are you so tired of being good and are ready to spend? Will you continue your saving ways as things improve around you?