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cx3
12-13-11, 5:47pm
Please don't take offense by the subject line,I'm only trying to inspire some creativity.According to a thread on the open board,we're coming up on our one year anniversary.
We are in the worst economic cycle since atleast 1979-81,probably since the Great Depression.Rarely any posts about that.
YMOYL placed great emphasis on interest income,not happening in todays economic environment.Rarely posts about how the savers here are coping with that.
How has this economic down turn impacted you or your family?
Some of my favorite threads from the old boards were on alternative investing.Bae,Dado Patato,junkman,and myself had some thought provoking threads on this subject.

The old money boards use to be educational,not so much witht the current boards.

What can we do to get back some of that excitement this board once had?

Spartana
12-13-11, 6:10pm
How about you start by posting some of your ideas? You only have 7 posts and I have over 1,000. What do you do and how have you survived (hopefully intact :-)!) the recession? As for me, I live on a smallish fixed pension (but still voluntarily live below my means) and just adjust my lifestyle to fit whatever the economic situation is. Gas goes up, I drive less. Food goes up, I eat at home more cheaply. Utilities go up, I use less. Rent DVDs, books, music and even use the free internet at the library instead of buying. No cable either. Ski lift tickets too high? I go snowshoeing instead for free. Lots of little spartan tricks that still allow you to live the good life and have the things you want (I still get to watch DVDs or drink a good coffee - just find a cheaper way to do it). As for interest rates, well I have never calculated those into my financial plans. What I have in principal is what I have and I need to live within that amount. The rest is fjust icing on the financial cake. Future fluff that is nice to have but not expected for living expenses.

Chickadee
12-13-11, 6:44pm
I personally love it when people post their budgets and ask for help dissecting them to see where they can save more. I see Fidgie already started that thread. Those posts are always so informative and creatively educational to read.

And I agree with Spartana that these time definitely call for some creative frugal counter-measures. I know we have had to really assess some things we used to do that we didn't really think much about but are now big expenditures (driving to town on a whim or grocery purchases, for example).

ctg492
12-13-11, 7:08pm
I have noticed on most boards I visit out there in the net world, the posts on economy, daily getting by, long term planning and such have dropped off the postings. My thought is the way it is today is the New Norm, so to say. So many of the saving tips, cutting here and there have been hashed over so many times posters are running out of talk for them. Every now and then something new pops up a tip not spoken of, but not too many. JMO

loosechickens
12-13-11, 8:47pm
I agree with Spartana, cx3.......you may well be right, and with only a few posts, surely YOU have lots of stuff that you can put forth that would be of interest. So, have at it.......always nice to hear new voices, and ideas that aren't the ones we've been tossing around all year already.

And one thing that would be REALLY nice would be if many of the posters who have been reading the discussions, but not commenting or adding their own thoughts would start participating. Lots of unused brain power out there, I'm sure........You start, and maybe others will follow.

Mrs-M
12-13-11, 8:53pm
For openers, one major hurdle that's present on this new forum, is a lack of participation. Now, Cx3, just as you've asked everyone "not to take offense by your subject line", I too am also requesting that you afford me the same.

This forum has been up and running now for almost an entire year, yet to date, you have only seven posts to your name, and, are only as of now, getting involved on the forum. May I ask you why it took you so long to come aboard and join us all here? And, why now, all of a sudden like, are you fussing about how boring it is here?

Additionally, you make reference to being a longtime standing member of the old forum, yet so it seems, you failed to come aboard and get actively involved on the new forum upon it's inception. I'm puzzled by that...

herbgeek
12-13-11, 9:19pm
I beg to differ. A number of people have talked about cutting back or job losses. I know I have posted about being jobless. Just because that particular aspect doesn't interest you, it doesn't mean people aren't talking about it.

Saving for the future is great, but takes a back seat for me to getting through the current economic times.

Jemima
12-13-11, 9:46pm
I think we lost a lot of participants with the switch-over for one thing. I've noticed a certain blandness though, as well. It seems we often stray from discussing simple living into "cheap tips" and they're not the same thing at all.

Personally, I'm holding up well during The Great Recession. I retired in September with an adequate pension and Social Security benefit, and have to dip into my investments only slightly from month to month. I never did have faith in bonds and don't own any at all, which would probably freak out a lot of financial "experts", since I'm 66 and theoretically should have something like 2/3 of my portfolio in bonds. Thank heaven I didn't follow *that* advice!

I'm still adjusting to retirement (it is definitely a big adjustment, especially after a high-pressure, regimented career as a government auditor) and the more I relax, the more I find that I can live even more simply. I'm not into travel or expensive hobbies like golf, so my needs and even wants are few. Now that there's time to think, more creative solutions to whatever problems often present themselves in due time.

So that's where I am. I must say I'm enjoying the lengthy discussions of health topics very much. The more I learn about that, the better.

loosechickens
12-13-11, 10:22pm
When I checked your profile cx3, realized that you are our old member, c, so hope that you jump right in now, here, and help us jump start some interesting topics.

Somehow I'd missed your post that your son is now doing well, and growing nicely......really good to hear that!

cx3
12-13-11, 10:43pm
Thanks loosechickens for your kind words.
I really wasn't trying to offend anyone.That's why I don't post much.I sometimes come off as a little abrasive in print,even though I'm really just a Teddy bear in person.:|(

Zoebird
12-13-11, 10:56pm
This may sound funny, but the economic downturn has really been to our advantage.

We've started a business in this economy, and it's been going very well for us. I'm happy with the progress of our business, and the great opportunity to live in another country.

Our frugality and conservative financial way of being helped facilitate this, so that we actually only lost about $15k in value (401k and home value) during the down turn.

Now, we are doing really well, and have hte opportunity to keep right on growing. It's actually a good time to start a well-planned business.

ApatheticNoMore
12-14-11, 12:11am
I content myself with a 401k that hasn't made any money in the 6 years I've had it, and savings accounts that barely make any money (ibonds are still kind of a good deal I think though). Made a bit of money from precious metals from years ago. I lost a job and found a new one, I took a paycut and a lot of other disadvantages just to have a job because I was scared of becoming one of the "long term unemployed" that "noone would hire" (and I know that not everyone even has that choice!). I hope for better someday, with a full understanding that someday may take a little time.

HKPassey
12-14-11, 12:27am
Personally, I often hesitate to bring up things because I wonder if maybe it's been discussed into oblivion at some point in the past and don't want to appear to be the idiot who thinks I just discovered fire or something while everybody else is happily humming along with a microwave. lol. Also, with financial angst taking up huge portions of my time, sometimes the last thing I want to do is dive back into it for my "leisure" time. (What's that? I'm certainly learning that being long-term unemployed is a full-time job in itself.)

bae
12-14-11, 12:34am
I invest in mostly incredibly boring things that pay rent, dividends, or interest, and so the downturn hasn't been too terrible. If I had to sell any of my assets, it would probably be not-so-good, and if the economy doesn't recover, I expect rents to take a hit.

In some ways, The Recent Economic Unpleasantness has had an upside, a variety of projects I wanted to get done (roofing, paving, logging, decking, painting, fencing, plumbing, ...) that were impossible to get done during The Real Estate Boom are now possible to get contractors to return calls about. When they were all booked up building $350/sq. ft. mansions, it was hard to get their attention.

HKPassey
12-14-11, 12:37am
Please don't take offense by the subject line,I'm only trying to inspire some creativity.According to a thread on the open board,we're coming up on our one year anniversary.
We are in the worst economic cycle since atleast 1979-81,probably since the Great Depression.Rarely any posts about that.



Ok, throwing something out there. Here's something we posted on facebook today. The author's premise is questioning whether the purpose of the economy is really "growth, growth, growth," or something more. Maybe simplicity needs to go higher?


Dear Friend,

Earth Economics would like to invite you to celebrate the release of David Batker and John de Graaf’s book: What's the Economy for, Anyway? Why It's Time to Stop Chasing Growth and Start Pursuing Happiness, at Seattle’s Town Hall next Tuesday, December 13th.

The book has already received rave reviews for providing fresh and convincing solutions to many of our most pressing economic problems. Publishers Weekly has listed the book as one of this fall’s best business and economics books. The New York Journal of Books even dubbed it “required reading”!

On this night, Dave and John will engage in intelligent yet humorous discourse on the problems with our current economic system, as well as practical solutions that are equitable, sustainable and economically efficient. There will be a presentation by each author with a question and answer period following.


http://www.eartheconomics.org/​Page134.aspx

gimmethesimplelife
12-14-11, 1:12am
I am just hanging in there, doing what I can to cut back, but not feeling so great about the economy and the future in general. But I will also say that I have found some creative ways to make money - right now I am doing a $250 online focus group, my best paying one so far and one of the easier ones I have done. Today one of the online juror companies I signed up for panned out and I made $10 there....here a few dollars, there a few dollars, it all adds up and it all helps. I have actually noticed food getting slightly cheaper lately (Im serious, the specials are getting good again) and plan my meals entirely around that.

I am getting scattered here but what a previous poster shared really resonates with me. YMOYL is based on bond interest income and right now that's just not paying so well.....I don't know an answer to this but I do believe now is a time where saving money (and not all of us are in a position to save) is more important than ever.....Rob

ApatheticNoMore
12-14-11, 2:29am
Earth Economics would like to invite you to celebrate the release of David Batker and John de Graaf’s book: What's the Economy for, Anyway? Why It's Time to Stop Chasing Growth and Start Pursuing Happiness, at Seattle’s Town Hall next Tuesday, December 13th.

Love the author's of course. Was pondering the issue: so if continued growth means environmental catastrophe (maybe that's inevitable anyway), and if so many people are suffering because they can't get jobs, and so everyone regards economic growth as necessary to relieve this, what can you do to personally help these people in a way that does not mean economic growth? Now it might mean something like supporting organic farmers (which is generally more labor intensive but way less resource intensive). But it might mean quite frankly helping people not work or work less. And this runs right smack dab in the middle of a work ethic above all belief. But really is sustainability to be considered at all or not? Now how can you personally help people work less? I don't know, maybe teach them to dumpster dive, harvest food that is going to waste, encourage sharing of unused (or unfully used resources). Take a roommate if you live alone (honestly I don't think anyone should do any of these things if they don't want to, they are brainstorming not "shoulds" from on high, but ... if it appeals). If you lose your job and can afford time off, don't go right back, let someone else work for awhile (if you feel confident in your ability to get a job when you do go back - again it's not about cutting off your nose to spite your face). But yea what can you do to encourage an economy that doesn't need so much growth and where people fare decently? I've only ever seen this framed as "how can I live with less", but even if you have resigned yourself to the old "high pay, high stress" job and thus have money to blow on massages and violin lessons or whatever, how can you create a world where others can at least survive decently with less?

gimmethesimplelife
12-14-11, 3:06am
I have noticed on most boards I visit out there in the net world, the posts on economy, daily getting by, long term planning and such have dropped off the postings. My thought is the way it is today is the New Norm, so to say. So many of the saving tips, cutting here and there have been hashed over so many times posters are running out of talk for them. Every now and then something new pops up a tip not spoken of, but not too many. JMOI wonder if you are not dead on in this. I remember when I first started posting here back in the summer of 2005, right around the peak of the real estate boom in Phoenix and when I was making killer money waiting tables, things were much more lively here. I wonder if part of this was that this board then had more participants who were swimming upstream, against the grain of society. Now a lot of the people who were incredible tippers back then no longer eat out and are cutting back in many other ways, too. Our way of living is now more mainstream due to the economy, maybe not the YMOYL way of life per se, but frugality is everywhere these days even among some of those who don't have to be frugal. Rob

Zoebird
12-14-11, 5:45am
I want to post a bit about what i consider "continued growth."

my business is about attracting customers. We want to keep as many as we can, of course, but some do crazy things -- like have babies, get new jobs in other towns, or go on holiday for several months at a time. I can't fault them for living lives, right?

So, my current basic business needs are met (break-even) at 120 mats per week (random numbers, ya'll). I currently fill 120 mats per week. For ease, lets say that each person is a single individual (i have some clients who come 2-4 times per week, but lets count them as individuals for ease).

Due to life -- and good things like having babies, moving to new towns, extended holidays, etc -- people stop coming to yoga. It's no fault of our own, but lets just put out there that it happens. So, say every quarter, you actually "loose" 30 people. Just randomly, lets say that.

So, these 30 regulars means that over the quarter, your'e going to be dropping to 90 mats filled, or 90 people. In order to just create stability, you would need to attract only 30 people to replace those 30 people who left.

The problem is that I would like to earn an income as well, so profitability is where it's at. I do need to earn a profit, in order to continue. No point in continuing in business.

My next goal is to get to 150 mat spaces filled. That's an addition of 30 people. But in the next quarter, I'm also going to loose 30 people (not likely, but still, just being "dire" about it).

To reach my goal of 150 mat spaces filled, I need to attract 60 people.

To reach my next goal of 180, assuming I loose 30 and keep 30 and need to gain 30, I need to attract another 60 people. This means that to meet my 6-month goal, i need 120 new people through the door.

My average weekly walk-in has dropped considerably (no worries, though) -- in high months I'll see 3-6 a week. This is good, as over 12 weeks, i'm seeing 4.5 x 12 = 54 people. So, i'm most of the way there, assuming I can retain them. Many people also bring friends, so I'm likely seeing them as well -- usually another 6-8 friends. Friend retention is harder; on average i retain only 50% of friends. I retain about 90% of walk-ins.

When I run a special offer, we get a large influx at once. Our last one got us 34 people coming in the door, and usually turn-over rates are low. So far, I've turned over (to becoming full paying, regular clients through March), 75% of them. This is good. And, my retention rate of my current students is also quite high for this time of year -- i haven't lost 30 in the last quarter. Looking at my records, I've only lost 5 -- all of them due to moves due to promotions in their jobs. Some of them will be returning in 6 months, though, as well. Not that I can count on them returning to yoga, but still, it's a possibility.

The reality about grow-grow-grow is not necessarily just about grow-grow-growing. It's about retaining, covering losses, and growing from there.

1. I want to retain the majority of my students;
2. of those whom I loose, I want to replace them with new students who become regular students;
3. and I want to attract additional new students to grow the studio.

1 and 2 maintain my bottom line, but 3 is where i develop the profit margin that really makes a business grow.

While i agree that there are issues with constant growth aspects in many forms of business -- particularly with supply/demand businesses rather than customer service businesses -- but the reality is still there.

anyway, that's just what i'm rolling out. we are grow-grow-grow for certain. :)

lhamo
12-14-11, 7:21am
I love the stuff about people's small businesses -- I'm probably not enough of the entrepreneurial type myself to ever go that route, but I do think about it as an option should DH's job go south.

For me, I think one of the reasons I don't post much on Personal Finance/Money anymore is that like Zoebird and some others, the recession has actually turned out to be quite good for us financially. We had the bulk of our net worth in liquid assets in late 2008/2009 as we were waiting to buy an apartment here when it became possible. That happened in early/mid-2009, RIGHT when the local market took a significant dip. We got a great apartment at a great price. HOusing values took off again soon after we bought (locking in our mortgage in US$, which was another smart move) -- at the peak in the local market we had doubled our money. Now it has dropped a bit again, but considering that a new development across the street is selling for 2x what our apartment was valued at at the peak, I am not overly concerned. Even if it drops down to where we bought or lower, we have a comparatively small mortgage relative to what the apartment is worth, so we should be fine. Prices woudl have to go down to less than 1/3 of what we paid for us to be underwater.

Investments have also done fairly well. We did NOT panic when things started to tank in late 2008 -- we kept dollar cost averaging into our retirement and the kids college savings at pre-recession levels, which meant we were getting things at sale prices. We also made some strategic investments in the college savings at what turned out to be close to the low point in the market in 2008 and then earlier this year. Again, I saw it as a chance to buy when others were panicking and get solid investments "on sale." The strategy has paid off well. Our networth is up considerably over the past 3 years. We're not part of the 1%, because our salaries are still relatively modest -- good middle management salaries to be sure, and we basically live off of one of them, which helps a lot in terms of freeing up money to invest for the long term. But other than significant local inflation and the ongoing depreciation of the dollar, we haven't been too negatively affected by the downturn. I am very sympathetic to those who have, though -- and that is probably why I don't post about these and other financial successes. I don't want to make those who are having a rough time feel worse about it.

lhamo

RosieTR
12-14-11, 10:22am
We've had pluses and minuses with the Great Recession. Biggest minus is that we bought a house in Phoenix in 2008 that's worth now about 1/2 of what we bought at, which is again half of what it was at the peak. Meaning our neighbors who bought at the peak now have a house worth 1/4 of what they paid, if any of those folks are still left. This also means that we won't be able to fully cover the mortgage with the rent when we rent it out; which is better than selling since, despite a fairly hefty EF, we don't have that much cash on hand without raiding retirement accounts.
Another minus was that DH couldn't find any work for 8 months other than the census when we moved. In some ways this was a plus because we planned our life around only one income so his has been gravy....though mostly buffering up savings. We also didn't panic with the stock market and actually when DH got hired he put extra in his retirement so basically caught it on the upswing.
A major plus is that we are both working, we are saving and we have had our other house rented out the entire time except for 1 month. Because of all that, we finished paying off that house, putting us in the somewhat odd position of being the owners of both a paid-off house and a very upside-down house. Some would probably have said for us not to pay off that house and instead pay more down on the upside-down one, but in terms of cash flow, having only one mortgage to worry about as well as the psychological aspect of not pouring money down what feels like a rabbit-hole meant we did what we did. If we don't rent this house out when we move, oh well. It'll be paid off by the time we reach retirement age and then we can be snowbirds if we want ;) And if Phoenix rises from the ashes of the Great Recession as its namesake implies, we might break even some day.
The biggest plus is that I know a lot better what makes me happy and what money is worth (I did another whole post about that).

ApatheticNoMore
12-14-11, 1:40pm
One plus is rents have not gone up in 3 years. Yes I hear people rumor "rents are going to go up" and hey *anything* *could* happen, but I really wouldn't take that bet on a market wide scale in a place with double digit unemployment, know what I mean? :)

ljevtich
12-14-11, 3:28pm
...
We are in the worst economic cycle since atleast 1979-81,probably since the Great Depression.Rarely any posts about that.
YMOYL placed great emphasis on interest income,not happening in todays economic environment.Rarely posts about how the savers here are coping with that.

How has this economic down turn impacted you or your family?
Some of my favorite threads from the old boards were on alternative investing.

Bae, Dado Patato,junkman,and myself had some thought provoking threads on this subject.

The old money boards use to be educational,not so much witht the current boards.

What can we do to get back some of that excitement this board once had?

I would love to see some help on figuring out how to buy bonds (corporate, municipal, treasuries) on Zions Direct. I got an account with them and Zions Bank, but have been a little nervous buying from them. Only have one corporate bond right now.

The downturn has been a bummer for most, but for us we have done well. My DH retired two and a half years ago, and I have been "working" at a job that I love - seasonal park ranger with the National Parks. We will be going back to Grand Canyon National Park this coming summer, and then we'll travel back east for some family time. Living in a RV makes this possible.

It seems like politics and public policy are getting the most comments, and personal finance does not seem to have these fierce battles. But I hate that part of the forums anyway, and would not want to see it on personal finance.

I think having some education threads again, having threads about budgets, buying stuff frugally, and "Help Me with My Budget" threads would bring some life back into this board.

flowerseverywhere
12-14-11, 3:38pm
I have been thinking about this since I read this a couple of days ago.

My theories are #1 there are a lot of posters who like to read here but don't post much. We need lots of voices to generate thoughtful discussions.
#2 anytime things change you lose people in the transition.
#3 there are a few posters here who have made it difficult, mostly they post in politics. For instance, if I state most people on food stamps are scamming the system I would expect many to speak up and give me examples of why I am wrong. Perhaps personal experience or point me to statistics. However what some posters do is immediately state something like you "socialists/conservatives/liberals want to give the store away/cut benefits to needy people/tax the rich etc." and also like to put words in your mouth. Part of simple living is to learn about all aspects of things that might help you understand and become a more rounded person. Name calling and jumping to conclusions is not helpful to anyone.
#4 it is fun to be living on a good wage with good benefits and have meatless mondays, not buy new clothes, try not to drive etc. When it becomes a necessity it is not as fun. For instance, we are a one car family and we both were working part time. Well, DH got an offer to work full time for seven months and suddenly it is a hassle to have one car. We are making do, and it is OK but not the fun experiment it was at one time. We are going to stick to one car because it is a good exercise for us and saves us a lot of money. I imagine it is very stressful to see your bank account go down every month, see unemployment benefits run out, or struggle each month to make a mortgage payment on an upside down house.
#5 I think a lot of people are depressed. Many have lost jobs or have taken pay cuts or years of no raises, are upside down on homes and in some ways have just given up.

But I also think that those of us who are dedicated to a simple lifestyle can continue to inspire each other and move forward. So contribute what you can to the discussions and help us generate new ideas and perspectives.

actually Jlevitch the December Frugal discussion has lots of ideas and examples, and people still do sometimes post their budgets. The Frugal discussion always points me to great ideas and websites, recipes, and encouragement.

KayLR
12-14-11, 6:00pm
I would like to hear more from some of the newer posters who have come here in the past 6 or so months and who have come looking for support for something that is new for them. Are we accommodating? Do we seem approachable? Are you finding what you are looking for?

I would probably post more if I thought I could be of help to someone like this. I am not a seasoned financial expert by any means, (and I rarely if ever venture/post in the political forum) but I can help someone with issues around frugality, budgeting, homemaking, some gardening, the daily stuff, I guess. And encouragement.

I worry that maybe we all seem so seasoned that newcomers to this "lifestyle" (or whatever) might be discouraged from posting. OR I could be all wet, who knows.

edited for clarity

Aqua Blue
12-14-11, 6:19pm
flowerseverywhere, 1+. Your #3 is why I changed my name, try to only post little ideas, and really, really really don't post on the politics board. There was/is someone on this board, who I felt was following me around bothering me. We had differing political views.

Zoebird
12-14-11, 7:18pm
for me, it's about having a place to discuss not buying goods all the time. i love my FB friends and lots of people around the net, but not everyone is doing the simplicity thing, you know? and it's hard for me. so I feel supported here because there are -- at least some -- people who are into this like i am. :) but in their own ways, of course.

ljevtich
12-14-11, 11:25pm
I guess it would be nice, though if there was just one place where people could post their budgets (like the personal finance area) so that others could see it, not just someplace within a post within a thread.

I also think these forums are places to learn from, so if you do not have as much experience with finance, it is OK, because you can still get your question answered, and you can also still contribute. I certainly don't have a finance degree, but I have been doing our (my DH and I) finances for 5 years now, and I have learned on these forum and through YMOYL book, plus other places.

cx3
12-15-11, 4:14pm
I agree ljevtich.Junkman and bae had the bond knowledge.I'd like some education on bonds myself.I swing traded stocks years ago, and have been writing covered calls on stocks in recent years.

Zoebird
12-15-11, 4:50pm
I really don't want to post my budget. I hope it doesn't make things boring, but the actual extent and details of my daily budget is private. to me anyway.

Spartana
12-15-11, 4:55pm
I wonder if you are not dead on in this. I remember when I first started posting here back in the summer of 2005, right around the peak of the real estate boom in Phoenix and when I was making killer money waiting tables, things were much more lively here. I wonder if part of this was that this board then had more participants who were swimming upstream, against the grain of society. Now a lot of the people who were incredible tippers back then no longer eat out and are cutting back in many other ways, too. Our way of living is now more mainstream due to the economy, maybe not the YMOYL way of life per se, but frugality is everywhere these days even among some of those who don't have to be frugal. Rob

I think you are exactly right about this Rob. We had more posts about people wanting to invest their extra money, rather then spend it, because they wanted something else out of life besides the usual (at that time) mega-spending orgie that seemed to be going on by everyone else. So many wanted advise about investing then. I also think that more people actually HAD money to invest back then as compared to now. Who wants to talk about where to invest if you don't have any extra?

As for me, I have lost alot of what I consider "preceived" money rather then "real" money - mostly in real estate but some in my 457 plan (like a 401K for govmint workers). My 457 wasn't invested in stocks or mutual funds, but rather in something like a bank CD which guareented to preserve the principal but not the interest. And that's what happened - didn't lose any real money I put in (principal) but did lose a bit of the interest I earn on it over the years (much less than most people lost fortunately). And the rate of return continues to be low so am not earning much on it. Same with the housing market. I didn't buy a $350K house with cash and watch it drop to $100K when I sold it. It was more that I bought a $100K house with cash, watched it rise to $350K in value in a very short time period, and then watched it fall by 50% of that value (in an even shorter period of time) when I sold. I still made a profit when I sold, but I did lose that large amount of "preceived" money in the downturn. Something that would have been nice to have but wasn't counted into my financial equations. So that rise in house prices (and the amount of interest I earned on money investments) were never part of my retirement or financial plan. The house was a place to live, not an investment, and I never counted on it going up in price. Felt that if I sold it and got back at least some of what I bought it for, I was probably further ahead then if I had rented a place all those years. The money was savings rather then investments, and as long as I retained the the principal, I was OK.

Spartana
12-15-11, 5:09pm
One plus is rents have not gone up in 3 years. Yes I hear people rumor "rents are going to go up" and hey *anything* *could* happen, but I really wouldn't take that bet on a market wide scale in a place with double digit unemployment, know what I mean? :)

Oh that's not the case in the O.C area Southern Calif - and I think in LA too. They have increased fairly dramticly (and expected to continue to increase) because so many people have quit buying or lost their homes to foreclosure, that they are snapping up rentals as fast as possible, creating a greater demand - and greater prices. Most friends who rent in the OC have had regular price increases every year(usually 5% to 10%/year) for several years now. They say it's the same when looking for a new place - too high of prices. I do think more people are sharing rentals now instead of carrying the whole rent alone. So maybe "individually" the prices haven't gone up.

treehugger
12-15-11, 5:19pm
Oh that's not the case in the O.C area Southern Calif - and I think in LA too.

The same is true in the Bay Area. It varies greatly depending on the actual city of course, but, in general, renting here could never be considered the cheap alternative to buying. What I mean is, all types of housing has remained expensive throughout the recession: rent, lease, own.

Because our finances are so tight, people have suggested to us that we rent out our house and move to a cheap apartment. We bought our house in December 2003, and paid a decent (not exhorbitant) price, but we couldn't rent it out and actually find a renter to cover our mortgage plus our property taxes. And there's no such thing as a cheap apartment anyway.

Kara

Life_is_Simple
12-19-11, 8:31pm
I have been thinking about this since I read this a couple of days ago.

My theories are:
...
#3 there are a few posters here who have made it difficult, mostly they post in politics. For instance, if I state most people on food stamps are scamming the system I would expect many to speak up and give me examples of why I am wrong. Perhaps personal experience or point me to statistics. However what some posters do is immediately state something like you "socialists/conservatives/liberals want to give the store away/cut benefits to needy people/tax the rich etc." and also like to put words in your mouth. Part of simple living is to learn about all aspects of things that might help you understand and become a more rounded person. Name calling and jumping to conclusions is not helpful to anyone.
...

There's something about the tone of politics on this new board (including when it seeps outside of the politics sub-forum), that makes me feel less comfortable here, and so I don't post much.

Also... What lhamo said... The recession hasn't impacted me much, and my self-employment is going much better than other jobs have, so I'm actually making more money. And I don't want to make others feel bad who are having problems.

Maybe we should have the "How are you doing on your 2011 goals" thread anyway?

Wildflower
12-20-11, 5:13am
I miss the old format. I've had a hard time feeling comfortable with this new one. I think others may feel the same way.... I was on the old boards clear back in the mid 90's. This change hasn't been easy to warm up to for me. I miss many old posters that I know definitely aren't here anymore. Not trying to be negative - this just doesn't feel like the same place anymore to me.

Mrs-M
12-20-11, 11:00am
I miss the old format. I've had a hard time feeling comfortable with this new one. I think others may feel the same way.... I was on the old boards clear back in the mid 90's. This change hasn't been easy to warm up to for me. I miss many old posters that I know definitely aren't here anymore. Not trying to be negative - this just doesn't feel like the same place anymore to me.I too, miss many of the old posters/members, but really, that's way life is. Life is ever-changing, so are people, and I flatly refuse to allow a handful (or two) of old lost members to curtail the enjoyment I reap from being a regular user of this forum, nor will allow myself to give up on the joy and pleasure I get out of visiting with those who are still here, those who I have made friends with.

What I was truly hoping for, was to see members continuing in discussions and participating, allowing this home of ours to flourish and expand, and in doing so, eventually, with enough support, it would allow us to alter and change certain aspects and functions related to the way the forum is operated. We can't bring back those who have chosen to leave, nor can we make anyone participate against their will, but what we can do, is keep what we have here, alive, and in doing so, preserve the future of a well-intentioned community with meaning and heart, which IMO is more than 99% of all other virtual communities have to their credit.

fidgiegirl
12-20-11, 9:08pm
You know, I was NOT happy when the OP started this thread. But I have to say, I think we've been hearing from a lot more people throughout the forums since this thread started and several others. So to those of you who tend to read rather than post, but have been making the effort, thank you!

I wonder how we can "hook" people who come on, may even introduce themselves in the "Welcome" forum, but then never show up again. More questions to them? Not sure. But then I guess when I think about it, I was active only in spurts in the old forums. It wasn't until the move here that I became invested in regular involvement, maybe because I was sad to think that the forums might not be around at all if people didn't participate.

Wildflower
12-21-11, 4:00am
I too, miss many of the old posters/members, but really, that's way life is. Life is ever-changing, so are people, and I flatly refuse to allow a handful (or two) of old lost members to curtail the enjoyment I reap from being a regular user of this forum, nor will allow myself to give up on the joy and pleasure I get out of visiting with those who are still here, those who I have made friends with.

What I was truly hoping for, was to see members continuing in discussions and participating, allowing this home of ours to flourish and expand, and in doing so, eventually, with enough support, it would allow us to alter and change certain aspects and functions related to the way the forum is operated. We can't bring back those who have chosen to leave, nor can we make anyone participate against their will, but what we can do, is keep what we have here, alive, and in doing so, preserve the future of a well-intentioned community with meaning and heart, which IMO is more than 99% of all other virtual communities have to their credit.

I totally agree with what you've said here, Mrs-M, and I'm sorry if I sounded negative. I am one that finds change hard, but I plan to get much more involved on these boards. I would be very sad if they were to be discontinued from lack of interest or financial support.

Wildflower
12-21-11, 4:15am
Please don't take offense by the subject line,I'm only trying to inspire some creativity.According to a thread on the open board,we're coming up on our one year anniversary.
We are in the worst economic cycle since atleast 1979-81,probably since the Great Depression.Rarely any posts about that.
YMOYL placed great emphasis on interest income,not happening in todays economic environment.Rarely posts about how the savers here are coping with that.
How has this economic down turn impacted you or your family?

It has impacted my family greatly due to DH's forced early retirement because of company's bankruptcy. We are surviving on a very small monthly pension now which was slashed by the bankruptcy. It's going ok because we've always been frugal and we have no debt. No mortgage, we own our house. Small nest egg, but not enough, DH had planned on working a few more years. He's had no luck in finding a new job that will accomodate his new physical impairments due to spinal surgery. We're a few years away from Social Security. We originally dreamed of a retirement in a new home, and lots of traveling. It's not to be, although we have been and are content with our lives now. Slowing down and smelling the roses so to speak has been wonderful. Time for daily long walks with our dogs, and lots of time to garden, putter, and play with the grandkids. Life is good, although we have to pay attention to every cent now, and it will be even worse for us in the future I think, as well as for everyone else. I don't think we have seen the worst yet regarding the economy...

Wildflower
12-21-11, 4:25am
Thanks loosechickens for your kind words.
I really wasn't trying to offend anyone.That's why I don't post much.I sometimes come off as a little abrasive in print,even though I'm really just a Teddy bear in person.:|(

I am just really happy to see you back posting on the boards! Looking forward to more input from you. :)

Mrs-M
12-21-11, 9:58am
So nice to see that you stopped by for a visit last night, Wildflower. I've been really missing you, the old you, the one that used to drop by so regularly to share a laugh or two, an entry or two, but most of all, the old you who used to drop by to help brighten the day of so many here (myself included). I felt warmth in that, knowing I was always in good company, yet I know life is a busy time for many and I understand.

But somehow I can't help but feel the void of those like yourself who have quietly slipped away from being regulars here, and that saddens me. I find myself (more often than I care to admit) looking for those like yourself, hoping to see that you've posted or dropped by for a visit, yet when I see that you haven't, a pall sets in overhead, like a dark forbidding cloud marking the arrival of a cold, damp, and gloomy storm.

As I mentioned in my previous post, there's a real need for those of us who are still here to make-good on supporting this group and embracing everyone who took to the many life-rafts that were dispatched into the water as of late last year when disaster struck, in order to help save and preserve the passengers and travellers we had on-board.

Yes, we lost a few, but we did well (considering), so even though our new home (this forum), is still new, and maybe not quite as comfortable as the old, it is still our home, so I ask that everyone be patient and make themselves at home, while work continues on polishing the teak decking and stainless and brass handrails, in hopes of building this mighty ship to not only the former glory of the old, but surpassing every other ship in the lane.

Our transcontinental journey has just begun, so we have much time to settle in for what will be a journey of a lifetime, stopping by the many ports along the way to allow new passengers and travellers to board and join us in our endeavours, our dreams, and our goals, helping to make this trip an unforgettable one! A trip full of happiness and support, sharing and joy, and the continued wealth that we have all worked so hard in achieving through our dedicated and combined effort to propel this ship forward. Forward through calm, forward through storms, and forward through change. It's in our hands, it's OUR ship!

flowerseverywhere
12-21-11, 10:24am
It has impacted my family greatly due to DH's forced early retirement because of company's bankruptcy. We are surviving on a very small monthly pension now which was slashed by the bankruptcy. It's going ok because we've always been frugal and we have no debt. No mortgage, we own our house. Small nest egg, but not enough, DH had planned on working a few more years. He's had no luck in finding a new job that will accomodate his new physical impairments due to spinal surgery. We're a few years away from Social Security. We originally dreamed of a retirement in a new home, and lots of traveling. It's not to be, although we have been and are content with our lives now. Slowing down and smelling the roses so to speak has been wonderful. Time for daily long walks with our dogs, and lots of time to garden, putter, and play with the grandkids. Life is good, although we have to pay attention to every cent now, and it will be even worse for us in the future I think, as well as for everyone else. I don't think we have seen the worst yet regarding the economy...

This is so true of so many of us, and so many we know. We still have some friends that are going to Florida to try to pick up some hot vacation property at a value price, but I feel that for us that would be a huge mistake. We are one of the lucky people who are doing well, although gone from regular jobs we have health insurance (we pay for it) and both are able to pick up work on call. It is fine for us, we make enough to live on without touching our savings but still have four years to go to SS and we are going to try not to touch our retirement accounts until at least then. As long as our health holds out we will work. I just feel lucky not only to be able to work part time, but to be able to find the work.

times have indeed changed as so many people have pointed out. There are still a large amount of people though who are living like the economy is on fire. The malls are still packed around me, and the chain restaurants. Interestingly a friend was talking about buying books (her husband is laid off) and I could not understand why she just didn't go to the library, even if there is a waiting list eventually you get the book. She thought I didn't understand, why would you wait for a book if it is in the bookstore? There is such a disconnect for many people who are living life like the "good old days."

I find such solace in seeing what the people here try to do each day to conserve money, conserve electricity, and make do creatively to have a fullfillng if not full of money life.

Aqua Blue
12-21-11, 11:27am
I think one thing we have lost is some very written-word-aticulate people. Some of us do not have the writing skills to put on paper our ideas nearly as well as others. I think some of the ideas are there, just not said as well. I miss people like WJSimon, who after I read a post I thought, WOW that sums up so well what I was thinking.

I also think that there is almost a predictable life of a board. I have seem this in some other boards I frequent on other topics. For the first few years everyone is really excited to be able to share with others, and then it sorta wanes.

citrine
12-21-11, 12:12pm
I would hate to see this forum end....it was so hard for me to talk to my peers about living simply especially when all they were doing is buying everything! I am able to get so much knowledge from everyone here that has helped me tremendously in my life!

Some of my beliefs may sound a little new agey....but I refuse to look at this as an economic downturn. Every day I do a lot of visualization that I have everything that I need and all the new clients that need my help finding me. I have a lot of people handing out my cards and have moved up to 12 clients a week. My bf and I combined households so all my expenses have been halved. I took part of my wedding money to buy a house and the bf and I did most of the renovations ourselves. We are on track to have everything paid off next year and then do serious saving/socking away.

Geila
12-21-11, 3:35pm
I'm one of the members who has not posted much this past year. One thing that I, personally, would like to see here would be some "support" forums. I think this is one of the best things about real-life community and something that would be nice to have here. I'm thinking of places where we can pop in when we have an issue and need support or just conversation. A few support groups that come to mind: Exercise, Wellness, Family Struggles, Personal Growth and Development, Self-Employment. etc...

Example: I love hearing about people who are self-employed and would love to hear more of the daily ups and downs. I am not self-employed but I am very intrigued by it and I could still offer support. Another example: about 4 years ago I was going thru a depression and I joined a weekly depression group and it was so great. Just being able to talk to people who know exactly what you're going thru and who can offer support without judgement is incredibley helpful. We started going out to breakfast after group and even though I left the group about 3 years ago when my depression lifted, I still enjoy seeing them. This feeling of close support feels a bit lacking for me on the boards. It might be because I'm an extrovert and it seems a large portion of the folks here are introverts - I might actually need more engaged interaction than most people here do.

Anyway, I think having that option would encourage me to participate more. The other thing is that it seems this is a largely anglo community and as a non-anglo sometimes I feel like an outsider - particulary when racism makes an appearance. I've absented myself a few times because of it. The way I've dealt with it, in order to remain a member of this community, is to limit my engagement. And for the record, I very much appreciate the members who make a point of confronting racism and standing against it.

Ok, one more thing! I, too, find the topics rather repetitive (and I'm guilty of being repetitive myself). I would love to see a broader range of discussions. It feels like most of the topics are so safe, but safe does not engage me much. I find passion - and real life struggles and issues - the most engaging. I sometimes feel that when I post about my own struggles and issues that I probably annoy people because there are not many posting of that nature. That feeling of standing out has caused me to really limit my posting.

KayLR
12-21-11, 4:11pm
Watergoddess, thank you for that post. I think more support threads would probably cause me to participate more as well. I struggle in a couple areas, but feel reluctant to share for whatever reason. If I knew it was safe, I'd probably feel more free to.

And I'm so sorry some discussions were not race-sensitive or were downright racist. That should not be tolerated. I'm impressed you are still here in light of that. I'd probably never return if I was offended in that manner.

fidgiegirl
12-21-11, 5:35pm
I'm one of the members who has not posted much this past year. One thing that I, personally, would like to see here would be some "support" forums.

Those are really nice threads. For a while we had exercise/wellness support and I found it very engaging. Perhaps throwing out the topic even if you didn't want to get your own issues right out there in the OP? At least it would get people talking. I think only the people who would like to participate in a given support topic can really start it . . . because if someone isn't interested, they won't even think to start it. Like, I am not in an unemployment situation, so I wouldn't think to start that support topic. However, I have been really interested in some topics in the past and not really thought I could talk about them for lack of firsthand experience - like mental illness. So I might be inclined to start a topic like that, especially now that you mention that you'd like to participate but might be shy getting the ball rolling (you all MAY have guessed: not really shy here :) ). But otherwise, go for it!