Wednesday, July 2, 2008

10 Good Things About the Tanking Economy

There's no limit to the whining about how our economy is tanking--just look at any financial website or turn on the evening news. Here's some reasons why it may actually be a good thing:

  1. We're "going green". When you drive less, you use less gas and therefore cut emissions from cars. When you shop less, you buy less, and therefore don't need all of the packaging and plastic bags that go along with your purchases.
  2. We're getting healthier. Many people are walking more, maybe riding their bicycles to work, eating out less...all things that lead to better health.
  3. We are getting an economic reality check. When the economy is booming, it's possible to live on credit, get an interest-only mortgage, and lease a car that is way out of your league. Finally our economy is slapping some financial sense into people.
  4. Frugality is coming back in style. In the late '90s and early 2000s frugality was laughed at even though all previous generations in our country survived by these very skills. Now people are re-learning the value of frugality--more by necessity than choice.
  5. We're spending more time with our families. People are traveling less, shopping less, staying home more, and undoubtedly getting to know those other people living in their homes a little better.
  6. We're less wasteful. When food costs shoot up exponentially, we are more conscious of the food that gets thrown away and therefore prone to be less wasteful.
  7. All of our preparedness efforts seem justified. The public may panic over food shortages, sub-prime mortgages, and gas prices while the prepared folks just kick back and watch their disaster mitigation plans go into affect.
  8. We're putting our creativity to work. People's creativity tends to expand when their comfort level decreases. If people are fat and happy, there is no need to fix a problem with creativity. If you are uncomfortable, however, you tend to use your creativity to come up with ways to alleviate uncomfortable situations.
  9. We are realizing the value of cold, hard cash. Being up to your eyeballs in debt while the dollar is shrinking and the credit market is tightening is not a pretty place to be. All of the sudden, using real cash makes a whole lot of sense.
  10. Our priorities are getting back in line. Previously, many people's priorities were name brands, restaurant meals, vacations on credit, and shopping themselves into oblivion. Now our priorities are taking care of the family, putting food on the table, paying bills, and cutting out the non-essentials.
Obviously, if you can honestly afford to keep up the lifestyle you have become accustomed to, there is no harm in it. If, however, like many Americans, you have been living in a la-la land dreamed up by marketers and credit companies, the current economic situation in our country may actually be a blessing in disguise.


  1. Good post--one I appreciate as I've been trying to think of good things to say about the way our world is changing. I visit an Amish family weekly and I admire how they live. Simply and well. A healthly happy people. I'm hoping we'll end up more like the Amish. That ain't a bad fate...

  2. Thanks: I just made a copy of your post.

    Frugality for me is not coming back. "I ALLWAYS LIVED THAT WAY"

    Thanks again.

  3. A lot of people have needed a reality check and it looks like it's going to come true even if they don't want it. RW