Thursday, February 12, 2009

Please Don't Blame the Recession on the Frugal Consumers

I continue to read articles that blame the current recession on consumers who won't SPEND. Oh brother! The media somehow twist our frugal choices as harmful to the country. I find these accusations extraordinarily BIZARRE!
  • Frugal people chose to spend and use our resources with as little waste or flamboyance as possible.
  • Frugal people are in all economic groups and classes. Frugal people spend money we actually have instead of borrowing and re-entering enslavement.
  • Yes, we enjoy many things money can buy but mostly the stuff money can't buy and far more of it. Frugal people are often very generous.

In a spend, spend, spend culture, folks are too busy to acknowledge the wisdom found in the natural world of sustainability, no waste, abundant provision without exploitation. I simply don't need more than I really need. I don't want what I don't want.

I don't want an American car. As my 14 year-old Toyota truck hits 200,000 miles in the next few months, I am saving to BUY another Toyota or Honda. My Ford Escort bailed out on me in 1995 with less than 7 years and 100,000 miles after several crazy/expensive repairs. So leave me alone about supporting the American auto industry since. I support anyone's decision to pay cash or near cash for a new or used car to help the ailing American auto industry which gave up its lead for greed a long time ago.

I want to SPEND some money in home improvements on my little house but if I can't pay cash for it, I can live without it. I can wait and save the money unless the government wants to include me in the stimulus package. Oh, but since I'm not behind in my mortgage, I don't qualify for the discussion. Of course my renegade lender regularly emails me about taking out a HELoc to spend and consolidate debts I don't have or make improvements. Are you kidding me? My one mortgage is my last debt and they want to "help me out" by giving me more debt. I surrender to Dave Ramsey's plan and he won't let me! (smiling)

I plan to buy a few items under $1000 this year using my debit card or cash. I AM SPENDING just not as much nor as fast as most big SPENDERS. Every little bit counts but it counts more to me in my emergency/disaster fund: After the government's response to Hurricane Katrina, I have no reason to believe it will quickly help if a big earthquake destroys my neighborhood. I must have enough cash to evacuate and set up a new temporary tent.

If the roofing on my house caves or if I need to replace the 30-year old furnace this year, guess who will be spending cash to fix it? It's not fun to spend those funds on what I don't need or want. If I had to choose, I'd rather be dirt poor and free than owe another dime to a bailed out bank. I'm not going back to that life! Freedom!

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