Friday, February 27, 2009

Big Ticket Items

There are a few things that I've been talking about buying for more than a year. Ned wants me to quit talking about them and go ahead and buy them. But you know, with the economy the way it is, I'm feeling apprehensive about spending any money outside of what we need for everyday living. And certainly upgrading something that is working seems very excessive.

I read an article about what has happened in Japan since their recession back in the 1990's. Basically that recession/depression changed the Japanese spending habits. They returned to thrift and they have not returned to spending. Not on speciality foods or on big ticket items like Plasma TVs. Their economy is stagnating. The Japanese aren't buying the things they produce and now they can't find people in another country to buy them either.

Is this recession in the USA going to change spending habits? Yes, I know that it is today. Right now they say that Americans are saving at higher rates than they have in many years. What about 10 years from now? Twenty years from now? Will we stop buying things that we don't absolutely need? Stop going on vacations that we can't pay for in cash?

Should I buy a couple of big ticket items to help the economy and maybe someone will keep a job or should I save because I don't know what is coming down the pike? Where is the balance?


Calypso said...

I am with Ned on this.

I am for buying it while you can still afford it. It isn't like we are 25 and need to save for our future - the future is now for our group - go get what you want.

Steve Cotton said...

Billlie -- It is ironic that this recession could cause Americans to save like their grandparents did. And if that happens, the result will probably be a terrible round of deflation. And economists have no idea how to respond to that. See Japan.

Heather said...

I think the balance is deciding to prioritize just one of your wish list items to buy and go ahead and get it. Those are the kinds of things we've been doing lately. Then we try to shave money off our other bills like grocery bills by shopping smarter.

Cynthia said...

I am feeling conservative these days. I want things, but if I don't need them, I am not buying.

Americans have traditionally bought their way out of past recessions, so I'm not helping out with the economy either.

John said...

Boy, I have my eye on a new Nikon DSLR--the old D70 doesn't cut it in low light, plus I want a full frame sensor so I can resurrect some of my old lenses. But spend today? I don't know.

Nancy said...

I'm agree, it's hard to know what to do if you put it as a question of what is right for the country's economy or as a patriotic choice. I think we all just need to make decisions the way we always have - what is right for our own pocketbook and budget.

I do think if you're buying Mexican goods and services, to go ahead and buy. People, especially those already at the bottom financially, are really hurting. We are tipping more, getting our car washed more, being more generous with our local beggars and charity cases. The dollar to peso exchange is a windfall that we can spread around.

jillian said...

My generation is going to feel this recession in a way we don't even know yet. It honestly doesn't occur to me to not buy something I want or even see and think is shiny and pretty and me likey, I feel like such a simpleton (or a total jerk)... thanks for the seemingly common sense, and plainspoken advice that seems to elude some of us (me).