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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Monday, February 26

Gapers Block

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Andrew / October 19, 2008 11:00 PM

Interestingly, we asked a similar question about a year ago.

PMan / October 19, 2008 11:03 PM

Not very well, but I do feel lucky that I've proven I can live on not much money, and that my job appears secure for now. I'm meeting other people that were making a fair amount, but aren't anymore.

mary / October 20, 2008 8:56 AM

well. until very recently when i found out we may get our bonuses in Jan. instead of Dec. (if at all), i didnt think i was affected by it other than the fact that i feel like things are seeming to be more expensive. however, my main problem lies in that i enjoy spending money, which isnt an economic problem. its those damn marketers.

spence / October 20, 2008 9:21 AM

My retirement savings have taken a big hit, but I'm lucky to have 38 more years to recover, unlike my parents. I believe the effects of the downturn will be gradual. Ask again in a year, things may be totally different.

Carrie / October 20, 2008 9:31 AM

I decided to torture myself and look at my 401K statement they sent me last week. It was a little depressing, but I have a long time to build it up again.

I think the economy is affecting my job, but it's not to the point where I'm coming to work scared that I might not have a job.

mary / October 20, 2008 9:34 AM

oh yeah, and my job security seems ok, but i'm currently job searching and i'm pretty sure that its the worst time to be looking.

Crystal / October 20, 2008 9:35 AM

I've had several friends recently joke about keeping money in shoe box or stuffed inside their mattress. At first it was funny, but more and more it's sounding like a good idea...

annie / October 20, 2008 11:03 AM

Not Good! I may be laid off, but they won't tell us, they just keep saying that 1/3 of us are going to be laid off, but we have no idea which of us is going. Me and the hubby were supposed to be in Punta Cana right now, but decided to cash in on the travel insurance and cancel the whole thing in case very soon I am out of work. The worst part..who is hiring right now? It's been a rough few weeks, but the good thing for now, we have been spending way less than we normally sucks that an economic crisis makes us realize we could live much more simply.
My 401K is pathetic and the hubby's stock options are worthless..literally. this blows.

Hal / October 20, 2008 11:16 AM

Cutting back a bit, which is already paying off. But with my company being in the midst of acquisition and the hubby being at the not-so-solid Tribune, it could be bad.

I'm not overly concerned about the 401(k) and IRA, as I have 25 years to make it up and I see my current contributions as "buying low."

But I was shocked to hear that my 80-year old mother-in-law has lost "$50,000 in stocks." At her age, what the hell is she doing in stocks in the first place? I thought that once you get within sight of retirement, all of your money is supposed to super-safe stuff like cash accounts...

Mucky Fingers / October 20, 2008 11:17 AM

Job-wise, I am a very big fish in a very small pond, so I don't need much to get by. I've always liked keeping things lean & mean, which is good right now.

Whatever is going on, it's good to be alive.

fluffy / October 20, 2008 1:15 PM

The economy is treating me like shit. Looking for a job has been my full-time job for the past 9 months. I've gone on interviews, second interviews, but nothing yet. I've never gone through this before and it's very scary.

Gumbo / October 20, 2008 1:42 PM

The economy is repeatedly kicking me in the face. Was laid off and have been job hunting since July. None of the great people who were laid off with me have been able to land permanent full-time jobs yet. It's very disheartening to find that talented and experience people can't find work.

mike / October 20, 2008 3:40 PM

I'm still trying to figure out the logic behind my home declining $30,000 in value while my property taxes increase.

Brandy / October 20, 2008 4:16 PM

In April, I finally got fed up with my debt and my not-so-blissful ignorance about money. Been shoveling all my money towards killing the debt. Since I'm being responsible and smarter, I've weathered the financial news fine. But it feels like my work if finally slowing down (I'm self-employed), so that's got me a tad nervous. Time for marketing and networking. (Anyone need a graphic facilitator, let me know.) ;^)

Steven / October 20, 2008 6:17 PM

Leaving the house without money or ATM card every single day so I don't spend. No Starbucks. No diet Coke. No lunch. No Snickers. No shit. I'm watching where every dime goes now. Off the subject, but how can anyone be so stupid as to believe McCain's BS about trickle down economics being the better way to solve this mess? Oh I forgot. Redneck states.

mike-ts / October 20, 2008 8:56 PM

Following the financial wisdom of a family that weathered the Depression kept me from racking up a massive debt, thank God. I was a penny pincher and thrift store shopper before they were cool. I think we'll see some sort of recovery once the election is over and the dust settles.

But haven't we seen a bad recession every time we end a presidency? I was laid off for a bit in 2000 and 2001, things were tight when I got out of the Army in 1991-92, my father was sporadically laid off from the mill in 1979-80.

My economic problems are mine, not related to the economy in general. At the end of the year I leave a job where the pay got halved because owner is inept, I have a "bridge" job for spring, and a business to build from a very good part time one to a very good full time one during that temp job's life span. All that would go on regardless of the outside world's doing.

HOP / October 21, 2008 8:51 AM

As someone who has never really had money, I'm dealing just fine. Those of us that are used to being lower-middle class, and who enjoyed the buoy of the Clinton years into the Bush years, we're just going back to the same place we were in before- no investing (all money goes to savings/debt/necessities), no major spending (don't own car, don't pay for gas, bike everywhere). Just hang on to my job and I'll hardly be able to tell the difference.

The interesting part is that everyone else is joining us.

Spook / October 21, 2008 9:29 AM

As one who has been predicting America's economic decline, I need to do better.I'm
still paying down bills from a great but expensive vaction two months ago, and although I'm glade I brought that circa 1920 roll top desk, the rest of the spending has got to stop. Peapods will help and the fact that my car is a scooter, I will be pretty much snow/cold and ice bound( like Danny in The Shinning) for the winter

Irisheyes1212 / October 21, 2008 9:45 AM

Luckily my job is secure. Actually both jobs. One is in the construction industry. While our new construction customers are slowing down, the repair / maint. customers are holding steady. My other job is in a bar...people will always drink so no problem there. As a matter of fact, I have realized how expensive my little drinking habit really had become. I've decided to tone it down a bit / stay in more. Thank goodness for big bottles of wine.
Been trying to cut down on fast food, Starbucks, etc. So easy to spend that way, plus it will help me get back on track with eating better. I am finding when I do this, I have more money to spend on necessities, or things I really want to spend on, like a pedicure. After working avg. 60hr week, I deserve something nice. If all my bills are caught up, why not :)
All in all, so far so good. I hope I am fortunate enough to stay that way.

Gaigen / October 21, 2008 10:14 AM

The same as it ever was. Through shrewd planning, my personal economic situation is pretty steady: I'm just as broke as I've always been. It's not easy. It's taken a lot of sacrifice, a lot of denying myself certain things like a budget, some substantial savings, money at the end of the week...

But I have been riding my bike more and find that popcorn makes an excellent main course.

Gaigen / October 21, 2008 10:18 AM

The same as it ever was. Through shrewd planning, my personal economic situation is pretty steady: I'm just as broke as I've always been. It's not easy. It's taken a lot of sacrifice, a lot of denying myself certain things like a budget, some substantial savings, money at the end of the week...

But I have been riding my bike more and find that popcorn makes an excellent main course.

zoenotcool / October 21, 2008 1:51 PM

Both of our jobs are OK, for now...husband's industry is in decline, so that hasn't changed. We are still saving some and spending more than is necessary. As first-time homeowners, life is pretty expensive, but we are very lucky. My 401K took a 9% hit. I'm trying not to think about our other accounts. Overall, we feel as if we are the only people we know who are spending money and doing OK. It's a new experience and kinda strange. I feel guilty when I hear about others' major financial problems.

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