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So, is it Going to Stick?

July 21, 2011

I think I’ve noticed a little pattern. Most of the people I know who had anything to do with the Great Depression still do many of the things they learned during the Depression. That is one thing I like so much about them. They still garden. They still save money and avoid debt like the plague. They still value hard work. In fact, even though many people who have been deeply affected by the events and repercussions of the Great Depression probably don’t need to be overly frugal because, by now, they are probably financially stable, they still are.

It seems like those events changed them.

So here we are, hopefully coming to the last half of the Great Recession. I think our family is doing some things differently because of the news, the stock markets, the housing market, etc., etc. For sure, the Great Recession has impacted almost every family in this country and many other countries. People, including us, are budgeting much more closely. People are driving differently. People are seeing debt and saving differently than they did in 2006. As I look at the way I view my monthly finances compared to how I used to see them, it is obvious that the last 3-5 years have changed me and my wife in a pretty fundamental way. The question is: Will our family still be practicing frugality, and all of the things that go with that, in ten years (assuming that in ten years we’re living through “The Great Prosperity”, which I doubt)? Are our current views only going to last until gas prices go down, houses start to sell, employment rates improve and the general financial health of the nation improves?

Here are a few questions to ponder:

1. What has changed for us, as far as our financial attitudes and habits, since the Great Recession started?

You may want to think about how you budget, how you try harder to save money, how you keep your resume up to date, whatever…

2. Which of these changes in our attitudes/habits are going to stick?

For instance, I think I’m always to going track our spending closely. I like doing it now and feel that it is empowering. I think I’m always going to focus on saving for short term. I think I’m always going to put as much of our finances on auto-pilot as is appropriate.

But what about you? 

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