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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
10 Benefits of Living in a (low oil price) Recession
by Judy Arnall, BA, CCFE
In many parts of the world, we are coping with recession. Are there benefits to a simpler life? Yes, trimming-down lifestyle is a great way to focus on what is really important - family and friends. Here are some additional benefits:

  • Kids learn how to do chores and become more self-sufficient.
  • Kids learn money management because they need to earn enough to pay for their wants.
  • Recessions reduce environmental impact because people buy less consumer items.
  • Kids spend more time outdoors - camping, hiking, biking, geo-caching and playing
  • Kids spend more time volunteering.
  • Family dinners with home-cooking foster socialization with family members, siblings and friends.
  • Low-cost activities are often the best for bonding - board games, video games, baking, gardening, camping, projects, walks etc.
  • People take better care of their health with home cooking and nature/ outdoor activities.
  • People are more creative; they start businesses or turn hobbies into ways to make income.
  • People become more resourceful, such as learning to fix machines, mend jewelry, and repair clothing and toys.
If you are living in a recession economy, look on the bright side and see how freeing it is to let go of possessions and focus more an relationships.
 

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I think it's privileged and insensitive to argue that there's a bright side to forced loss of income.

I'm not ever going to look on the bright side of the financial turmoil that my family is experiencing right now. We weren't living extravagantly. We didn't have things to downsize and simplify. All we do now is try not to drown. Camping? Too expensive. Volunteering? Not when people are working six days a week.

If you want to advocate a lifestyle based on relationships and experiences, don't forget that for some families even simple is unattainable. Certain basic needs are out of some people's grasp. Recessions hit them harder than people who had more privilege to begin with.

And let's not forget that people with high incomes can still make these choices. If I had more money, I would not devolve into rampant consumerism and excess. It's a choice for them, however, and choices are luxuries that some don't have.
 

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The first post is written from a very middle class POV.


I am solidly middle class, but I work with children who live in poverty and I volunteer at the community food bank. The first post has NOTHING to do with the lives of the kids I work with, who seldom see their parents since their parents work multiple jobs at odd hours. The tremendous amount of stress some families are living with causes break downs in relationships, lack of needed meds, crime, and so on. It isn't pretty. Family break down because one parent couldn't take it any more and checked out (sometimes with alcohol or drugs, sometimes with incarceration, sometimes just by disappearing) and the other parent trying to hold it together with minimum wage jobs is the norm for MANY kids in our culture. They aren't eating healthier with homemade meals and them playing a board game -- they are eating whatever their older sibling could put together and then watching TV. And the parent who is still there is really doing the best they can!


Our community food bank now has more request and fewer donations.
Heck, in my and my family's case, my husband's comfortable income is why I get to make the choice to work in a job that doesn't pay well for the education required and why we get to donate both time and money to helping others in our community eat. It's a privilege to be relieved of scurry to survival and getting to focus on creating meaning. As far as my kids, who are teens, it's a privilege to be able to let them focus on their studies and future careers rather than forcing them to start living a hand to mouth experience already.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Stress affects families

Please accept my apologies if the article doesn't adequately reflect many families experiences. My children and I volunteer as much as we can, at the local food bank, and in the past, on the city crisis line. I volunteer because I have been in poverty, and now am pretty middle class. I hear how hard families have it and I wish, as a society we could do more. (((((hugs to you)))))
 
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