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I thought we could share some ideas here. Obviously there are many many bad sides to the economy right now. But there are also a few opportunities. Obviously everyone can't do all of them, but there are some things out there we can all take advantage of. Let's share ideas!

* Refinance your mortgage for a lower rate

* If you have been saving up to buy a house, it is more affordable now. Plus there is the government credit for house purchases.

* Many retail purchases have lower prices. Stores going out of business, etc.

* Car prices are down, gas is lower than it would have been.

* If you have been considering a career change or going back to school or starting a small business on the side, you might be more motivated right now.

* Frugality is no longer so weird.
It seems more acceptible right now to talk about money and saving money. People are more willing to barter, etc.
 

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Our library is offering 50% off of our fines if paid during the next week. Maybe other libraries will offer the same. (Just to clear the record, my fine is only $3 before reduction. I'm not a bad library abuser.)
 

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It is a great time to actively build a community support system. Introducing bartering/trade with your neighbors, not feeling like you have to keep up with the Joneses so much because everyone is in the same boat, even getting together community gardens which leads to healthier and fresher food, and passing on that knowledge.
 

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This is a great time to be raising children and teaching them about money management and frugality and sustainable living. I find this a lot harder when societal pressure is all about consumption and having the latest and greatest; now all we hear in the media is "cut back, save, reduce debt..."
 

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I have been doing alot more sewing and crafting than usual. Also spending time with my children while teaching them fun new skills. Also trading was a past time I have really gotten back into. Many more moms crafters are much more apt to trade with the economy. Win, win for everyone!
 

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It's a great time for wealthy people to do tax and estate planning and planned giving because they can give away larger amounts of money or shares of businesses because of the reduced value of everything.

I'm sure that helps a lot of us, huh?
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by papayapetunia View Post
It's a great time for wealthy people to do tax and estate planning and planned giving because they can give away larger amounts of money or shares of businesses because of the reduced value of everything.

I'm sure that helps a lot of us, huh?

Actually, most don't seem to know this, but last year, this year, and maybe next year too, those whose AGI is below a certain threshold (like 60K for single, 75 for married) - that is income after deductions - pay no federal capital gains tax. At all. So my dad, who is in a higher tax bracket gifted us some stock for which he had a low basis, and would have paid a lot of tax on. And we only paid state cap gains tax when we sold it. So that's a hidden boon too! Of course that was on the books before the crapfest of the last 8 mos, but still.
 

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I am a consigner at a HUGE sale twice a year. It is the biggest sale I have ever seen. That means lower prices for many families on gently used clothes, books, toys, movies. I have bought items from the sale, had my kids wear them and re-sell them again. I love it!!
:

There was a hail storm here a couple weeks ago and the BMW lot is liquidating thier inventory. Now would be an awesome time to buy a nice car. Too bad we don't have the cash. Any cars not sold are going to auction.

I have been going to the library a lot more and shopping at thrift stores. My oldest daughter has a complete Gymboree wardrobe from hair stuff to shoes and purses. I went a little nuts until she was about 4. I pass on the stuff to her younger sisters, but the little ones get re-sale clothes. I still look for certain brands. I went to Goodwill and got Nordstrom Kids, Baby Lulu, Ralph Lauren, Gymboree, Talbots kids, Gap. You just have to find the good locations.
 

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One thing I have noticed is more people asking for how to live frugally and simply and much more green than before. When it used to be people would say- "wow I can never do that" or "say you do what?" now "how do you ____"

We have had several potluck type parties or even just a supper club and everyone is game on the idea. No one is interested in going out and spending $$$ when we can do it at home.

When I do go out for a meal, I get really great service. Of course I only hit the locally owned places, but its nice.

Most high priced purchases whether for fun or need, have room for negoittion as before there was none. I have always bargained but now its easier.

Bartering has made a great comeback. We have always done this but now its more acceptable.

There are more but I am going blank!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by onlygirls View Post
I am a consigner at a HUGE sale twice a year. It is the biggest sale I have ever seen. That means lower prices for many families on gently used clothes, books, toys, movies. I have bought items from the sale, had my kids wear them and re-sell them again. I love it!!
:

What sale is this?
 

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In the past when I have mentioned wanting to live "greener" or lessening my family's "footprint", I've had a number of people lecture me about how there is no need to change... that global warming is just a bunch of media whooie, etc. (argh!). Anyway, now that I can point out that going green can also mean saving "green" ($$$), I don't get any arguments. So hopefully, more of those, "the earth was put here for us to use(abuse)" will start to tread more lightly if only to ease their own wallets. I don't care why they do it, just so long as they do it!
 

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Going out to eat is going back to what it was when I was little-a treat. We don't just dash through a fast food place every Friday night and spend $5+ each, we go out maybe once a month to somewhere nicer-even fast food feels like a treat again. DH and I are fortunate that our jobs are appearing secure and our income has not changed but we are feeling the push to conserve too (of course having 2 kids-3 and 1 helps too! Who really wants to take them out?)
 

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I am thinking about going back to school once we move. I cannot for the life of me decide on a job that pays AND that I enjoy. I need a career advisor like back in HS. I am glad though that I didn't finish the hygiene schooling I began because I really hate that field now. So at least I didn't waste my time and my money.
Now I will be starting the app process and see where that takes me!
 

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We are using stuff we already had instead of buying new. This includes all kinds of things - office supplies, clothes, kitchen stuff, games. We hadn't been huge consumers but the recession has made buying things so unattractive we are 'shopping' at home.
 

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My kids really appreciate what they have, since it's no longer possible for us to just go out and buy new or buy more. My mom commented that my kids are easy to buy gifts for because they appreciate whatever they are given. I don't know what all the factors are that lead to that, but I know that for the past few years we've been cutting back, and now with DH out of work we really can't just buy a toy somewhere or go out to eat, and my kids have come to accept that. So if they are given something new it's a really big deal to them.

Same with if we eat somewhere else and there is "special" food, stuff we don't normally have - they definitely appreciate the specialness of simple things like this. I don't know if I'm saying this well, and I know some kids aren't easily convinced, but mine seem to be taking it in stride. I think that the "consumerist mindset" is getting broken down for a lot of people and I think that is good.
 

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We enjoy that our favorite restaraunts aren't as busy as they once were, but are still plenty busy to stay in business.

We enjoy that we, on average, are getting better customer service from many service industry places. Even a trip to Target is more enjoyable because it seems more of the workers are willing to help and answer questions.

We enjoy that we got a really good deal on a new family vehicle.

We enjoy that budgeting and saving and being careful with money decisions is not frowned upon as much now.

We also used this time as an opportunity to get our children into our top choice private school. The waiting lists for the good private schools around here are usually impossible for a family with several young children (we need two 2nd grade slots and one 1st grade slot for next year). We were able to get all three kids into our top pick because so many students have left and/or aren't returning because of the economy. Admission overall across the country is said to be down by about 20% in private schools.
 

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Well, if you actually have money now is a GREAT time to get stuff fixed around the house! Contractors and trades people are really suffering. We just got a new garage door system and service done for about $150 less than it would have been a few years ago! They had an AWESOME deal
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Probably going to hire a handyman to do some odds and ends around here too!
 

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I hate to say it, but for us we took advantage of CL and people needing/wanting to sell electronic items because they needed the cash. We got a year old flat panel tv for $250 and also a Wii with 10 games, 2 controllers and the charger for $450. We got both for what we were going to spend on a tv alone.

Easily the total could have been close to $1400 and we paid half.

It's weird for us we always are broke, so things just aren't that different, but I do notice so many people in our community building HUGE plats for large gardens. It's leading our community to be even more self sustaining.
 
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