Monday, April 14, 2008

Economy. The big elephant in the room.

As we struggle to stay above water, I realize that as a family, we are not alone. The domino effect that fuel prices have on the middle class is something that is not making national news. Not in the way it should. I have talked to some other families in our circle and all of us admit to being in a different place financially than where we were a year ago. It seems to have happened suddenly. The media is not reporting it. Yes, I get the rising gas prices and foreclosure crisis. But what about just making monthly payments? Credit cards, student loans, electric bills...these were once just part of our budget and do-able. Since both Mr. Thorn and I work in industries that don't promise monthly(consistant) salaries(sales and I'm self-employed), our income has fluctuated wildly in the past 6 months. It is becoming harder to make a budget or be assured we will have money for bills. On that note, I found an article about the local effect on the food industry in regards to restaurant closures.

Restaurants feeling pinched

Mr. Thorn and I talked about this last night as we found a restaurant we liked had closed it's doors recently. Many in our local Crestview Hills Town Center have closed. Four in all, since opening in 2005. We have cut back on eating out in the last 8 months. I think many families have. The only incentive is half-price dining, which has become a less frequent splurge.

As gasoline prices pushed above $3.25 for a gallon of gas earlier this year, a growing number of consumers saw restaurant meals as an easy expense to cut, according to BIGresearch of Columbus. The retail consulting company found in March 2007 that 28.7 percent of consumers said they would react to rising gasoline prices by cutting restaurant meals from their budget.

We are also hoping to move in the next year. Bigger house for same or less money back in "the city". As we found out last week, a suburban neighborhood does not guarantee peace and safety for our children. With the housing market as whacked as it is, we are ready to move back to "the city"(as in inner city) to be closer to church, school, work and my parents(who are moving). I will just have to keep praying we can keep our credit clean and budget for fixing up our home to put on the market. The good news is, people are buying homes. We did not have over-inflated housing prices in this region. We also do not have an ARM on our current home loan. Thankfully. Now I need to get back to work. Just putting this whole "economy" thing out there.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i agree, this "housing meltdown" is overblown. it's the energy costs that are the problem. why has the media glommed onto the housing thing? another thing that bugs me is this ethynol crap. how crazy is it that we are using food stuffs to run our machines? could this be driving up food costs?