// US Economy Shrinks as IMF Warns of Great Depression/How Have We Adjusted?
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« on: Dec 26, 2008 02:21 AM »

US Economy Shrinks as IMF Warns of Great Depression
Agence France-Presse: "The US economy shrank in the third quarter, official data confirmed Tuesday, as the IMF's top economist warned of a second Great Depression offering no respite from relentless gloom ahead of Christmas. The abrupt 0.5 percent contraction of gross domestic product (GDP) in the world's largest economy was seen as marking the start of a steep downturn for the United States after GDP growth of 2.8 percent in the second quarter."


As salaamu alaikum

I posted the above firstly because I find it amazing how now the experts want to acknowledge and warn of what we already knew but also to have some discussion on any adjustments we've had to make as a result.

As Muslims we should know about not living beyond or above our means but yet we find that in order to exist in the world we often have no choice in the matter.  Our brothers and sisters that live in countries where conditions have been hard for years don't suffer the same fate of having to force themselves to make cutbacks because they aleady have developed the skills to make do with limited resources.

As a single mother I've always had to make wise spending decisions but also admit that sometimes I'm so busy or so lazy depending upon who you ask that I don't do many of the things I used to do.  For example I used to rely heavily on the use of coupons and spent time claiming every available rebate offer but I had stopped but realize that every little bit helps.  I frequently dash into my nearest Rite-Aid since there's one near my job and managed to save enough receipts to claim a $10 cash reward (and here I thought I only qualified for a $5 reward but had enough in total receipt to go just over the first threshold).  So the tip here is save your receipts and always pick up the in-store flyers.
Of course always maximize trips to make a tankful of gas go further.   Sometimes this might mean skipping your favorite or routine locations of shopping especially when you can find another store (even in the same chain) nearer to other shops you also need to go to.    I love one area where I have the supermarket; hair care/beauty products; dollar store; drug store and clothing stores in a strip mall and so can park once and do all my shopping while walking  (also helpful if you have to rely on taxi cabs).  I've also found that I love Super Wal-Mart.  Sure it was a bit weird at first buying my groceries where I buy everything else but now when I go I load up the car with all I need.
When possible share shopping trips or wholesale club memberships with a friend.  I mean you may not need a dozen units of anything but since the unit pricing is often better both you and a friend will save if you split the case.

Comparision shop.  I love doing this on-line and sometimes find a better price from an on-line store (even after factoring in shipping charges) than I would in a store or find a better price at one store than at another.

Stores are offering some great bargains during the after christmas shopping rush and while it's not our holiday - a bargain is a bargain so if you need something no harm in getting it while it's on sale.  Paying full price doesn't improve the quality of the merchandise.

Learn to say "no".  No doubt our children don't like that word but it is one that they must become familiar with if we are to raise them to be responsible and sensible adults.  Mine whine or even cry when I say it but I discovered that they haven't "died"  and more often than not they actually forget what it was they "really really wanted/had to have"; besides they know I'm the only source of income and that it is more important that we have a roof over our head and food on the table and clothes on our backs that the lastest whatever.   The word can also be used with spouses (one of the rare instances when it doesn't bother me that I don't have one - no one to answer to). 

I still do my impluse buys from time to time but try to wait a bit longer before doing so (meaning I think about it rather than just do it).

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« Reply #1 on: Dec 26, 2008 05:56 AM »


Those are really good tips Faizah! I think we're all cutting back on the cream!

Here's my tips to add:

1. Stop eating out - This really sux for single ppl like me who have no other entertainment than going out...but we've discovered it's also more fun when we have "sisters parties" at different people's houses and each person brings a dish or something. If you do eat out, use the coupons... ie TGIF has a free appetizer/dessert coupon on their website. Order one thing or share and don't order a drink, even if it's soda u save 2.50 or more!

2.  Don't buy expensive luxury foods - Yeah we all love that certain name brand something, but sometimes the no brand or generic brand is just as good. Find the foods that are nutritious and can feed your family for less - back to the basics.

3. Why buy when you can borrow - Books, movies, cds etc There's no need to buy them when you can go to the library or borrow them.

4. Keep some small luxuries - Just like when dieting you tend to explode if you try to go cold-turkey. Keep a few small things that u really love that aren't too expensive... like a cappucino once a month, a super special dessert once so often ie tiramasu myy new favorite. See a movie once a month in matinee or something.

k....what else...
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