Even though we almost lost our home in 2007/08 – I wasn’t blaming it on the recession/depression. Not yet, anyway. I was blaming it on the fact that I merely had been downsized from the steel industry. Simple as that. We were either losing contracts, or current contracts were ordering less supplies; those that couldn’t float with their heads above water, bailed. It seemed like a natural lifestyle. Things change.
I thought it all smoke and mirrors. But then I saw a trend happening among people I knew…they were dumping their stock, and took the stand of “take the money, and run”! Some were retiring early and getting their pensions. It was a little disturbing, especially since I personally had no money to run with. I had a savings account, it was decent; but I had no investments. I heard people swooning and groveling about the amounts of money being lost. Ok. So I had no investments, but I knew this much from what I remember in my college economic courses…what goes down will go back up again – eventually. It’s a historic bookmark within the stock market that shows it as truth. So why were people taking their money out after already losing so much of it? I understand now. They were cutting their losses and keeping what they could. I learned to understand how long it could take to recover from such devastating losses. Decades.
It was then that I was grateful we always lived below our means. We were natural penny-pinchers. Our adjustment was uncomfortable, but not painful. During the economic boom, while friends were buying bigger houses, we were happy with our small one. We didn’t use credit cards to buy clothes, furniture, big screen TV’s, knick-knacks or vacations. While people upgraded to fancy, high performance cars, we kept our clunker. And while people went to fancy restaurants…we ate at home. I was thankful. Our sacrifices were manageable.
We were in full economic decline. Those that owned their own businesses suffered too – not just the workers. The difference was…if you’re an entrepreneur you can reinvent yourself. My favorite example: Use to sell real estate? Start small, buy cheap foreclosed properties and flip. Brilliant. Buy up the houses pennies on the dollar, put lipstick on it and sell it at a profit people can afford to pay. As the business grew…the lipstick upgraded to full blown cosmetic surgery. Problem is – you need to have money to make money; or borrow from friends that do.
After losing my job in the steel industry, I found myself out of work for over a year. It was then that I started taking the 2007 fiasco seriously. I never faltered and I did keep my head up. I was glad for unemployment benefits and felt lucky we had savings to get us through. I started to make jewelry and sell it online and at local craft shows. It wasn’t a lot of money – but it certainly helped our situation.
I don’t how we did it, but we managed to save our home by the skin of our teeth.
What I know now is this…during the great recession I was unemployed because there were no jobs. Now I’m unemployed because of restructuring and salary caps. I’m see myself shifting into the “under employed” category. When I get lucky enough to find a job will it be suitable? I have no idea at this point. This notion is what has driven me to start my on-line business enterprise. I’m so sick and tired of relying on a job to make ends meet.
Employment, per se, is attainable…but under-employment is running rampant. There are fewer and fewer full time jobs and more part time jobs at crappy pay than ever before. Maybe my perspective is a bit skewed. Let me explain.
Retail managers. I salute you. You get paid for 40 hours but are required to work 50, 60 and sometimes 70 hours a week. Why? Because corporate has cut your payroll below bare bones, but you’re still accountable to get the work done. You feel obligated to fulfill those crazy hours because you need a job (a coveted full-time one) and you’ll do what’s necessary to put food on your table. The part-timers think you’ve got it made! They make $8 maybe $10 and hour and see you as the king of the hill with your paycheck. Let’s visit that. Say you work 60 hours a week, that’s 3,120 hours per year. Now, let’s say you make $45,000 per year (respectable I guess if you worked only 40 hours per week). At 60 hours you’re making what…$14 bucks an hour? That’ll pay for that college loan you’re still trying to pay back (excuse my sarcasm).
I think what our employees fail to understand, is that every position level is someone’s minion! But those part-timers? I bow down to them too. They’re forced to get 2 sometimes 3 jobs to make ends meet. Try coordinating 3 different job schedules while keeping your employer and your family happy. No small feat! And think about this one part-timers…you can no longer be sure from one week, day and even shift to the next when you will work, how many hours you’ll be there, or how much you’ll earn. That stinks.
What’s All This Ranting About?
Sigh. Besides just loving to get this stuff of my chest, I hope I’m not being influenced by my situation. I had to get my thoughts on paper to see if it had merit. I feel a recession looking over my shoulder, like a little devil. No, not a REAL recession – just one that feels like a light breeze coming on. I realized looking back historically, that a recession seems to drift by every 5 or so years, or at least by the end of a Presidential term. Have you ever noticed that? Here’s what I mean:
RECESSION Over the Years – A Snap Shot
I did some research and I was pretty close. Just about every 3 to 4 years we get hit with some kind of recession. Minor ones, yes. But even those little ones can affect us on a large scale – depending on our circumstances.
CLICK HERE for more information. It’s SOOO interesting!
I love that you all let me rant and get it out. I Love sharing my thoughts with you and hope you will do the same! We want to hear from you. Share your story with us! How has the recession affected you and how are you getting through it?
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are purely my own thoughts and musings on this subject manner and is no way to be construed as fact or fiction. 🙂