Is It Time to Hit the Reset Button?

What a year this has been! Now Newsweek and CNN declares “The Recession is Over!

Well, not so quick. There’s a problem with this wonderful statement.

Upon reading or hearing this wonderful news, most people expect that we’re “back to normal”. And we’re not.

Unemployment is still high. People are just barely deciding to open their wallets and businesses are still suffering.

Have you been out shopping lately? It seems that EVERYTHING is on sale. A clothing place I frequent, had a sale where you buy one suit, get two free. They also had 50% off of all clearance prices. Sales on top of sales. It’s all crazy! I wonder who actually pays full price for anything any more.

reset-buttonThen the government chimes in and says, we’ll give you money for your junk vehicles. And we steamrolled through $1 billion in less than 4 days. All to get us to buy “already heavily discounted vehicles”. And even Chrysler offered to match the government cash up to $4500. It’s weird to think that since the government owns Chrysler, the government is giving $9000 toward a new vehicle.

When it comes to salaries, we realize we can’t expect increases this year. The media also has a steady chorus about the evils of bonuses. And those who have lost their jobs are willing to take lower pay in order to reenter the work force. One of my friends lost his job and was rehired at a lower rate to do the same tasks all within a few weeks.

Businesses are down-sizing and plants are closing. All to scale back to the weaker demand. Luxuries have returned to what the word means. Scarce, not affordable and something we rarely get to do. Airfares have dropped and vacationing locations are reducing prices all to woo the vacationers who has developed into a new beast. The staycationer! We’re discovering our own back yard and stopped pouring money into a crazy short-amount of time. All for the sake of “fun”.

So what’s happening? Why are they saying the recession is over?!?

I think it’s a subtle way to say: this is the new reality. The master reset button has been pushed.

Like the realization that the world has changed after 911, today, we need to “get over” the recession and hit the “reset.”

Here’s what I believe are things that need resetting:

  1. Average personal savings are up to 6% or so. This is still too little. We need to save more for retirements, your children’s tuition and a sizable emergency funds.
  2. In order to end this crazy recession cycle though, we need to spend. How to do both? We need to spend smartly. More on necessities while we continue to save. The deal prices are soon going to become the “norm”. Perhaps eating out needs to become more special again.
  3. Find a way to offer your services or products for less. It’s the new world and the new reality. That usually means paying less for your supplies and employees. Sadly, we need to back up economically. This means you’ll get less as a business owner too!
  4. Have a strategic plan. Work smarter not harder. The more you integrate all your plans together the more money you save. Often, your suppliers will offer you more for your money if you purchase packages and larger plans.

The world’s a new place! How are you going to hit the reset button?

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