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GRDadof3

Is the Michigan economy having an effect on your lifestyle this year?

Is the economy affecting your lifestyle this year?   60 members have voted

  1. 1. Any major changes this year due to the employment picture in Michigan?

    • Yes, I'm looking at moving out of Michigan
      7
    • No, I'm secure in my job and staying put
      33
    • Don't know yet, playing it by ear
      14
    • Might or will go back to school
      1
    • Other
      5
  2. 2. Are you buying or selling a house or condo this year?

    • Yes, looking at buying while prices are low
      6
    • Yes, looking at selling
      5
    • No changes in our living situation this year
      41
    • Looking at renting this year
      7
    • Other
      3
  3. 3. Are you economizing your transportation this year?

    • Yes, I plan to make big changes (move, new car, bike, walk, bus)
      8
    • No, I plan to cut back in other areas
      28
    • I already walk, bike, bus, hybrid, etc.
      15
    • Other, please explain
      10

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17 posts in this topic

I wondered with all the news lately of the economic struggles in Michigan and on the national scene whether people were making any changes this year. It's going to be a tough year apparently, but I think West Michigan will keep plowing on. :thumbsup:

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New answer options, I answered too soon! Or did I just miss the 'already walk/bike/bus' option?

That's me, haven't owned a car in years.

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Thankfully my job and my wife's job seem pretty safe...knock on wood.

We car pool to work to save on gas.

Our focus this year is to really watch our spending...save...save...save.

Many of the people I know who still have a steady income are doing the same thing....save money.

This is opposite to what the economists want however...

Which leads me to another point: Is it me, or is the general health of our economy more and more dependent on consumer spending?

Almost to an unrealistic and sad point.

I was in Singapore in 2001 and met a couple Americans that worked for a shipping company that did the Singapore-Los Angeles route.

He said every container going to the US is full...every container coming back from the US is empty.

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Had to mark "other" for my responses. Don't plan on cutting back on transportation because I work from home and don't, well, transport. And I expect steady household income, but not because my job is stable. We both work in industries that aren't as affected by recession; the broad-measure economy might be bad, but not all sectors are hurting. Some, in fact, are doing quite well.

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I was in Singapore in 2001 and met a couple Americans that worked for a shipping company that did the Singapore-Los Angeles route.

He said every container going to the US is full...every container coming back from the US is empty.

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No options for Yes, I'm affected (unemployed), and

No, I'm not leaving.

Same with housing. We're looking at selling our

downtown condo and buying a home on the lakeshore.

(Hoping for better return on investment long term)

We walk everywhere we can and bought a 40 mpg

diesel Passat last year. Couldn't be happier with the

decision.

John

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My job prospects seem fine, though some of our clients have been affected so we might see a little less work. I do plan to start biking to work more frequently in the spring.

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No options for Yes, I'm affected (unemployed), and

No, I'm not leaving.

Same with housing. We're looking at selling our

downtown condo and buying a home on the lakeshore.

(Hoping for better return on investment long term)

We walk everywhere we can and bought a 40 mpg

diesel Passat last year. Couldn't be happier with the

decision.

John

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Are you selling that condo in the house closest to Spectrum? That looks like a pretty cool place (though it would have been out of our price range when we bought last July). Or are you still "looking" at selling?

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For me, these questions would have been much more timely back in 2000. My business dropped off a cliff in Jan 2000 and it has been a long slow slog back. My "crash" in 2000 was due mostly to the loss of several out of state clients who imploded in the dot.bomb.

That being said, my industry seems to cycle differently than most - and 2008 looks to be the first significant upturn for me since 2000. However, it is mostly due to the addition of a couple new clients I have been chasing for a long time and the return of one who temporarily dumped me back in 2000. So I don't think my upturn is very economy related. One thing worth noting is the fact that my client base is far more in-state than it used to be. Not sure that is an economic sign as much as it is indicative of long term changes in my client base.

So my answers to the questions would be:

We already adjusted our lifestyle back in 2000: we cancelled my wife's plan to quit working (we get our health care thru her job), we cancelled plans to add on to our house, I began working much more from home so I could watch the kids (we have never done child care) and we focused a lot of energy on tracking our expenses... a very good exercise in any economy.

I closed my downtown office after 23 years and now work from home - and there are at least 3 days a week where my car never leaves the garage. The few days I do, my commutes are much shorter now - as I have carved out a great little community of resources here in Rockford. I also fly a ton less than I used to - so my stress level is down and I'm not wasting my time away in airports or contributing to the consumptive effects of air travel.

My wife closed one of her two offices (shortening her commute by 4 miles each way and eliminating several mid day trips). I should add that her business has dropped significantly and she has down-sized her operations accordingly.

In the end, our lifestyle really hasn't changed in terms of what we do and what we afford our children. Smart processes, smart choices and a few cheerful decisions to prioritize along the way have made our sacrifices few. What has changed for us is the fact that we spend a lot less time pondering lavish consumer spending... and ya know what? It feels pretty good to know we are just as happy without some of the trendy gadgets and toys you see advertised every day.

Oops, forgot to add one more thing that really helps: we have a very small mortgage and are very glad we resisted the temptation to buy more house than we needed. Sure, we'd like a bigger place if only to absorb the office operations I moved home a while back - but we get by just fine - and love our tiny monthly payments! Sure makes riding out this housing crisis a whole lot easier.

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Are you selling that condo in the house closest to Spectrum? That looks like a pretty cool place (though it would have been out of our price range when we bought last July). Or are you still "looking" at selling? ...

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There you go again. Josh, why don't you publish people's addresses here too?

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There you go again. Josh, why don't you publish people's addresses here too? And while you're "curious," dig out their Soc numbers??

Have you found my spare house key yet? Perhaps that would be a fun discussion point.

(My point is: this is not the bike club's Yahoo group.)

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No changes and no cutting back - life is good!

Besides, there's four bazillion dollars in new projects coming to town, right? :whistling:

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I wasn't so lucky. I had to move to Florida. Great weather, crappy people, bad environmental conservatism make up this great state I moved to. Yay for all those suburban loving NY/NJ retirees!!!!! Did you know they have NO bottle return policy down here????? :shok:

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