I paid the bill for the newspaper yesterday. I debated on canceling the subscription, thinking that the newspaper could be read online for free. But there is something about taking the 5 minutes that it takes to sift through the printed copy each day (except Sunday, and now Monday) to find a tidbit that catches our eye. Today I found just that tidbit.
It has been reported that there are approximately 9 million less travelers on our roads than there were about a year ago when the gas prices began to rise. Even with the dropping of gas prices, the amount of drivers declined this October.
Speculation is that the overall economy might be affecting people, leading them to choose to not spend the money on gas despite the lower cost. I agree with this idea to a point, however, I also feel optimistic that people have learned to stay home.
My take is, when a person learns to relax, they become aware of an entire different world. Learning to relax means less going out to eat, less trips to the store, keeping the car in the parking spot at home, and it also means spending more time with family and friends.
I hope and pray that my theory is correct. I, myself, am glad that I have slowed down on my spending habits. I group many chores into one. I now conciously group my needs and chores so that the trip to town is worth it's time and expense. When I am out, I look right back towards coming back home.
I have never been a huge shopper, but I did occsionally enjoy a planned day of shopping (department store, book store, craft mall, hair dresser, and then finally the grocery store on the way home), but something has now changed. So much of what I see appears to be junk, junk that I do not need to spend my hard earned money on. And, based on what my friends are saying, they are seeing many items as junk too. Why didn't we see this before we felt the financial crunch? I really do not have an answer for it, but I can say now, the eyes have opened.
I went to the big W.M. today, my most unfavorite place to shop. My trip was made to purchase my husband's prescriptions, and one or two needed items. What did I see in the center aisle of that wonderous store? A gift set for a female. The price was good, $5.00. What did the set contain? In the little colorful plastic gift bag was lotion, body wash, a bar of soap, a bath fizzie, and a bath scrub. I make soap and bath products. One bar of my soap is sold for nearly as much as that entire gift set. But what was really in that set? It surely was not very natural. It could not have been of any quality, based on the fact that it could be sold (retail) for $5.00! Scary, isn't it? I would rather save my $5.00 . And I hope others hold their chin up and save their $5.00 as well.
Better times are ahead.
And if you are feeling the warmth of back to basics...kudos for you! I pray that you are. We will all get through this. I will not give up the things that I love. I will not release my hopes and dreams. I will not spend $5.00 on something that isn't good for me, or you, or for our economy.