A Resolution That May Stick: Spending Less in ’09

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Jolene Siana, a writer in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn, plans to spend time with friends at their homes rather than in wine bars, bringing a $12 bottle rather than blowing $12 on a glass. Nelson Murphy, a maintenance worker at a Manhattan hospital, is determined that 2009 will be the year he finally gives up smoking — it is bad for his health, and, at $9 a pack, his wallet.

And Felicia Jackson, 23, is promising herself a healthier lifestyle — physically and financially. She will take peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to work instead of frequenting McDonald’s for lunch (and sometimes breakfast), and walk to and from her subway stop instead of hopping in a town car.

“It’s $5 each way, so that’s $50 a week,” said Ms. Jackson, who lives in Brooklyn and works at Paragon Sports in Union Square. “I’m going to make a tighter budget this year with the economy the way it is.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsEconomyPersonal FinanceThe Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

4 Comments
Posted December 31, 2008 at 4:21 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. Jeffersonian wrote:

We went on a budget over a year ago and honestly, our lifestyle hasn’t changed significantly.  We’re also saving a lot of money every month where we used to blow it on silly, useless things.

December 31, 11:48 pm | [comment link]
2. Terry Tee wrote:

I too will be economising.  But I cannot help wonder: might it be our Christian duty to spend more?  If the economy is contracting in part because people are afraid to spend, might it not make sense for people of faith to spend more, so as to keep stores and factories open?

January 1, 11:10 am | [comment link]
3. Irenaeus wrote:

I cannot help wonder: might it be our Christian duty to spend more? If the economy is contracting in part because people are afraid to spend, might it not make sense for people of faith to spend more, so as to keep stores and factories open?

Terry [#2]: Good question. I’ve been pondering it since this morning.

On reflection, I believe it is generally not our Christian duty to spend more. The economy is overdue for major adjustments (e.g., less debt and more judicious consumer spending). A bit more spending from Christians won’t change that.

What most first-world Christians can do is to maintain—-and even increase—-our giving. Charitable giving is falling even as needs increase in this country and around the world. Let’s do what we can to fill the gap.

January 1, 4:17 pm | [comment link]
4. Terry Tee wrote:

Yes, I think Irenaeus is right about the need for adjustments.  Although I am one of those who is a little sceptical about the constant green harping, it does seem that we cannot go on consuming the way we do without damaging the earth.  Or without putting yet more dollars into China.  (Completely off-post:  I loved the comment of the man who said that if he heard about one more corporation going green, he was going to start burning tires in his yard.)

January 1, 8:24 pm | [comment link]
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