For the last year I’ve been blogging about economic struggles that I believe will only get worse for some time to come. I to continue to encourage frugality, learning how to be self-sufficient by getting back into baking, canning, gardening. It is important to keep our vision clear about the truth of where our economy is headed and not keep our heads in the sand – in denial – about the fragility of our situation here in the U.S.
For the last few years the alarm bells were being rung only by a few, usually considered conspiracy theorists. Today we hear the chime getting louder with mainstream media joining in. I used to blog about this several times a month, but it has gotten so prevalent that I can’t even keep track of all the gloomy economic news. Not a day goes by where I don’t see or hear about the fall of the Euro or the decline of the dollar.
I’m not afraid or worried though. Our family has worked hard over the last two years to get out of debt. We have been gardening, canning, and learning how to bake. Those are skills that most of us have lost (or never had) since the by-gone days of our grandmothers. I can proudly say I can make a great loaf of bread from scratch; in an oven, not a bread maker. I can make great soup out of dried beans. I have a wonderful recipe for butternut squash soup that my daughter and I concocted. It is truly a comfort food recipe. I even cut my husband’s hair now.
However, it seems we can’t get away from dismal news. Yeah, the unemployment figures fell below 9% for a change (though I believe that it simply means people “fell” off the unemployment rolls because their benefits expired). I was tweeted a link to an article in the Business Insider by Joe Weisenthal, 12/3/2011, just this morning about a continued decline in the housing market. This one really hits home because we have a rental business with many houses in our portfolio. Michelle Meyer, the well-known housing analyst for Bank of America’s mortgage lenders, says it's "far from over" and that prices still have another 7% to decline. This is due to the huge inventory of homes in foreclosure with more to come.
So, I’ll tighten the belt more so we can be positioned for success for years to come, regardless of the markets and overall economic outlook. I’ll make a bigger garden next spring and figure out how to make a better whole wheat loaf of bread. I’ll work on buying only things I need and of good value that truly contribute to our home; cutting out the frivolous spending.
I needed to lose weight anyway.