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Old 10-27-2008, 09:46 PM   #41
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In small town Wisconsin I haven't noticed a decline in business most places. I went to the mall monday at 11am and it was very crowded. Can't say if they were buying or not but they were there. Fast food places are always packed. The walmart I go to is very busy every day. Blue collar unemployment is growing badly though with plant closings and mass layoffs. Same type of job I do. Can't help but worry a little. This is the one time i'm glad i'm a low paid non-union worker because it seems like almost all the layoffs are at union plants where workers are/were making 25% more money or more than I do for similar work. I went to the nearby casino with my parents a couple months ago and we could barely find a place to sit and it's not a small casino. People certainly seem to still have discreationary spending. I've personaly changed nothing. Although there wasn't much room for me to cut back anyway living on just $1000-$1200/mo and that includes a mortgage.
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Old 10-28-2008, 12:05 AM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BunsGettingFirm View Post
This is an interesting post. How did you turn from an urban cowboy to a real one?
This cowgirl was stuck in traffic on the Bay Bridge and the Dixie Chicks song "Wide Open Spaces"
played on the radio...I decided right then & there, "I gotta get out of here!" Spent 6 months on the road looking at ranches in Texas, Colorado, New Mexico & Oklahoma. Finally found what I was looking for in central Oklahoma & never looked back..... I bought 3 ranches and have a comfortable house (remodeled, energy efficient, not extravagant).
The total cost of the three ranches and house remodel was LESS than the price for a starter home in the Bay Area.
I raise grass fed natural beef, and organic pecans & just enjoy the hell of out my life...of course, it's been awhile since I had a facial or manicure.
My Bay area buds send me care packages twice yearly from Trader Joe's-
sockeye salmon, organic olive oil, truffles....sigh
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Old 10-28-2008, 12:35 PM   #43
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Outer Banks, NC. Basically a 100% resort-tourist area. We had a strong summer rental season, but construction obviously is way way down. Plenty of foreclosures and declining prices due to the typical resort area-waterfront speculation building. Just in the last 3 weeks pre bookings for 2009 summer rental season have been dropping fast. Remains to be seen whether people are just waiting to book later. If summer rentals drop way off this place will be in bad shape (rental home owners will bleed even more $ on top of the current negative cash flow).
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Old 10-28-2008, 12:53 PM   #44
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When the economy is down, I would think places like Walmart and Costco (I think Costco had a good earning last quarter) do well (everyone trying to get more bang for the buck). I would think high end stores, luxury items, can-live-without items go down first. Some mentioned furniture and jewelry stores. I'd say massage therapists/spas would suffer. Probably nail salons. People would take less expensive vacations. I'd heard on the news that many stores are planning to slash prices drastically for the sales after Thanksgiving. Time to buy, buy, buy!

For myself, I have been spending more money (furniture that I've been needing to replace for a long long time). I am doing my share of boosting the economy.

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Old 10-28-2008, 01:00 PM   #45
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The small town where I live has a very large senior population, and I don't think too many of them are dependent on jobs or the stock market. (Think pensions, Social Security and small, paid-off homes.) I think that will have a stabilizing influence on our local economy. Anecdotally, some have even said that tourism is doing better, mostly because folks from the Austin and San Antonio areas are have more "mini-vacations" closer to home.
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Old 10-28-2008, 05:59 PM   #46
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As I've observed in earlier posts, we seem to be living in a recession-proof area (lots of govvies and the defense contractors who make money off the government). Houses in the $1.5 - $2m category are selling--at least one a week appears in the county paper.

All that steady $$ generates tons of work for tradespeople.
Earlier this year, we were driven to frustration trying to line up a contractor to upgrade our kitchen flooring. Apparently there was so much business for the contractors, they could afford to blow off customers, like us, who only want to spend a mere $4-$5K. Guys didn't return our phone calls, didn't follow up on e-mailed contracts; one fellow's Dundee sample strip is still sitting in our kitchen.
We are gearing up to try again...
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Old 10-28-2008, 07:43 PM   #47
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When the economy is down, I would think places like Walmart and Costco (I think Costco had a good earning last quarter) do well (everyone trying to get more bang for the buck).
Exactly, so anecdotes about how full the Wal Mart parking lot/store is don't mean anything and may even be a contrary indicator (i.e. if they're booming, the economy may be in a slide).
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Old 10-28-2008, 08:48 PM   #48
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It seems that the mall traffic is down.
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Old 10-28-2008, 08:59 PM   #49
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I called realtor to rent a house near a ski resort outside Pittsburgh over Christmas. I thought it would be too late and everything would be booked (other years it was at this time)

I asked about 10 houses and all were available - very suprised.
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Old 10-29-2008, 09:07 AM   #50
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I ran into an old client yesterday. Their company manufactures and sells a certain type of discretionary product. Their sales dropped by a third in the first week of October. Now they have too much inventory and are looking for financing to carry them through.
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Maybe we have too many people reporting bad news
Old 10-29-2008, 05:50 PM   #51
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Maybe we have too many people reporting bad news

Business as usual (brisk), in Tucson, AZ

Life cannot be lived from the same place we were born.
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Old 10-29-2008, 08:54 PM   #52
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Tons of for sale signs in Sarasota,Fl. I went furniture shopping and was pounced on immediately . Restaurants seem the same but we are starting tourist season .
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Old 10-29-2008, 09:07 PM   #53
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Decrease in spending?

Not on DW's part.
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Old 10-30-2008, 07:24 AM   #54
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Perhaps some slight reduction in spending but not a lot. Went to the Bonefish Grille in Frederick, MD at 4:00 pm yesterday and the place was deserted but that's not peak time for a restaurant. We were the only ones there, but a few more people did come in as we were leaving. Dinner for two there was $68 but it was from a gift card we won in a drawing.

Lots of For Sale signs still on the lawns around here, houses take many months to sell if they sell at all. One neighbor has tried to sell his three times in the last year, but I suspect he's upside down on it since he bought right around the peak in prices.

One SIL is a waitress at a family-owned restaurant and reports that tips are almost half of what they were a year ago. She whines that she can't get her nails done now. Wants hubby to work more OT. So life is tough.

We don't spend a lot of time in malls, we go in off-peak times for a specific item, hunt it down, kill it and go home. Haven't noticed much change.
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Old 10-30-2008, 11:03 AM   #55
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We just decided to go on a weeklong cruise in the bahamas in December for the four of us, plus my mom and grandma are tagging along. At something like $450 per person, this is quite a steal. I would have hoped the economy would force down prices even more, but not so far.
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Old 10-31-2008, 09:35 AM   #56
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a certain type of discretionary product. Their sales dropped by a third
Viagra?

Do you really think you can get away with "a certain type of discretionary product" without telling us what it was?
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Old 10-31-2008, 12:17 PM   #57
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Went to a restaurant in Schaumburg, IL this past Saturday. Specifically stopped at a restaurant where the parking lot didn't look full. Went in and saw numerous empty booths and tables. Still had to wait 10-15 minutes. Reason: Restaurant is bringing in fewer employees on each shift to save money.
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Old 10-31-2008, 05:07 PM   #58
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We live about one hour east of Sacramento. Yes, things seem quiet in Kmart, and the people who work in the banks seem scared. One bank loaned lots of money for real estate; I read that a small sub-division that they bankrolled was on the verge of defaulting on 2+ million dollars. Businesses who expanded at the height of 2006 are, slowly, going out of business. Bank-owned houses on the market are slowly increasing. But, they have been selling, since this is a desirable place to live. People seem to be driving more erratically, and some are more rude.

I'm glad I canned all those tomatoes last summer!
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Old 10-31-2008, 05:43 PM   #59
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I live in the Dallas area. Restaurants always seem to be full, as far as the malls go...I wouldn't know. I do most of my shopping on-line.

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Robberies in my area seem to be up.
Yes, a downturn in the economy can create more crime.

Holidays are coming up, so thefts will be on the rise. People are out of town, purchases are being made, and people get distracted. Cons notice every detail.

Be careful folks. Be aware.
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Old 10-31-2008, 08:20 PM   #60
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Nope, Just ordered a Spider Out system. We live on a lake and I have never seen so many spiders and mud dobbers.
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