My somewhat avoidance of the news does not have me believing that things are better than they are. But when things are sucky, I try to turn that frown upside down (ooh, OK, that was super annoying). What I am trying to say is that one of my coping mechanisms is to try to create some control where things may seem out of control. You generally can do something, even when you are in virtual quicksand. Boy did I learn all about this over the past year. Let's just say I know of which I speak and leave it at that.
The spending diet is one of the things I did when the economy started to royally suck. I couldn't control the economy but I *could* control my spending. Seven weeks in, guess who is on the verge of being credit card debt free? It's me! It's me! And I have learned a ton about what triggers me to spend and let's just say that it is rarely that I need something. Hello, significant life wake-up call!
I also started what I like to think of as a leaky faucet gambling fund. First, let me say that I do not have an addictive personality. So I don't have a "problem". Playing blackjack is entertainment for me, I don't do it often and I don't spend what I can't afford to lose. Lest anyone think that there is something else going on here. I did realize that I was going to need to allow myself some fun that costs money. And that having that chunk come out of my account all at once could be disconcerting. So I decided to do something that I heard about someone else doing. I just thought it was a good idea and it's kind of fun. Every time I get a five dollar bill, I put it aside. I never spend a five. So I am essentially saving, five bucks at a time. You don't really feel the pain of it being gone at all (except when you spend a dollar or two, you give the cashier a twenty and you get your change back in multiple fives. Oh well, that is part of the game. It does make you more mindful of how that cash can float out of your wallet. Now mine is floating into a nice little pile ($160 and counting). This is the money I am taking with me to Vegas. I'm not sure why this is so fun to me to save this way, but it is.
OK, and here's another one that I am really having fun with. I have a tendency to drink wines from the US and Australia and not being particularly experimental when I am ordering online. But I have wanted to learn more about old world wines but didn't know how. I needed to restock my wine refrigerator and wine.com has a list of 90+ rated wines under $20 (there are other similar lists as well). So I decided to save myself money and hedge my bets. I ordered some wine varieties that I would not normally buy with some relative assurances that I would like them (the ratings and the descriptions) and all for a low price. And I really don't buy much online without using a discount code (it's like free money...I have saved hundreds over the last year doing the discount code thing...obsessive? maybe) so I got some extra dollars off. Last weekend, I drank my first bottle from this order, a Chilean Chardonnay called Veramonte. It was $10 and it was really awesome (kind of a lighter, more minerally cousin to LaCrema). I am so satisfied with myself right now, it's ridiculous. I'm tracking all of these wines so I can order the ones I like again. And let's not even pretend that deciding not to drink wine as a response to the recession was even worth considering. You have to retain some luxuries in life and stimulate the economy, of course.
I'll be searching for more Recessionista ideas. It feels like a game. I know that it's kind of odd to have some fun with this. But at this point, it's the most productive choice and I'm totally feeling it. Plus, I am ready to drink and go gambling at a moments notice. You know; the important things.