Wednesday, January 9, 2008

The Doldrums

I've noticed, as I travel around the Internet reading blogs and journals, that there are a lot of folks down-in-the-dumps lately, and I've been trying to pin down the causes.

I know this is always a ho-hum time of year:  The excitement of Christmas is over; it's a long time until spring.  Weather tends to keep us all housebound.  So perhaps we can lay much of the blame on Seasonal Affective Disorder.

Then there are the extra expenses of the season.  Many people overspent at Christmas (not me and Cliff, thank God) and are trying to make up for that now. 

Heating costs are skyrocketing.  If yours haven't, try heating your home with propane.

In Missouri, we have personal taxes due January 1.  These have to be paid in order to license our vehicles later on.  If we're late in paying, interest is added on each month.

Here in my county, real estate taxes have been re-evaluated; ours rose by about 66% this year.  This has always been rolled in with our house payment, so it's spread out over the year; however, our amount in escrow was $380
shy of the amount that came out of the bank as a result of the change; I have to make that up by March 10.

Young married folks, and senior citizens on a fixed income, are struggling to make ends meet, with gasoline and grocery prices increasing steadily.  I read an article online that states food costs have risen 4%; I don't know where they got that estimate, but my grocery costs have risen at least 10% in the past year or so.

Cliff and I, thankfully, took steps this past year to pay off most debts.  We figured that would give us plenty of funds for traveling on the motorcycle. Now I find much of that money going for necessities.

I'm thankful that, so far, we're making ends meet.  But I can't help wondering about, and praying for, all those who are caught in this squeeze.

I don't care what the politicians call it; I say we're in a recession.  It's obviously going to get worse before it gets better.

And I think that's why so many bloggers are in a state of the doldrums right now.


madcobug said...

You know I agree with you. Helen

breakaway1968 said...

I totally agree with you!  Were so tight right now it's crazy..were trying to cut things that are not a necessity and cable is one of those things. I will miss it but will live without it that's for sure.  We are taking come pretty tight corners but I know we will make it!  

gen0507 said...

I agree with you too.


geocachelinda66 said...

Yes its getting very hard to get by.  I heat with propane and its very expensive.  

exptmircle said...

It is all that and more.  More than half of the people I personally know are unhappy right now.  I think in that some cases it is a temporary situation (illness, housing problems, financial difficulties, family problems, etc.).  The beginning of the years is usually quite reflective for most people and often times can cause feelings to plummet.   Unmet goals=disappointment and often setting new goals leads to fear of repeating the pattern.  It probably is a pattern.  
I have quite a lot of time to be on the Internet right now and I have done some blog surfing myself.  I love to read Pioneer Woman’s blog for a variety of reasons.  The number one reason is that she seems like a real risk taker.  She took a chance.   She walked the road less traveled. Besides,  I don’t want to read any more gloom and doom. I don’t have to search it out, it comes to me enough. Ree has a positive attitude and a cheerful personality.  Is she like that all the time?  Doubt it.  Ree is a fabulous writer, which is a marketable skill that I am happy to see her utilizing.  She inspires me.   I enjoy her photos.  I adore her calendar.  She has an audience and is smart to be able to make money via the Internet.   I love watching her life unfold and I am always surprised and never know what to expect next.    My kind of blog…..takes me somewhere else and gives me something different to think about.  I hope the whole thing turns into a movie.  It could happen.
One more thing about Ree…….She obviously has tremendous ego strength.  I heard middle children often do……LOL
Sorry to blabber on so….
How’s your knee coming along?      

marainey1 said...

I know there is lots of folks feeling the effects of higher everything because of the fuel costs.  It dwindles down in to it all.  I lead a very simple life and it's a good thing because there is no $$ for the extras for sure.  In my case there just never were any extras and being on a tight budget is nothing new.  The only thing I'm splurging on is a camper and the fee to keep it parked at the campground for a season or two.  That is a big splurge for me, but it comes from the savings and I figure I might as well enjoy it while I can.  On the up side there is always something to be thankful for and I do count my blessings.  One day at a time is all we ever need to worry about.  'On Ya' - ma

suzypwr said...

I am a happy puppy! But even so, I am living on a pension, which of course is a fixed income, while I watch expenses rise. I agree with you on the recession. We are headed down. Fast.


ora4uk said...

Yes Mosie...I have to agree that it is the month of gloom and doom....and as we are on a "fixed" income....and we are more aware of "pricing" thiese days....I do pick and choose....God Bless....hugs ... Ora

ksquester said...

Mo, I think we are in a reccession right NOW and it's going to get a whole lot worse. I am so greatful that I don't have to sell a house or buy one and really feel badly for people who can no longer live from paycheck to paycheck. Even if you put some money aside, it's eaten up with medical bills or emergencies.  We're in a handbasket and I hope we will be OK.  I don't bank all my money on the election either.  People will still be torn apart.  I pray for this country and the people in great need.    Anne

fowfies said...

I think that the pressure of the holiday buying gets a lot of people down too. I for one am glad that January is here. All the pressure is off now and we can just sit back and wait for Spring. I agree with everything you said too!

tendernoggle said...

I too am one of the ones that as been down in the dumps, and strangely I wrote an entry about it tonight also...I think it must be something in the air! lol
Take care and God ya,

magran42 said...

I, too believe the recession is the reason for the depression of the people.

jeff466 said...

I've noticed the same thing!  I overspent at Christmas uggh.  I hope everyone starts finding reasons to cheer up :)

Have a good weekend-Jeff

dontyouwant2no said...

Yeah I been having a hard time. It dose have alot to do with the weather and also the dramaic people around me lol... hope your doing good

mutualaide said...

I agree with you completely!  Our taxes have skyrocketed on the house and although our heat costs aren't too bad -- we supplement with a pellet stove -- so we still spend.  

When I read your comment about thrying to pin down the causes, my brain immediately screamed 'RECESSION!!'  

We've worked to make sure there is no debt and we have only our monthly bills to pay which makes life a whole lot better if 'you can do it'.  But this is when people start slipping and using their charge cards -- to continue spending the way they always have or worse, just to make ends meet.

It's discouraging.

ryanagi said...

I think you might be on to something. Even with the warm up in the weather, things are still pretty much a bummer.

schoolgal040 said...

Hi Donna,
I wish young people read and listened to this entry. We struggle too sometimes and my hubby makes a good living. Cost of living in Las Vegas is out of control! Guess that is why we are #1 on the housing foreclosure list for the entire country. And still they keep building on every single corner Donna. It's insanity!! We just keep working towards our goal of getting to Missouri and leaving this behind.


helmswondermom said...

It is certainly something that is on my mind a lot.  It is a time of year when people traditionally get a little blue, but you are so right about the economy.  Take care!