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Sunday January 29th 2023

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Let’s Hear It for the Recession!

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With this post your increasingly-popular Parent at the Helm Web site is hitting another growth spurt with the introduction of the “Simple Frugal Living” category. Why?

It’s because when Parents at the Helm get serious about living a family-centered/homeschooling lifestyle, usually something has to give way to make room for it – a simple fact of life. More often than not, putting this chosen lifestyle first means doing more with less cash. Parent at the Helm can help you accomplish this with inspiration, encouragement, information and resources.

Today’s inspiration is a big “hoorah” for the recession. Wait! I haven’t lost my mind – please keep reading! A New York Times article by Damien Cave on January 3, 2010 is called “In Recession, Americans Doing More, Buying Less.” While the horrific implications of the recession continue to mount, I’ve found a ray of sunshine.

In many homes today experiences have become a more valued element of life.

In many homes today experiences have become a more valued element of life.

The article begins with a Miami family – two parents, two kiddos – and the knowledge that they used to buy, buy, buy whatever they wanted ($1000 per month on designer clothes for everyone, for example.). Due to the recession, “their priorities have shifted from products to activities.”

And they take part in these activities as – you’ve probably guessed by now – a family! “I’m trying to teach the kids that you don’t need to have expensive toys to have fun,” said Dad. “You can make it fun, from anything.” I’m sorry it took a full-blown recession, but yes, yes, yes!

According to Department of Labor’s stats, compared with 2005, “Americans spent less time in 2008 buying goods and services and more time cooking or taking part in ‘organizational, civic and religious activities.’” We’re also visiting more museums, arts performances, parks, and the like. And, say some, it’s not just out of necessity.

“People years ago were more self-reliant,” says one retired nurse, “and were more able to take hold of the reins and do things themselves. I think we need to get back some of those basics.” Yes again!

Our Miami family bought a $150 canoe on Craigslist, and consider its use as therapy. “In many homes today,” the article concludes, “experiences have become a more valued element of life.”

My financial predicament is as bad if not worse than the countless many in this country and around the world. But if this recession accomplishes a new appreciation for the simple things in life, if it brings additional attention to family and the values passed to future generations about the important things in life, possibly leading to homeschooling, if it causes Parents at the Helm to speak up and say no when they see signs of continuing “consumer training” in public schools, I’ll bear my increasing hardships with a great big smile.

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4 Responses to “Let’s Hear It for the Recession!”

  1. Mary says:

    Sent in my order for my veggie seeds Monday. Yippee!

  2. Good for you, Mary…you'll be ready to rock 'n roll when planting season hits! In the meantime, send out some "warm" thoughts to Florida's oranges, tomatoes and strawberries…record-breaking cold down here. Trying to figure out how far south I have to move!!

  3. So are so right. We Americans are so quick to want the pain of a recession to end, that we may not learn the lesson of frugality and end up repeating it over and over. No one likes bad economic times, and I am empathetic toward those without a job, but those free-spenders mentioned in your post need to adjust their mindset. I hope they do for their own benefit.

  4. They say every cloud has a silver lining – perhaps "adjusted mindsets" is it…we can hope, right? Thanks for visiting and commenting. Hope you'll be in touch again!

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