The Job Market, Holiday Pressure, and Personal Financial Pain
In this holiday season, there is a lot to be happy about, if you still have a job. In my circle of friends however, the ecomomic fall out has been coming hot and heavy. It is manifested in people I know who are walking away from their homes and looking for rentals. It shows up in people who used to go out for dinner that now simply stay at home and eat spaghetti. And it appear in the stress level of people who feel obligation toward the gift giving that accompanies us in this particular season.
Looking through this list of people I know, there is a window tinting professional who serves car dealers in the area. His business has dropped off the screen, and his wife now brings home the lion's share of their income. The house that they have lived in for over six years is now deep in forclosure and they are driving around looking for a place to stay.
Another friend has been working for years with a company that repairs and installs residential decks and roofs. He is a loyal oldtimer with them, and yet his hours have been cut to less than half time. He now lives with his parents and is looking to sell his truck becasue he can't make the payment.
A great friend of mine is a general contractor specializing in commercial construction. His business has died on the vine. In a trip to Arizona recently to do a job, he had to contact sub contractors in California to come and do the work because there are no service providers left in the metro area where he was opreative.
As we loose our jobs, and as our economic playing field changes, we have traditionally transitioned into some other subsistance gig with relative ease. This time though, the transition seems to be falling flat for many. There are very few replacement jobs, and everyone is hunkering down for some really bad times. There is fear in the air this season, and I'm feeling it too.
So, how do we deal with the pressure that the gift giving brings on us? What do we do about that added stress? I would recommend that many skip the spending this year and focus hard on trimming other expenses as well
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Seattle, Washington, United States