The most obvious upside to being a consumer this year was that you felt wanted, and you felt appreciated. In a bad year for business, retailers were very, very happy to have yours. You felt the love—though sure, they only “love” you for your money. It wouldn’t be the first time somebody was happy to be in a relationship with a gold digger.
Real Estate & Homes
As we leave 2009 behind, there are many signs that life will be way better in the year to come.
A story in Real Simple lays out dozens of ways to save on everything from health care (try a retail clinic) to entertainment (buy refurbed electronics) to everyday bills (switching cell phone plans could save you over $300). Add up all the savings and you could have a few extra grand in your bank account at year’s end.
As far as anyone can foresee, it’ll continue to be a bad market for home sellers for some time to come, leading many homeowners to consider reverse mortgages or remodeling projects rather than selling at a lowball price. But both have their share of pitfalls.
A recently released study by the CDC reveals that people who live in sunny, warm states—Hawaii, Florida, Louisiana, Tennessee, and Arizona are the top 5—report the highest levels of satisfaction in their lives. But what I find most interesting is what’s going on at the bottom of the list: The states with the least happy people tend …
In 2009, dorky, inherently un-fun words like “thrifty” and “frugal” were paired early and often with fancy ones such as “chic” and “glamour.” Folks long accustomed to using triple coupons and cutting their own hair enjoyed newfound status among their neighbors: Instead of being viewed as eccentric oddballs—or worse, as killjoys or …
So maybe your realtor can’t tell the difference between hard-wood and laminate, between Formica and granite. But she was a finalist in a sexiest realtor competition!
There may be something new (and perhaps mystical) in your mall, around the block, on your roof, or near the checkout line of your supermarket.
Approximately one million American homeowners will strategically walk away from their mortgages this year. Why? They’re underwater on their mortgages, and the rental market is so cheap that they can live large by paying a landlord instead of a bank.
Perhaps they’re not quite as odd as the Hot Waitress Index (a theory in which waitresses get increasingly more attractive as the economy gets worse), but these trends are still rather unusual—yet revealing—indicators of how the economy is faring.
The giveaways include free designer chairs and discarded—and winning—OTB betting slips.