I am at heart an optimist and always try to look on the bright side of life. But over the past few days admit to feeling a bit blue with the talk of a double dip recession which seems to be the obsession of the media and Bright Light Marketing’s accountant also said at our meeting on friday that some of the signs were there that this could be the case. Not that I did think that we were out of the economic woes yet and I can see that there will be hard times ahead for the public sector but talk that we are going to go backwards depresses me after feeling that slowly, slowly we are getting through this and getting to the other side.
Like many of us I didn’t see this recession coming either personally or work wise. You might think me very naive but despite the fact that I had given up a well paid job to start a new business and that my husband’s pay was reduced mid 2008 so that his firm could weather the storm of the coming recession until August 2008 I didn’t see the effect it was going to have on our personal income. It wasn’t the banks self combusting that made me aware of it either rather the cold realisation that we were going to have to make some drastic cuts to our lifestyle as we simply could no longer afford to live the way we had been.
Some of the cuts we have made make perfect sense to me and this recession has taught me that we wasted so much money before with out thinking about it. From just buying food as a treat from Marks and Spencers as I was in store to just buying food full stop without checking the left overs. And as for buying clothes that is one for a blog in itself. Cutting back on fuel has also made sense and even last winter at its worst I didn’t miss the heating being on upstairs and collecting wood for the fire is a family activity which particularly bonds my son and husband as they play hunter gatherer each weekend. I do feel I have learnt valuable lessons over the last two years principally you are not entitled to anything you have to earn it and if it’s not there then you can’t have it. I admit 75% now I follow this mantra with a 25% slippage on line shopping I admit but I am so much better than I was two years ago when it would have been 99% just buy to 1% you can’t afford it so you can’t have it.
So I have learnt vast lessons not least to take time as my mother in law would say to smell the roses and enjoy where I live and what it offers each day which I do with my walks and in the garden.
But! I am sick of feeling nauseous about how we can afford things though I am learning to say no when we can’t rather than spending the event or holiday worrying myself sick about how we will survive when we get home. Speaking to a colleague we realised that perhaps more of us will just have to do this in the future say no when we can’t rather than say yes just to save face. Perhaps too we have to be honest about the fact that we are all in the same boat life financially just now is tough.
It would just be nice to feel that we are getting to the point though that the sky is more rosy ahead not still in the blues and that there are better times ahead. It’s not that I expect to get back to the income of pre 2008 I just hoped that we might be making head way towards it not going backwards and I think that this is what has got me down re the talk of a double dip.
But then I think two things. Firstly its all in our hands particularly my own and I need to focus on my own knitting work wise and as Bright Light Marketing said in a recent newsletter “Keep calm and Carry on”. We know who our customers are and we know from our own marketing of the company how to get more customers. The accountant confirmed our costs are lean so we just have to continue to get the message out there that we are the marketing experts for rural businesses. Secondly we may get to the end of the month with limited cash and certain treats may be gone for awhile but at the end of the day we have so much compared with so many and most importantly we have two small kids who at the moment think we are the centre of their lives and we need to enjoy that or it will pass and we will have missed it.
So I am going to try to be positive and shake of the blues of the past few days and take time each day to look at what I have that doesn’t cost money like a cuddle from the kids, a smile from my husband or a walk with the dog and have some days such as today when I haven’t spent any money and in general not visit the bank account to often! And maybe by doing so and continuing to enjoy what I have and being a bit more frugal the next time I look it might be looking better! You can always live in hope.