March 11, 2010
March 11, 2010

Economic Turndown Fallout

My father used to talk about the 1929 depression. When my parents married, only mother had a job managing Kresges’s lunch counter. Mom was resentful that she supported, not only Dad, but his brother and his wife, for a time. An economic turndown also has a ripple effect in damaging and in some cases completely destroying marriages. Executives jumped out of windows, my father told me.

There are many people who have lived carefully, invested with caution, had pensions and should have had a soft cushion for the future. Losing your job or losing your business, because no one has the money to pay for your service or purchase the products that your manufacturer made or that you sold, is a crushing blow. Couples sometimes blame each other because there is no outlet for their despair. Hostility, despair, depression blasts forth in a splatter effect.

Then, there are individuals who are risk takers or poor money managers which can somehow float along in prosperous times. However, this causes distrust with a few individuals often because the failure is not easily admitted and the deceit when uncovered disintegrates the marital fabric.

Expenditures that are often thought of as necessary such as eating out, buying: a cup of coffee, cigarettes, minor $1. items, etc.; are not part of survival lists. My first husband taught me how to save. It was, if needed: clothes to cover yourself, a roof for shelter, basic food to sustain life, gasoline only for the purpose of transportation for work. Doing this (years ago) we saved enough to pay in full for a 13 acre farm, furnish the home and start a chicken business with cash left over. I have been thankful to him my entire life as I have lived on a tight budget for the greater part of my life. I have challenged myself to make ends meet. Some people compete with each other to win gold medals. I compete with myself to live well without debt. I tighten the purse strings when less money is coming in and I enjoy traveling and other luxuries when finances are fluid.

Creating a budget and living within it can alter many a crisis.

It takes a special kind of strength to withstand losing everything worked for an entire lifetime especially when it happens through no fault of yours. Many parishioners find solace at places of workshop. Without good communication skills people turn on each other under stressful conditions. It is important to avoid physical violence in our society. Therefore, regardless of how one recovers, one has to draw from within oneself on special reserves that they never knew they had. Those that do this, become stronger for meeting future difficulties.