Americans reach for small luxuries amid sour economy

I love the title. Why you ask? because it implies what I have thought about for the past 15-20 yrs of my life. Why do Americans feel they have to have luxuries? I’ve have spent most of my life just getting what I need.
Now “need” is relevant. Do I need a computer? In this day and age our industry and government and technology says, “yes,Yes you do”. I for one live in a rural area, and without the Internet, I couldn’t get alot of the stuff I needed to live here. Yes, back in the day I would travel miles and miles to get it. But I don’t have to now. Catch 22. But do I need the monster of all monster big, humugis screen TV? No. Do I even need a TV in every room of my house. NO. Do my kids need every toy that first comes out known to man. No.
Unfortunately, our great nation is no longer a nation of creators, we are a nation of consumers. Something that cannot sustain itself only devour itself. But read on Mac Beth and you decide.

From USA Today:

SAN FRANCISCO β€” As it does for many these days, life feels a bit on the bleak side for Leanne Falise. Soaring heating bills have managed to pick off what luxuries she and her husband used to regularly enjoy, from dinners out to vacations.

But relief β€” however temporary β€” is on the way. She eyes a bag of Ghirardelli chocolates at the factory store here near the Bay, then smiles.

“This right here is a little luxury, something I can spoil myself with,” says Falise, an administrative assistant at an equipment-leasing company outside Pittsburgh, who is in town to help her daughter move. “Without this, I don’t have much to look forward to these days.”

The ailing economy is threatening to permanently kill the national buzz. The hundreds of thousands who have been laid off of late certainly have no intention of living the high life, and neither do those clinging to employment with shredded fingernails. Second homes, exotic getaways and French Champagne seem at best imprudent, at worst vulgar. What to do?

Think small, like Casey Elliott.She’s here picking up a tin of gourmet hot chocolate mix for her kids, a small but welcome treat at a time when her husband is out of work. “We’re trying to do simple things, like going for family walks and playing games,” she says.

From food to fashion, potions to pets, entertainment to e-commerce, Americans are finding modest ways to both buoy their spirits and maintain, even in cut-rate form, a version of those old free-spending days.

Brittany Curran, 22, a Baltimore native now in the Coast Guard, says tough times means slashing cable TV channels at her onshore home. But she still lets herself splurge on 99-cent music downloads about a dozen times a month. “I still want to be entertained, but in smaller ways,” she says. “So maybe no $200 Wicked (theater) tickets, but a trip to a comedy club is OK.”

As part of “full disclosure” Brian and I have had specialty wines and food in our house many times; and just said “enough” and stopped. It’s hard to do, but possible. Well we’re broke now; so easy. “I feel your pain.” πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚
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