Recession Bunk

My husband was laid off last January and my income is meager, at best. So just like every other American in my position, I've been reading all I can about how to save money and trim expenses.

I've been able to put a lot of suggestions to good use. But I have to say, some of the advice I've read is so stupid I can hardly believe it. And I have to share them. After all, we could all use a little dose of humor right now, right?


The Top Ten Stupidest Tips to Weather the Current Economic Crisis:
  1. Create a spa experience at home. The idea here is that you don't have to go to the spa to get a facial, pedicure, or other service. Rather, you can create the experience in the comfort of your own home. Here's my reaction: don't you go to a spa so that you can relax, be pampered and have someone else do the work? No, pampering yourself while you are doing all the work is not pampering at all. It is you doing work.
  2. Cut your dryer sheets in half to extend their life. On Drugstore.com you can buy 120 name brand dryer sheets for $7.59. Even if you have a very dirty family and dry a load of laundry every day, cutting your dryer sheets in half will save you a mere $11 a year. Let's get something straight: if you're going to offer a suggestion to save money, make sure it is actually worth the effort.
  3. Have a staycation. The idea of rediscovering your hometown and all of its free offerings is great, if you haven't been unemployed for the last 6 months. We've already done every darn free thing in our area that we can think of. Frankly, we're done staycationing.
  4. Sell your items on ebay or Craig's List and have a ball. Call me crazy, but I don't think selling my furniture at 90% below retail is a ball. In fact, it sucks.
  5. Forgo your gym membership. Aren't we suffering from an obesity crisis in this country? The gym membership should be the last to go. After all, you may not be able to dine out and buy those pricey shoes anymore, but you are still living. Invest in your health. It will save you money in the long run.
  6. Plant vegetables and can or freeze enough to get you through the winter. I love the idea of growing vegetables for the summer. It is a great way to save money and teach children about where food comes from. But grow enough to get through the winter? Please. There are too many people like me who live in major cities and call a pot with a 10" diameter a "garden."
  7. Sleep in an airport. Hmmm.... that might work for me if I were a college kid, which I am definitely not. I travel with 2 and 4 year old children. These little monsters don't do well without clean potties, good meals, shades, and beds.
  8. Fast one day a week. Granted, you would save a lot of money if you decided to fast once a week, but we as a people can't even keep our snacking under control. Let's stick to some realistic suggestions.
  9. Carpool to work. Hah! This would be a great idea if you had a job.
  10. Never buy something at the moment you decide you want it. Wait 24 hours and then return to the store if you still want it. In theory, this is not a bad suggestion, but I'm sure I'm not unique in saying that I don't have this kind of time. I have 2 young children. I'm lucky to get out to purchase groceries. This tip is better for the woman of leisure (if she still exists), not ordinary folk.
Good luck weathering this recession. Let's hope we are all looking back on these times soon, telling our individual tales of how we triumphed and overcame without letting the rare glimpse of humor that we encountered along the way pass us by.

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