If you have it, spend it.
We have been in a recession for a long time, but now the psychology of it all is getting everyone down, and there seems to no longer be a bummer-free zone. There are many people here in Dallas that still have their really great, secure, well paying jobs. I have heard more people with these jobs talk about how concerned they are with the economy, than those on the other side of things. Sure you may have taken a huge hit in the stock market, or other investments, but you still have your job. I am by no means advocating that these people should go out and spend twice as much as they normally would, but not spending at all is not going to turn this around any faster.
A friend of mine told me a story yesterday. His sister teaches art in San Francisco and on the side gives private lessons. Since the recession was made official, the decline in private lessons has been with her most affluent clientele, rather than those most affected by the decline.
NPR’s Ira Glass mentioned something along these lines the other day. He was in a store debating on 2 gifts for a friend, one was more expensive than the other and also happened to be the one that the friend would undoubtedly prefer. However, he initially decided to purchase the less expensive one, because times were tough. The salesperson (who I can’t recall whether or not they knew him personally) suggested that if price was no object, which to Glass it wasn’t, then he should get the one that would be the better gift. He ended up getting the more expensive gift, and in turn will have given a great gift and a small boost to the economy.
If you are fortunate enough to have reached a level of financial independence, then you should enjoy it. Being unaffected, in the grand scheme of things, during times like this is the best part about where you are in your life, so get out there and shake your money maker.