Worst of the Week

No, not another piece about the falling stock market or whether I agree with Obama’s stimulus package. ‘Cause frankly, I have no idea what to think about that. If this downturn has taught me anything, it’s that I’m going to make sure my kids are more financially savvy than I am. That they understand mortgages, and that condo boards can make your home financially impossible, and still the jacuzzi is broken. That they understand if they invest in stocks they better be able to understand things like cost ratio and leverage, you know, the stuff I barely grasp.

I’m part of that generational shift where we were told we were unique and wonderful. And I bought it. I thought I was special. But the more years I have learned is I am one of the masses. During macro economic upturns I have done well; during downturns I lost money or experienced unemployment. The graphs of the U.S. economy almost exactly mirror my own ups and downs. So, along with the big dose of liberal education I have received and positive thinking, a greater grasp of finances would have been a plus. And I’m not a total knucklehead; I don’t walk around with credit card debt, and I know how to balance a checkbook.  But I’ve certainly stepped in some dumb money decisions.

Anyway, so what did my education make me fit for? Writing jokes for Star magazine. I write jokes every week for the “Worst of the Week” pages. It’s one liners about famous people’s bad outfits. Sometimes I’ve never heard of them, but I still write jokes. I send in about 2 or 3 per person, and then the magazine decides which to run. And it’s a good thing I’m not famous because I’d be snapped dropping my daughter off at school and be ridiculed more than Octomom’s Donald Duck lips.

I didn’t major in satire.  I majored in Sociology.  Same thing.

The picture is one from 2 years ago when I came home from commenting on the Oscar fashion for CNN headline. My hair is underwhelming, but they would only provide makeup for me, so I had to wing the hair. I had to find a designer who would loan me a dress myself. But that’s life on the G-list. Viv is the best accessory. There is probably a joke there like: Don’t buy a designer bag; buy a designer baby!

Merry Christmas

This is one of the bleaker Christmases I can remember. Most everyone is totally freaked about money. Even if they haven’t lost their own, they worry they will. Even in prosperous times, I think spending a bunch of money on adults is silly. Buy the kids presents. My family does a Secret Santa for the older set, so there is something to open. But years back, I got physically and financially exhausted from buying everyone presents. And as I said years ago to my family, “Unless you can give me a development deal at ABC, anything I want I can get myself.”  Since I don’t think they are going to buy me a week cruising the Greek Islands, that’s basically correct. And isn’t better to give to charity?

Bauble
Creative Commons License photo credit: Andrew Stawarz

But this year I’m having a change of heart. Businesses, small and large even, are the charities.  Witness how charitable our government has to be to the financial markets, to the car companies.  I know some sweet small stores that wait for hours for a $30 sale.

So if you have any, go ahead, and spend some money.  The law of circulation; it all goes around. I don’t know if it’s what Jesus would do. But with these great sales, maybe he would.

Holiday Work Party, Yeah!

I never thought I would say this, but Yeah, MY work is having a holiday party, and I AM invited!! In this economy, I’m thrilled. I was cut out of their Emmy party because of cost-cutting measures, and it looks like the order of my show is going to reduced next year. So any sign of viable work, and my participation in it, is most welcome.

089/365 Money...What Money
Creative Commons License photo credit: stuartpilbrow

A while back, I asked people if they were feeling the economic downturn.  Back then, only about 1/3 said yes.  Well, I bet it’s more now.  I know it is around here.  Feels a little scary.

Glad to have a reason to put on a pretty dress.

Cool Mom Poll: Are You Recessed?

The economic downturn is on everyone’s minds. But is that because we are hearing about it, because we see some signs of it, or because we are directly affected by it? I have noticed many small shops near me go out of business. Several clothing boutiques, specialty stores, and nice stationary businesses closing their doors – those are the kinds of things people spend money on when they are not worried about basics.

I know a couple of people who have been laid off, and my husband’s business has seen some nicks in sales. But, knock on wood, we haven’t taken a big hit. That’s partly because I refuse to look at my 401k; I won’t need for a few more years, so why torture myself? We locked in our loan right before the bacon hit the skillet so phew to that.

What I want to know is, how are all of you doing? How is this economic downturn affecting you?

Given this is not the end of the problem, we might need to revisit this poll soon…

To view last week’s poll results, click here!