It’s the end of the World as we know it and I feel fine.

With much doom and gloom being channelled in the media, I thought it would be interesting to canvass our blogocrats to find out whether it’s actually making any difference to your day-to-day spending.

For example, in recent weeks two economists have predicted that one million Australians will be unemployed by the end of next year, and that the country will slide into an albeit brief recession by the 2nd or 3rd quarter of 2009.

Housing values are also tipped to drop, despite the Australian government’s increase to the first home buyers grant.

In some good news, the RBA is tipped to lower interest rates to 4% with a .5% cut anticipated next week.

Melbourne Cup typically marks the gradual descent towards Christmas, where the extent of retail spending remains an unknown quantity, however the Government’s $10b cash handout will well and truly be in the pockets of punters by then. The question is, will they spend it?

With tough economic times ahead becoming increasingly likely, are you taking any measures to curb in spending, or is it business as usual at your place?

Personally, I can’t make up my mind whether to buy a blu-ray player or not, but that’s another story. 



34 Responses

  1. Killing my Super but not effecting me personally at this stage, although I think I will curb my Chrissy shopping this year. I am not a doom and gloom prophet just a realist who understands the economy has cycles. Only this time it may cycle further down the cliff than the last few times but this remains to be seen.

  2. The only thing effecting us at the moment is the AUD to INR rate which has dropped to 1=30 instead of 1-42 that it was before the crisis.

    Fortunately, we had already transferred the bulk of our savings earlier so the only effect this rate has on us is the day to day conversion of hubby’s salary as it comes in post december.

    apart from that house sold in june so we missed the downtunr by a pretty close shave really.

    we havecut down on our expenses since i was made redundent in january so it has not made any difference in expenditure per se.

  3. Same Shane. I think I’ll curb the Christmas shopping. I think it’s an uneccesary extravagance, unless you have kids of course.

    Our overseas trip in January won’t be as extravangant either with the current value of the Aussie dollar. Compared to the last trip when it was at 98 US cents!

    I think people will need to be extra cautious with credit card spending this Christmas…Otherwise there could be real social problems in the new year, when business is typically slow, and job vacancies basically vanish for most of January…

  4. Reb

    Overseas trip ? What on earth is that ? At 60c where are you going ? New Zealand 🙂

  5. LOL!!

    SE Asia Shane, although 60 cents would go quite far in NZ at the moment too!

  6. My spending hasn’t changed one jot. There’s a whole bunch of things I couldn’t afford last year or the year before that or before that and I still can’t afford them now.

    I’m perfectly happy with my rented flat, no car, no microwave, no stupid gadgets that beep and burp in fifty different colours every 5 seconds, and an ordinary CRT tv. The company I work for is the best company I’ve worked for in 20 years and, having once worked in a company that had a horrible workplace culture which saw me driven into a deep and debilitating depression for about 5 years, I feel perfectly fine with things as they are.

    My super’s tanked, my teeth are stuffed, I have no other assets other than what I may inherit from my parents in 10 or 20 years (which will be modest), I drink too much, smoke cigarettes and fall asleep on the couch all the time.

    Life’s sweet. La-de-da.

    (As for Blue-ray, give it a miss. I reckon it’s going to be the 00’s equivalent of 8-track cartridges.)

  7. My spending habits will not change as they were never extravagant…as long as there is food, beer and wine in the fridge I’ll be happy.

    It seems that we will be getting a grand from the government because we decided to breed…half will go into scapette’s bank account and the other half to charity as they need a boost every xmas.

    Presents…most have already been purchased and I give the girls a wallet full of cash to spend on the Boxing Day sales so I can watch the cricket in peace.

    As far as super goes I manage my own affairs and the stock market is not one of my preferred options as an investment, although I have been investing on behalf of the other thing as part of my plan.

    We are not going away for xmas as we decided to do the snow in winter because scappette will be ready to learn to ski.

    All this doom and gloom has not materialised as yet and my business is motoring along so well that I’m considering going big again next year, the guys I retained will be recieving a 10% pay rise in January because they deserve it.

  8. We have a low mortgage and no other debt so we’re not affected in those areas.

    However, we buy a lot books, music gear etc from overseas places via the ‘Net. With the exchange rate we will be cutting way back on that for awhile.

    (For books check out The Book Depository in the UK – way cheaper than Oz and they send by free express airmail. They also lots of out-of-print but new books on hand not available in other places:

  9. I think I’ll get my first Mercedes from some seller under duress.

  10. Tom

    Ever the opportunist 🙂

  11. The Minister will continue to monitor the budget as usual (actually we both do). We own everything, no debts. Super in cash since January. I’m still happy with my $100 a month pocket money…next year might get tricky for a lot of people (Tom may be cynical but very close to the mark…)

    Just received our grant approval for the solar power system – we expect a visit from supplier before Christmas…$8000 – thank you, Mr Rudd…LG!

    My son and his wife have birthdays this month so the Gardener (she’s also The Minister of course) and I bought them 10 bushes for their garden – cost $90 – as it turns out they are also subsidised by the Queensland Government because they are natives and tolerate low water…rebate should be a bout $40…

    …all I want for Christmas is my two front teeth, my two front teeth …

  12. TB @ 11

    So that means you’d rather the Tooth Fairy visited this christmas than the jolly fat man in red??

  13. Ross Sharp:

    “My super’s tanked, my teeth are stuffed, I have no other assets other than what I may inherit from my parents in 10 or 20 years (which will be modest), I drink too much, smoke cigarettes and fall asleep on the couch all the time.”

    Welcome to the club!

  14. RS and SR (Ross Sharp and StuntReb)

    ditto, xcept no scope of inheriting frm my parents as we have been suupporting them for the past decade

    my dad sold their house – big mistake – to help my brother set up his business which folded last year so now they r all sans income or property

  15. Bummer lekhni, my parents are heading the same way with property prices tumbling in NZ.

    Looks like me and the BF are going to have to bail them out (financially), and I’m freaking out about making yet another financial commitment when I could be made redundant next week, for all I know…

    It’s not a pretty picture….

  16. I don’t have super. My teeth are ok. My asset is a ’95 Nissan. Hubby falls asleep on the couch all of the time and snores most of the time.

    Oh yes and our 2nd tellie is a black and white portable that we bought from the Trading Post in 1980. And it still works a treat..and who needs color anyway.

  17. Did someone mention a fairy???

  18. anyway, I have to choof off (as Min would say) to pan fry some nice fresh Tassie salmon fillets in garlic and white wine, with a dozen bruny Island oysters for entree.

    May as well enjoy it while we can! will check back in shortly..

  19. Lekhni~~Sorry to hear how your Dad sold the house. It’s hard to believe and certainly could never have been predicted that a valid investment could have gone down the tube and all so very very quickly.

    I am still amazed that was it only last year that former treasurer Costello was offering big enticements for people to put their $$$s into superannuation.

    Any clever socks on the blog who could provide an overview as to why re Costello.

  20. You are teasing. Tassie salmon fillets with an oyster entree…

    Who eats like this in the middle of the week!! You must be an excellent chef/cook. Fan***tastic.


  21. Min/Reb

    The worst part of it is that even at the time we had advised my brother to come here – nearly 5 years ago – work and save in aus dollars and then go back to start his business – that way my parents would not have had to sell the house and at least be guaranteed a roof over their heads in their old age.

    Also, he would have some experience in the industry (automobiles).

    Not only that, he was made an offer by the new mercedes benz showrrom that opened in our city to go to germany for 3 months to train at mercedes there and he turned THAT down!

    But he insisted that he didn;t want to work for anybody, nly himself and that inexperience cost him his business. not to mention my parents their house.

    But better late than never as now he has understood what we meant and got a job with enfield motorcycles which apparentlypays well.

    One can only hope that now that he has seen reason he also realises that our parents are a joint responsibility and he needs to chip in – specially now that we will be i india too and therefore not in a position where a mere 300 dollars (their words which reflect how they think) will be enough to bail them out of strife.

  22. The up side of super is that it’s not taxed after 60 if you’re retired. So it seems we qualify for the $8000 govt. rebate, so I ordered a soar electricity system yesterday, while I’ve still got some to spend. Ever the optimism.

  23. Well, if it’s really the end of the world I’m pleased to say that I have just happened across information about one of the last safe places to be as the brimstone rains down.
    The refuge is referred to in the latter part of the article.

    I feel safer already.

  24. Just read the link, HD!

    What a great article! What’s even more frightening is that nearly half the population want to vot FOR McCain and Palin – or is that Palin and McCain now…if they have so much influence on my life, from so far away, I should be able to vote too!

  25. HD

    wanted to post yesterdy re yr link, but got mired by a morbid fascination in reading the other articles on there…

    my god, its scary!!

    If the US President is to be the “Leader of the Free World” please please please let the Free World have a vote in the elections instead of a few xenophonic, stupid Americans.

    In an article in the Readers Digest this month, a world poll showed that Mccain did not get more 26% suppport across the board, while in some places Obama got a whopping 80% approval.

    Any country that can give 2 terms to GWB does not deserve democracy should have its decisions made for it.

  26. HD

    It wasn’t until I got to the end of that article in Slate that I noticed it was written by Christopher Hitchens.

    Hitchen’s used to be, and maybe still is, a hard-line Bush supporter. Before that he was a hard-line lefty. He likes to travel (within the political spectrum)

    It sounds like it’s all got just too silly (the McCain/Palin circus), even for Hitchens, and he’s now jumping ship.

  27. Am thinking that we (as a society) are about to enter into a re-run of the ’80’s. 70’s-80’s meaning recycling, Mums sewing clothes for their own children/makes own jam and peanut butter/Dads gathering some pieces of timber to bung together a bookcase.

    If things were otherwise, then I missed it.

    I love the fact that we are moving into our very own house. For no other reason than we can hang photos on the wall without having to ask for permission and are able (minus permission) to paint over the bug-ugly boat house blue paint in the kitchen. I am very much looking forward to the latter.

  28. A house painting tip for Min…works for me…LOL

  29. Don’t fret. Obama will make it over the line. I remember doing ‘a something’ eons ago (aren’t you pleased that I’m specific) and it stated IF AND WHEN the Afro Americans of the US of A could be mobilised then never again for the next 2 decades would a Republican disgrace the steps of the White House

    That is it’s all about black and colored America getting out there to vote.

    I think that they realize that if they don’t do it this time..mobilizing all middle class Americans (and isn’t it exciting when a politiician isn’t dragged down for using the term Middle Class) that it will be at least another 2 decades before another black American can have a try.

    That is, if you don’t vote now then it isn’t going to happen again in your life time.

    And so, I believe that it’s all happening, that people who have never voted before, including elderly granddaughters of slaves who are in their 90’s are out there voting.

  30. Oh nooo. But thank you scaper. Reminds me of my Dad. An excellent tradesman, but boy did he do a great job of knocking over granny’s antique vases.

  31. It may be about “the first black President” but the black vote won’t do it with just 11% of the population…

    …there’s more to this election than the colour of the candidates… McCains stupidity and age for one and Palin’s stupidity and age for another!

  32. Craps me that everyone of our news bulletins reported a narrowing as though McCain is closing on and will surge home. Bolt disease is spreading.

    The truth of it.

  33. “With five days remaining until the US Election is finally over, the polls paint the picture of a large Republican defeat.

    …and so it should – this bloody President (GWB) has among other things – manipulated the US election process, ignored the UN, illegally invaded a soveriegn territory, brought the financial world and the people of the world to its knees, created a new cold war, set back diplomatic relations in the Middle East at least a decade, ignored the need to develop alternative energy industries (instead of being slaves to the oil industry), infected our own society with his greed and corruption via John Howard & The Private School Bullies – for one thing and one thing only – money!

  34. TB,

    I sense worse things to come in the next four years due to these actions…there will be positives from the outcome.

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