You can’t turn on the tv or read the papers these days without being bombarded by the doom and gloom of the world recession, and how everyone is tightening their belts and having to cut back considerably on their previously lavish standards of living. It’s like the entire population of Ireland has over a period of just a few months, suddenly adopted the mentality of a 1980’s like depression.
But really if you think about it, for most people, its not that bad at all… Actually, for many it’s bloody brilliant!
Ok so yes, unemployment in this country has now topped 300,000. But that is still less than 8% of the population which leaves 92% of us who are relatively safe in our jobs. Forgetting about the fact that there may be a slight chance you may loose your job, for the majority of people, things are not really that different.
Actually, there are a lot of good things about an economic slowdown. Prices are falling through the floor so (tac increases aside) in reality you are getting considerably more for your money each month. For Example:
- Oil Prices: It usually costs me very close to €60 to fill my car – yesterday I filled it for just a tad over €40. From a peak of nearly €146, it is now under €50. This not only means cheaper petrol for your car, but it means lots of other things get cheaper too – flights being the obvious one.
- Interest Rates: If you are on a tracker mortgage it’s happy days – you just got a 0.75% reduction in your mortgage. The lucky people in the UK have a base rate of 1.5%, the lowest it has been in the history of the central bank.
- Shopping: The retail sector is being hit harder than most overall (yet some of the big chains are actually reporting very healthy profits) but most are lowering prices to try to increase turnover. Many of the Sales actually started Before Christmas this year, actually enabling you to cut down on the cost of Christmas
- Foreign Exchange: The Dollar has been sliding for quite some time, but now Sterling is following suit – it is at record low’s right now, so if you are traveling to the UK, or if you are shopping online and buying goods in Sterling, there are some bloody fantastic deals to be had!
- The Service Industry: It was not too long ago that if you needed a handyman of some sort, electrician, bricky, plumber – they were next to impossible to get hold of, and ferociously expensive. Now that things have slowed down, not only is it easier to get them, but you can actually play themselves off each other to get the best price for your job. Very often their Eastern European counterparts are willing to work for considerably less money, and lets face it they do much better work.
Personally, I don’t ft exactly into this category, as I work in sales so my earlings are partly commission based. We have noticed a slowdown in business, projects being put on hold and budgets being reviewed, so deals are not coming in as we would have expected this time last year, so my earlings have taken a hit.
Still, all in all, lets be positive about it – because of many of the points above, there are some aspects of the recession that a pretty dam good!