Oct 17 2010

Soup kitchens were and are well attended. Here the Navy
staffs a recent soup kitchen in Salinas, California

The Great Depression and what is happening today financially seem very similar. No matter how these times are labeled compared to the Great Depression, there was hardship then and I know there is a great deal of hardship now.  That’s from practical experience, from reading books and searching the Internet and I’ve learned it must take a great deal of research to sort it all out.

I never feel like I’ve gotten to the heart of the matter with all of my questions answered.  So, as there is safety in numbers, I’ve decided to take you with me to see what you think about it all and share some information, hoping that you’ll respond about what’s happening to you where you are in the country, or the world.

First, here is an interesting comparison page on CNN, that you can access by clicking here.

Then I found an article, also on CNN, that says this is definitely a recession and not another depression and explains the ramifications of each, and you can find that here.

This video finds more similarities than not between the Depression and whatever is happening today, however you want to label it. To me the video was helpful in adding another point of view. Love the song, by the way…

Housing Bubble vs. Great Depression

Then, to top it off, here is an article on saying that the only difference between a depression and a recession is the length of time…whoa! After all we’ve learned in other places, that’s heavy. You can see in the article that “a depression is a protracted recession.” Here, you can read it yourself,  or read this except to get the gist of the discussion:

Recession versus Depression:

“It’s pretty easy to understand depressions once you get the concept of recessions. A depression is simply a prolonged or particularly excruciating recession. Economists don’t really have a watermark to indicate a depression. Believe it or not, there’s even an economists’ joke that describes the ambiguity between recessions and depressions: A recession is when your neighbor loses his job; a depression is when you lose your job [If you need a more technical explanation, click here.] While the presence of a recession is debatable, when a depression hits, the issue is no longer up for debate.”

H-m-m-m. Sorta’ seems like when you’re a kid and ask grown-ups, “How will I know when I fall in love?”

They always answer, “Oh…YOU’LL know.”



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Oct 07 2010

In the 1970s, before I even thought of having credit cards as I was in college, and they were for “real adults,” I remember a girlfriend of mine sitting down and working out a credit card payment plan. She had gotten into credit card debt and had worked with a counseling service to arrange payments. Lisa made a chart, showing each credit card and how much would be paid each month.

The cards with the least amount owed money were listed at the top and, in ascending order, the cards were then listed down the page from least to most. Each month she intended to pay an amount to every creditor. Then as the top card was paid off, that money would then be added to the amount due to the card below. When the second card was paid off, that card’s money would be added to the card below it. In a waterfall arrangement, she had control of her debt redemption, it was a workable plan and she felt she was in control. By following her plan and not using her charge cards to incur new debt, Lisa was credit card debt free in a year and a half.

Another way to take care of debts is to get more money, by getting another job, or plan to spend less in keeping with Benjamin Franklyn’s adage that, “A penny saved is a penny earned.” The man in this next video really has a creative way to get control of his finances. To see what I mean, click on play:

In California, Andy decided to pay down debt by not
renewing the lease on his apartment, putting his
possessions in storage and living out of his truck
for over a year.

If you have an interest in broadening your money
saving horizons, hover your mouse over this link
to preview the book:

Saving Money Any Way You Can: How to Become a Frugal Family



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Oct 01 2010

A 10 cent Savings Stamp, available for purchase until 1970.

When I was a kid we saved in school. Each week, the teacher gave students an opportunity to buy Savings Stamps. Some of you will remember Savings Stamps, and if you do, you know they had engravings of the Minuteman statue, they were licked and then they were collectively placed in paper folders to await redemption.

When the paper folders were full of stamps equaling whatever the proper purchase value was, they were traded in for a $25 United States Savings Bond. The Bond wasn’t worth $25 when you bought it, but with time would accrue interest until it could be cashed in for twenty-five dollars.

This book on war savings bonds might be of interest. Preview this Kindle Book by hovering your mouse over this link:

Factual information, the seven war loans and the victory loan, war savings bonds and stamps



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Filed under: Money,Sugar Bowl — admin @ 3:04 pm Comments (0)
Sep 30 2010

When I was a kid, we saved “Lady Head” Dimes.

By the time I was a kid in the 1950s, there was a mixture of “Mercury Dimes,” or lady head dimes as we called them, and Roosevelt Dimes in circulation. I had a girlfriend, a BFF or Best Friend Forever, by today’s vernacular, who belonged to a very functional family that seemed to have every based covered. They were also very frugal and spent their money wisely from everything I could see and from what I can now remember. The concept of saving lady head dimes” was not my own, therefore, but came from my girlfriend, Janet.

A Roosevelt Dime

I remember one day when I was at her home with her and her family, one of them was handling a handful of change for some reason and exclaimed, “Oh! A lady head dime!” The treasure was immediately removed from the handful of change and placed in a savings bank. It was explained to me, that lady head dimes were being saved. Saved? That was a new concept: to save regularly from pocket change. But, saving that way was a formal experience and I enjoyed the immediacy of Janet’s lady head dime method deducted from “cash on hand.”

I thought collecting lady head dimes was a great idea and started saving them on my own in a little round glass fishbowl Daddy had helped me win at a carnival by throwing a ping pong ball at a display of goldfish meekly awaiting their fates. After the fish had decided to move on to better things, the fishbowl sat on my Mother’s old vanity table in my room at home.

The bowl just sat there and the dimes within it grew and grew until one day I had the fishbowl almost full and spent it for some goody at the dime-store, which you have to admit, was appropriate. I have always remembered the thrill of the experience, for it made the idea of saving money for a rainy day into a game of treasure hunt. And the Liberty Dimes were declining in the frequency with which they were found in pocket change, so I did not generally miss the amount subtracted from my cash flow.

I still save that way today saving selected state quarters. It’s a handy way to save and it is amazing how these little subtractions from pocket change add up to provide a nest egg. Why not try selecting a coin for saving out of your pocket change? Then you’ll have a cache of coins for when you need that little extra something.

Why you could even save them in a sugar bowl in the kitchen cabinet, just like they did in all of the farmhouses on TV. If you watched those shows, you’ll remember the mother would think pensively about some otherwise denied purchase, go to the kitchen cabinet, solemnly take out the sugar-bowl and say wistfully, “Well, I guess we’ll just have to take the money out of the sugar-bowl.” Her voice then trailed off into a fear for the future.

Start your Sugar Bowl nestegg today! It’s fun and it accrues quickly.



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Sep 29 2010

Winged Liberty Head Dime
(1916-1945)

When I was a kid and called this a lady head dime, I was corrected more times than not by someone offering the admonition that this was not a lady, but was the head of Mercury, the Roman messenger to the Gods. Now, having carried this grudge for years, I would like to set the record straight. Although many people call this a Mercury Dime, this portrait is not of Mercury and actually is of a lady, Lady Liberty.

Lady Liberty wears a Phrygian Cap, a classic symbol of liberty and freedom and the wings extend outwardly from the cap to indicate Freedom of Thought, in particular. Winged Liberty Head Dimes were produced from 1916 to 1945. The Roosevelt dime, showing a portrait of Franklin Delano Roosevelt was produced starting in 1945 and is still minted today.

Funny how things change.  You could look long and hard before you find a Mercury Dime in your change today. Better pick a favorite state and collect state quarters…



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Filed under: Money,Sugar Bowl — admin @ 2:58 pm Comments (0)
Sep 16 2010

When kids are little, sometimes treasures are
left in pockets to go through the wash.

Just like when there is a dependable source of income.
Dollars are easily misplaced as there are plenty of them.

We found in our financial decline, that our priorities and values changed. At the time, it was difficult to make changes, but now, I consider the whole situation a blessing. Those changes needed to be made. How caught up in materialism we were and how much richer our lives are now because of the changes we made as a result of financial difficulty.

When each dollar becomes an understandable commodity, when you are counting each and every one and savoring their existence in your hand, you appreciate them more. You also appreciate what they can do for you more, and enlist a new set of values to determine how they will be spent. In some cases, when things worsen, first, when you don’t have a car to drive off to the store and finally, when you don’t have bus fair or any money to spend, your perspectives on what’s important change forever.

Suddenly Frugal rewards the reader with a better life.

And, you don’t have to have financial difficulties to have this rewarding change of life. Why not work to change your values that make material things so important? Books have been written on just that and Suddenly Frugal is a good one. To preview it, hover your mouse over this link:

Suddenly Frugal: How to Live Happier and Healthier for Less



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