Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The recession

The past couple of years has been tough for everyone. Not only in the US, but also countries around the world have experienced unemployment, foreclosures, and money shortages. Many have been forced to lives that once were unimaginable to them. Everyone writes about the effects of the recession. Infact, you can find thousands of articles about this subject on the internet but there are few individual stories being posted. Its hard to find posts about individual experiences and I think individual experiences will help many come together.

I recently posted a question on my Facebook status, simply asking my friends if the recession had impacted them. And it was shocking to see the responses. Yes, I know that thousands were impacted by the recession, but to hear individual stories was just heart breaking. One of my friends, Dani, lost her job at Hollywood Videos and was forced to move out of her house as a result. She wasn't able to afford daycare so she also had to quit school. From what I know about Dani, she has a degree and still is having difficultly finding a stable, good paying job. Dani wasn't the only one effected by the stores shutting down. Another one of my friends, Christina, also lost her job at Hollywood. She did manage to get another job however, its only temporary. Christina had started a new life by moving away from California, but because of financial reasons, she is now forced to move back and start her life all over again. Something many of us have been forced to do.

There were many other stories that made me realize that I wasn't the only one. My cousin, Ashneel, said that this year, he had been sick quite often and not being able to afford health insurance because of his low paying job, he was forced to try home remedies without much success. This had a ripple effect because when he became sick, he missed work, which led to loss of money and which led to not having enough money for medicine. The vicious cycle of becoming sick. I know the feeling because like many others, I was lost a job because of simple the flu.

Although almost everyone was effected by this recession, each person deals with it differently. I know a friend who decided to try out her luck in aid from the government. She and I both applied for food stamps because there were days when we just didn't have money to eat. We were both denied. Why? Because we were students without jobs. Sadly, if you are a full time student who can't get a part time job, you can't get any aid from the government either. But, if you are someone who doesn't have a job and don't go to school, you can get aid. Now, that makes sense, right?

The recession has forced many to become frugal. It has forced many to take measures that we weren't accustomed to but thats the beauty of it. No matter what the situation, we pull through. I've started clipping coupons and my favorite blogs include TotallyTarget, The Frugal Find, RetailMeNot, Hip2Save, and many others that I visit daily for steals.

Life has changed. I no longer hold a high paying job, heck, I don't even have a low paying job, but I know that I am surviving. I've been tossed around in my own house, from having a room, to not having one, to having a garage to not having anything at all. I have been cut off many friendships and called a bad friend because I can't afford to hang out but I have also gained many friends who understand me and share their stories with me. I also have learned that life goes on, no matter what and hard times teach us more about our strengths then any other.

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