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  • The ECONOMY

    Every day I read the news on Yahoo and listen to news on the radio on the way to work. From all directions there are indications that the world is facing a major economic crisis that includes banks, wall street, the housing market, etc.

    I don't know about you but I don't have any investments in the stock market, I don't have too much money in my retirement 401K because I have been at my present job for under two years, I don't have a personal major credit card. I don't live above my means. If I can't afford it I won't get in debt, to pay for it!

    I guess you could say I am a poor Indian who barely makes it from paycheck-to-paycheck.

    Because of this crisis, my gas dollar goes farther ($3.31 a gallon), food prices have dropped in my area and there are sales at major department stores everywhere. I am even looking forward to having a reduced gas bill this winter!

    I now have more disposible income and can use it to go to a powwow!

    How are you faring in this economic crisis?
    Powwows will continue to evolve in many directions. It is inevitable.

  • #2
    We were struggling financially before this crisis and nothing has really changed. Like you we appreciate the lower gas and food prices. We have some money in a 401(k), but right now our losses are fewer than the company match, so we aren't really out any of our money. Prices dropping on the Dow just means we can buy more shares and hold them til the prices come up again. We won't be retiring anytime soon.

    We unfortunately got one of those ARM (and leg) loans back in 2003 when my husband had switched to a different career patch and we were a higher-risk borrower, although with good credit scores. We hadn't anticipated that he would lose his job and be out of work for nearly a year during the interim time between the loan signing and the penalty period during which you can't refinance without paying thousands of dollars.

    We are on the verge of a good refi now, which will free up additional cash. I guess I kind of take comfort in being able to sit on the sidelines and watch this mess unfold knowing that given what we've survived financially in the last 5 years nothing Wall Street does really scares me.

    I do feel for folks, like my parents, who are close to retirement and have seen big chunks of their retirement savings erode. They either will have to retire on less, since they won't have time to ride this out, or they will have to work longer. That really sucks!

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    • #3
      I haven't seen too much impact on my 401K.....as far as stocks, I did sell about 1000 shares last week and made good money off of it....as far as buying back into it, I do see some areas I would like to buy into....and right now, I can afford to.....so I'll be buying stock this week and into tuesday, the market will turnaround and everything I'm buying is going to jump from 2-4 dollars a share to back where it was 70-135 a share.....pretty good investment I think....as far as disposable income, I don't think of it that way.....Gas (3.15) and food prices have dropped, enabling me to buy another gigantic floor freezer.....in turn, I buy more groceries....I commute daily to work averaging about 151 miles a day....(yikes, that sounds scary as I write it, LOL)...so Gas does make alittle ding in my pocket but considering I own a diesel, I only have to fill up once a week averaging about 120 dollars per fill up.....that is a lot cheaper than driving my other truck which averages about 65 dollars a fill up and thats every other day!!!.....and I really don't go to powwows anymore (no good ones in my area, or there is none the weekends I do have off)......so I spend the days at home, doing other things ranchers are suppose to ie: taking care of cattle, horses, fixing corrals.....so it's not affecting me at all....I own my home on the reservation (no mortgage, no rent)....my vehicles except for one are paid off (just got ATV payment)......for me I would say I'm faring very well.....
      sigpic

      ...And shephards we shall be. For thee my lord, for thee. Power hath descended forth from thy hand. That our feet may swiftly carry out thy command. So we shall flow a river forth to thee. And teeming with souls shall it ever be. E Nomini Patri, E Fili, E Spiritu Sancti.

      Comment


      • #4
        Same deal here.

        I don't have credit cards, no mortgage, I don't even own a car. I have a 401K but the only money in it is what the company put in, so to me it's not "real money". If it's there when I hit 67, fine - if not, well it's not like I was risking anything out of my take-home paycheck. My job is relatively economy proof (at least for the next 5 years), so I have no worries that the paychecks are going to stop inconveniently.

        Gas prices affect the price of everything though. Grocery prices have gotten stupid. And the over-inflated prices caused by too many people being able to get increasingly larger loans definitely bid up all aspects of the real estate market (including rentals). The place where I work has more work than last year but they're trying to get it done with the same number of people - so as a salaried employee I'm putting in more hours for the same number of dollars.

        It's an economic truism that prices are "sticky" going down. Even if everything goes back to the conditions that were around 3 years ago, prices will never go that low again.

        I find it interesting that when "the little guy" was having troubles the banks refused to bend - socking it to people who were already struggling in the form of penalites and fees. Now the banks are in trouble - they won't even lend to each other. This affected the stock market - where the politicans have THEIR money and suddenly "we" HAVE to do SOMETHING.

        hmmmmmmmmm. Two things come to mind.

        One my Gramma used to say "Pigs get fat and hogs get slaughtered." Both banks and investors fall into that category. They were happy to take the rewards on these "high risk" activities - but now that it comes to the downside of high risk investments the banks and investors want everyone (and their great-grandchildren) to bail them out. And the reason they need to get bailed out? Because even when people were having troubles paying the loans, these banks and investors were not happy until they sucked every last dollar out.

        The other has to do with the parable about the servant who owed his master. He went to the master to ask for time to re-pay his debt. The master gave him the time and the servant proceeded to go threaten everyone who owed the servant money. The credit lending market is no better than that servant. They wouldn't work with the people who owed them money, now they want us to "give them some time" by buying up the bad-debt that their OWN predatory lending practices made bad!

        I have little sympathy for the people who are crying about the loss of their over-inflated lifestyles (CEOs of Wall Street, sub prime mortgage brokers and the like who reaped the big bucks over the last 5 years): Welcome to the way most of us live our lives.

        If I can't afford something, I do without. If the payments on a mortgage are too big, well I'll just have to keep on renting. If I can't afford gas, I don't need a car (something that is possible where I live - I realize that not everyone has access to a good mass transit system or can realistically work around not having a personal vehicle). If I needed a car, something else would have to get cut.

        No one is going to bail me out if I don't live within my means.

        Why should these wall street and banking "geniuses" expect any different?
        Last edited by between2worlds; 10-10-2008, 02:32 PM.

        Comment


        • #5
          So far so good here. We have lost money in the 401k, but we are not looking to retire tomorrow. My dad on the other hand might have some issues b/c he is looking to retire in June...same with my mother-in-law.

          We have been really blessed this past year and were able to eliminate alot of debt. Our cars are paid for, our property in Canada is paid off, and no major credit card other than work expenses that we're waiting on reimbursement for. We were thinking of purchasing a new vehicle this year, but with how crazy things have gotten, we've elected to just stick with our gas guzzlers. They're old, but they get us from A to B and we don't have a payment. That's really nice. So I'll stick with struggling to lift the baby and the carseat up into the truck until things settle.

          However, I have started to cut back on things and look at reducing costs just to be on the safe side. We are trying to put away 10% of our income into savings and have a savings fund for the baby. So I took a whole day to shop auto/home insurance and found a huge savings there. I have started to look at buying used baby clothes b/c the new ones seem like such a waste since she's out of them in 3 months. I buy in bulk for paper goods and cleaning products.

          But I think our biggest saving grace in all of this...is we didn't elect to buy the biggest, most expensive home we could afford. Granted, we got alot of house for our money...but it doesn't take two incomes for us to afford it....so worst case scenario...if we both had to work, we could survive. I think that's the biggest problem...most of us have lived beyond our means for sometime or to the brink of it...now things have gotten bad and people are having a difficult time. We've made it through things like this before...Look back at how our grandparents survived...my grandmother passed recently and left no debt behind, her funeral paid for, and left my dad and aunt a few thousand dollars, some land and a home. That all from a farmer who couldn't read and lived on a few hundred dollars a month...Just amazing.

          Comment


          • #6
            I've been wondering the same thing....

            The other night my husband and I were saying that both our jobs are secure. We have a mortgage, but it's at a fixed interest rate. Credit cards are minimal. We insurance and use IHS for healthcare, so no big medical bills. Our cars are all paid off. Our 401K's are taking a hit (not major), but we still have about 15-20 years of employment ahead of us, so I think we are going to be ok.

            In fact I've been thinking of buying some stock in the near future. Did you all see GMAC is $4.50 a share!?!? lowest in 50 years. (But I'm not buying in to them. They might go bankrupt. )

            I was thinking of trading in my car, but I'll just wait a while longer. Might get lucky on the deals. And it's nice not to have a car payment. And the one I have still runs fine.

            So I think we are gonna be fine!

            Comment


            • #7
              I was going to go into detail about how fortunate we are, but in our way, it's not good to count those blessings, so I'll just say we're doing fine.

              I'm glad gas prices are coming down and thank creditors that are lenient for hurricane disaster prone areas.
              Bead All You Can Bead

              Comment


              • #8
                Since gas prices are finally going down and now that we are finally able to find Gas in Ga. again that is helping us.
                We stopped useing our credit cards last year and almost have them all paid off now, no car payments anymore, hubby's pension fund is safe and since we bank with the credit union we are doing okay.
                The U.S.Postal Service is talking about laying off anyone that has worked there less than 6 years, lucky for us hubby has been there for 21 and our oldest daughter should be okay since she has credit for her Military service too.
                Our youngest daughter has been told that she is going to be laid off her job in 2 weeks along with 16 other people. Since she has her own place now it's about to get hard on her, she says she doesn't want to want to move back home.
                Courage is just fear that has said it's prayers.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Annie Fawn View Post
                  Since gas prices are finally going down and now that we are finally able to find Gas in Ga. again that is helping us.
                  We stopped useing our credit cards last year and almost have them all paid off now, no car payments anymore, hubby's pension fund is safe and since we bank with the credit union we are doing okay.
                  The U.S.Postal Service is talking about laying off anyone that has worked there less than 6 years, lucky for us hubby has been there for 21 and our oldest daughter should be okay since she has credit for her Military service too.
                  Our youngest daughter has been told that she is going to be laid off her job in 2 weeks along with 16 other people. Since she has her own place now it's about to get hard on her, she says she doesn't want to want to move back home.

                  Well its gonna get worse before it gets any better. I subspect the stocks are gonna drop very low in a few days if it hasnt already. I am just glad I dont have credit card bills my car is paid for I may have alot of miles on my car but at least it gets me around town when needed. So I guess we will be okay. If anything gets worse I just have to move in my tent and just live it up outdoors cooking over a nice fire. I think we natives can survive it when the times get tough.
                  Never mind me I am just blabbing.... Dyslextic and cant spell worth a heck.
                  Welcome to my cabin,
                  Sending smoke of sage,cedar and sweetgrass,
                  Many Blessings to all.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    It's actually refreshing to hear that so far it seems we are doing ok and have the "we will survive" attitude. That will get people through alot!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      i wonder if thay are gona get to keep thier good credit rating

                      ...dang, i cant even get cable out here becouse it says i had a forclose which i did not.

                      just got me to wondering what are there rules for them selfs when thay blow it big.
                      do thier personal credit drop and thay get a good taste,of how to live with the rules thay give

                      any way im ok as long as i have a job.

                      i miss my house i sold about a month ago.
                      Last edited by 2lineCarrandMorgan; 10-10-2008, 09:51 PM.
                      Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass..It's about learning to dance in the rain. for me and the wolf

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by WhoMe View Post
                        Every day I read the news on Yahoo and listen to news on the radio on the way to work. From all directions there are indications that the world is facing a major economic crisis that includes banks, wall street, the housing market, etc.

                        I don't know about you but I don't have any investments in the stock market, I don't have too much money in my retirement 401K because I have been at my present job for under two years, I don't have a personal major credit card. I don't live above my means. If I can't afford it I won't get in debt, to pay for it!

                        I guess you could say I am a poor Indian who barely makes it from paycheck-to-paycheck.

                        Because of this crisis, my gas dollar goes farther ($3.31 a gallon), food prices have dropped in my area and there are sales at major department stores everywhere. I am even looking forward to having a reduced gas bill this winter!

                        I now have more disposible income and can use it to go to a powwow!

                        How are you faring in this economic crisis?
                        I have losted big time on my 401 k , gas is around 2.75 a gallon,and have not notice much different on the food. I been doingthe same job for over 35 years now,and been able to put a little back other then into a 401 K, we burn wood most of the winter and still go hunting and able to save money this way.
                        Things are a mess as far as the econmic crisis goes ,but I am sure most Native people will like always find away to make it .
                        Shawnee Bill

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          We're doing ok, so far - knock on wood. I think my job is kinda secure. I'm finally thinking about actually staying at my job to get the retirement in about 12 more years. It's through the state of WY so I'm hoping it's fairly safe.

                          AIG has been taking $20 a paycheck for a retirement account for awhile and I have about $1000 that's been rollercoastering since I got it. I'm sure it's on the downward spiral, but I hate to check cuz I'll just get all riled up.

                          I don't know anything about the stock market, but if you can buy WaMu shares at 7 cents - I think it would be kinda fun to buy some up. Can't ever pass up something on clearance!!

                          I'm glad gas went down. Our food prices went back to "normal" a while ago. Everybody posting with no car loans, no credit cards, etc....really surprises me. I'm in debt from my car payment, 2 student loans, a couple major credit cards, a couple dept store cards, a consolidation loan. I did pay off 3 credit lines this year and I'm so proud of myself. Wasn't easy - one little credit card I would pay it off, then charge it back up.

                          My daughters are out on their own and struggling but yeah, whatever happens we'll make it through together.
                          ...it is what it is...

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            [QUOTE=wyo_rose;1223013 Everybody posting with no car loans, no credit cards, etc....really surprises me. I'm in debt from my car payment, 2 student loans, a couple major credit cards, a couple dept store cards, a consolidation loan..[/QUOTE]
                            just wondering why does this surprise you??......I was in that boat with all my deployments for awhile....but when I got out and moved to a more secure job (by that I mean, I wasn't going to a foreign land where I couldn't pay my bills properly), I was able to find a job that helped me out a lot and I made sacrifices to bring everything under order, I got rid of my credit cards, paid off my vehicles and bought a home.....now I pretty much am debt free, except for the usual necessaties.....ie:water, gas, electric....internet, cell phone....sat. TV....LOL!!!.....I guess it's just about making sacrifices and living on a minimum......believe me that was a little hard....
                            Last edited by 50cal; 10-11-2008, 09:42 AM.
                            sigpic

                            ...And shephards we shall be. For thee my lord, for thee. Power hath descended forth from thy hand. That our feet may swiftly carry out thy command. So we shall flow a river forth to thee. And teeming with souls shall it ever be. E Nomini Patri, E Fili, E Spiritu Sancti.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by wyo_rose View Post
                              We're doing ok, so far - knock on wood. I think my job is kinda secure. I'm finally thinking about actually staying at my job to get the retirement in about 12 more years. It's through the state of WY so I'm hoping it's fairly safe.

                              AIG has been taking $20 a paycheck for a retirement account for awhile and I have about $1000 that's been rollercoastering since I got it. I'm sure it's on the downward spiral, but I hate to check cuz I'll just get all riled up.

                              I don't know anything about the stock market, but if you can buy WaMu shares at 7 cents - I think it would be kinda fun to buy some up. Can't ever pass up something on clearance!!

                              I'm glad gas went down. Our food prices went back to "normal" a while ago. Everybody posting with no car loans, no credit cards, etc....really surprises me. I'm in debt from my car payment, 2 student loans, a couple major credit cards, a couple dept store cards, a consolidation loan. I did pay off 3 credit lines this year and I'm so proud of myself. Wasn't easy - one little credit card I would pay it off, then charge it back up.

                              My daughters are out on their own and struggling but yeah, whatever happens we'll make it through together.
                              No car payments equal old cars. :) My truck will be ten years old next year and my car is 12 years old. Heck, I'm surprised they still run. LOL. I forgot...we do have student loans too...But interest rates on those are really low and one is almost paid off and the other has a few thousand yet. Still have to work on that one.

                              Comment

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