Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Hard Times

On Monday, the Wall Street Journal ran one of those "little things you can do to save money in these hard times" articles. Apparently, the people who are supposed to be running the economy - the movers and the shakers, if you will, the Wall Street Journal readers, the businessmen - do not know the most basic math; because, if they did, they wouldn't need these economic helpful hints.

I mean, gosh, did you realize it is cheaper to rent a video from Blockbuster than to go out to the movies? Congratulations! Apparently you are smarter than the average WSJ reader.

Oh, and number 3 on the list says to make your coffee at home instead of buying it at Starbuck's. Yup, it's actually cheaper that way. Who woulda thunk it? Not, apparently, the upper-middle-class executive types who read the Wall Street Journal and who have a hand in running some of America's biggest corporations.

And, yo! all you welfare queens, if you would just stop getting that weekly manicure, you, too, could save over 500 dollars a year! So stop whining about not being able to afford dental insurance for your kids and buff your nails yourself. It's what all the rich folk are doing now. It's hip to be poor.

Read the rest of the article yourself. It's making me sick. I didn't realize just how tough these economic hard times have been on our captains of industry. I mean, how's a hard-charging exec supposed to feel, drinking out of the communal water cooler rather than bringing his own private bottle of spring water? How is he supposed to concentrate on his job of bolstering the American economy when he is experiencing such cataclysmic changes in his own lifestyle?

I say, these people need our support. So, if any of you have extra Pizza Hut coupons, or a spare fifth-grade math textbook lying around, or maybe even an extra home manicure kit, you should send it to

Upper Middle Class Financial Idiots
c/o The Wall Street Journal
New York, New York

It can be part of a grand new initiative - No Executive Left Behind.

Because a high salary is a terrible thing to waste.

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54 comments:

  1. She shoots! She scores!

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  2. Next thing I know you're going to tell me that I'll spend less money if I only shop when I need to and not for fun. That's right I found that beauty in a book that was supposed to help me budget. Thanks for all the help.

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  3. No, I will not go read it. Those sorts of articles annoy me too much. Not to mention, even when they're in publications geared toward more, ah, normal people, we're already doing just about everything they suggest. (Okay, sometimes we get take-out or even, gasp, go out to eat. But other than that.) We don't call it "saving money in hard times." We've always called it "common sense."

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  4. It's amazing what money saving "discoveries" are hit upon to save the big bucks that us little people have been using since we said, "I do."

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  5. my area has many shooters and they ain't worried a bit in their hugh mansions, they have been making a million or more a year for the past few years, trust me they don't need to skip the starbucks.

    great post.

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  6. Wow, and do you mean its cheaper to make my lunch at home than to eat at a restaurant 5 lunches per week?

    Yeah, i read one recently that told me to start bagging my lunch because eating out will cost me at least $10 per day in Boston.

    You don't say? Rocket scientists!

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  7. Hilarious!

    My personal method of saving during hard times is to avoid Target. I've read that others do the same thing.

    Do you think the Big Wigs on Wall Street would be interested in this tidbit? Perhaps I, too can write for the WSJ?

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  8. Did it also include the old: "when you buy a new car this year, instead of a Hummer, look for a more economical vehicle, like a BMW Z3. Not only will you get a lower sticker price, you'll save a lot on gas and insurance over time."

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  9. My brother had a blog entry titled Economy: Confessions of a Subprime Rock Star. Similar Oh-Gag-Me-You-Poor-Down-on-your-Luck-Filthy-Rcih-White-Guy factor. http://burnettwriter.blogspot.com/2008_05_01_archive.html
    I don't know how to link to it. But you can try cutting and pasting that if you're interested. Has anyone read The Tightwad Gazette? Good tips there for being thrifty that even a penny pincher like me hadn't tried yet.

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  10. I read the article and thought "Thank-you capitain Obvious"! I mean really how do they think we really live? Sheesh. I feel guilty if I buy something at anyplace other than a thrift store.

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  11. I know another way to save money.

    Cancel your subscription to the Wall Street Journal.

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  12. Hey - wait - what's the zip code? I'm all over mailing coupons to the WSJ!

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  13. I'm such a sap - I read those articles whenever I see them, then end up feeling grouchy because there was nothing there I wasn't already doing.

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  14. How do you always hit the nail on the head?

    Brilliant!

    Have you read 'Enough' by John Naish?

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  15. I wonder if they know that there are also these new fangled things called "coupons" and "sales?" Maybe we should clue them in?

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  16. I heard yesterday that Pres Bush is encouraging American's to save gas and other energy type things. Do you think he does? How much fuel goes into the Airforce One? Do ya think he makes sure he does two things in one trip instead of taking two trips? And how about turning off the lights in the White House... grr. Idiots.

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  17. Finally, I am hip! I've been waiting my whole life.

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  18. I'm glad I "discovered" you so I can have another person with whom to be catty about such idiocy.

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  19. I'm not reading it either. Okay, I might I'm in a bad mood today anyway.

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  20. Snarf. I was reading an article with some spoiled exec mommy complaining that now she can't buy "single-serving-sized" food (chips, cookies, etc in their own little packets) for her kids and how much it inconveniences her.

    How humiliating to have to break open a family package of oreos and baggies! Sheesh.

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  21. I always read those articles and get so disappointed when it says to save money by doing stuff I already do.

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  22. Good Golly, I love the way you vent. You have nailed it!!!
    Pax.

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  23. Ouch.

    You are absolutely right.

    ~Luke

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  24. :-)
    Did you know you can plug your TV into the wall..and plug in bunny ears and it will WORK.. You can watch network TV w/ out paying for it!! Which is cheaper than dish..renting a movie OR going out to a movie.

    Hope I was helpful too!

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  25. Duh. I can't believe that the WSJ actually printed that -- it's more of a USA Today article.

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  26. The anger of the righteously indignant is a beautiful thing to behold!

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  27. This is excellent. These people live in a tiny little bubble. My favorite was "No Executive left behind."

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  28. I love the Internets. I mean I really do. But with the good we must have the bad and in this case, the bad is CONTENT. There is so much crap on the news and the web and you know somewhere someone is turning to their intern and saying, "Let's talk about carpet threads today."

    It's just filler. Ignore. Go listen to Brian.

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  29. OK, now that isn't so bad. The Kansas City Star had a similar article a couple of weeks ago, but more about what people were doing to save money.

    Now get this. One family was eating out more in order to save on their grocery bill.

    Unless they've gone from T-bone steaks at home to McDonald's I don't see how that one is going to compute.

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  30. Unfortunately, common sense is not all that common after all. I know a family who complain they cannot afford asthma medication for their child, yet they both smoke a pack a day, drink a slab a week, and always have enough money for their own 'toys'. Their child is wheezing away in the next room, desperately gasping for breath, while they curse the government for not providing them with free medication.

    It's very frustrating.

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  31. Awesome post!

    I remember lots of this kind of thing from when we lived in NYC. (We were the super-poor students).

    The best is when rich(er) people give you their hand-me-downs. e.g. Got an Italian crib from a lady who only had one kid. And then they apologize for the (fantastic!) shape something's in.

    The last article I read about this sort of thing had something about having your cleaning service come in less often. I don't know if I could make that kind of sacrifice!

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  32. Gosh, we already do ALL those things . . . not particulary because they save money, but because they are sensible. I mean, who even has time for a weekly manicure, and my cappuccino tastes much better than the one at Starbucks.

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  33. AMEN!! Good on ya!

    This WSJ article might be especially helpful to oil execs in particular. We need to do all we can to ease "the crunch" they must be feeling too. Will you get right on that?

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  34. And. Did you know you can get in shape without a personal trainer? Drive your own self to work instead of using a car service? Oooh... let your kids play and read in the summer instead of spending thousands on specialty camps and tutoring? Thanks for the link to the article. I totally agree, common sense is not as common as we might think.

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  35. I really like the suggestion to car pool once a week. 'Hey friend - give me a ride to work so that I'm not spending MY money on petrol'.

    On the other hand - if I behaved like such a tightwad I wouldn't have any friends left to socialise with. That would save me some cash - and help me lose my mind.

    Of course, I've heard it said that rich people are tight. That's how they got rich in the first place. So I shall happily settle for common sense savings and generosity towards my pals. (Just don't all come running for a hand out at once, ok!)

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  36. Probably the only time I've seen an episode of Oprah in the past few years was when she had some big "financial makeover" show on. It sounded really promising so I tuned in. This couple had like $200K in debt, and the financial advisers showed them that if the wife stopped spending $12,00 per year on hair treatments, that that's money they could put into savings. Oprah turned to the audience and implored them to listen to this sagacious advice as the advisers nodded knowingly. Amazing.

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  37. I think I almost fell out of bed. This is great!

    Thank you so much for taking the time to pop over, browse around and comment on my posts. I look forward to returning and looking around. :)

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  38. Strong sentiments indeed.
    Cheers

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  39. and THIS is why I love your blog.

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  40. Lets see, I trim my own hair. We cook the family meals from scratch. We make clothing last until it it out grown (in the case of my boy) or worn out. We shop at thrift stores. I hate it when I read all these condescending tips for saving that assume you 1. have a lot of money, and 2. have no clue how to save money on your own. Somehow, I can't work up much sympathy for the rich who are feeling broke because of their lifestyle choices. I have much more sympathy for my patients who ended up in a nursing home because they couldn't afford rent, food, and lifesaving medicines.

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  41. I suppose at least they didn't suggest eating day-old sushi for a bargain price....

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  42. I'm with Heartful - avoiding Target has been saving me a fortune!

    And I think it would be a great idea if we all wrote to WSJ with our own tips and coupons. Maybe we can hlep them out with more than just the obvious!

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  43. Gasp! What incredible ideas.
    Here's another one: Did you know you can save money on electricity by drying your laundry for FREE!!!! On A Clothes Line!!!! How freaking amazing! I know, I know.... I'm brilliant. and I bet you wish you'd thought of it first.

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  44. A clothesline? Really? Gosh, what will they think of next?

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  45. The degree to which they are out of touch is truly frightening.

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  46. Thanks for making me feel like a financial wizard. I needed that today.

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  47. First time here, love it! Love the shoes, love the purse, love it all!

    Seriously - I need this kind of clever, intellgent blogread to keep my feet on the ground and my cup full of Coke, gettin' me through the day. So thanks.

    I'll be back...

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  48. Well I sincerely hope you read the electronic copy of that article and didn't waste your cash on the newsprint.

    Did you know that is a good way to save money, too? Duh, WSJ; big fat duh.

    (Thanks for visiting me :D)

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  49. The scary thing is that I know people who honestly need this advice. The really scary thing is that they aren't rich.

    The other kind of articles is one from the Dolans on how to get out of debt fast. Their advice was good except for one glitch. How to come up with the extra thousand.

    In the meantime, I'm working on freezing meals ahead of time so I don't have to stop by McDonalds even once every month or two because we have no time for dinner.

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  50. I also enjoy (not) the t.v. spots on *how to save while traveling*. You know, *go to South America instead of Europe*, and *take the train instead of flying*... silly, silly, silly

    Thanks for stopping by!

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