Is the Economy Hurting Your Social Life?

I’m a twenty something, single participant in the U.S. economy. Recently, though, I find that due to the current times I am restricted in many aspects of life that shouldn’t have restrictions. I don’t know about you, but this recession is affecting my living situation (beyond foreclosures), my love life and the fun things I do to de-stress!

Living Situation - First I feel like I’m lucky because I don’t own a home right now. I recently moved out of my parent’s house. The only way I could afford this was because a friend cut me a good deal. That was a year ago and now rent is going up and I’d like to live on my own. But I can’t. Rent is a pretty penny and if it were just rent that cut into my bank account each month, I might be ok, but then there’s water, electric, cable, Internet, phone, etc. I think it’s crazy that I have a college degree and can’t afford my own apartment to rent.

Love life – Being 26 and single can be fun, but hard economic times do not inspire romance. I stopped my subscription to eHarmony (the $50 a month would be better spent on things like…food). My friends and I don’t go out as much which limits the opportunities to meet new people. I have been trying things like going to the local bookstore or café on a Friday or Saturday night, but they are deserted because no one is spending money on items like lattes and magazines. The gym is a no go too, because the cost just doesn’t work into my budget (and sweating doesn’t exactly put me in the mood for love).

Fun & De-stressing - I’ve recently discovered ATVing, but money has certainly flattened the tire on this hobby. Gas for the car, the ATV rentals (which are hard to find on the East Coast) so then there’s the hotel stay, food, etc, etc. Even simple activities like going to the movies. I LOVE the movies. Half my blog is about movies, but I’ve cut back because ticket prices have gone up and my paychecks haven’t.

One of the aspects of daily life that’s become more prevalent is the fact that it’s difficult to just go and buy something. Now there’s more planning and saving involved for things, simple things like say…a bike! Bikes aren’t the most expensive items in the world, but one has to plan and save to even consider putting a $100 down on a single item where as before I feel like it was easier to just go out, get a Schwinn and enjoy the day.

How has the economy impacted your daily life? Have you had to change or limit the things you do? Does it affect your social life, the things you do to de-stress? Any advice?

Thanks for reading!

“Basically, I'm for anything that gets you through the night - be it prayer, tranquilizers or a bottle of Jack Daniels.” – Frank Sinatra
So may the prayers, tranquilizers and JD be with you and see you next time.


Crab said...

Man, Erin and I can totally sympathize with your situation. Starting a life on our own right at the start of this recession is definitely a real drag.

Spending money on things we do to de-stress is becoming stressful, which is in my opinion a bit absurd. Shoot, even spending $4-5 on a book on Amazon becomes an internal debate sometimes.

Cutting costs by canceling memberships to gyms and online services definitely seems to help. I mean, holy crap... eHarmony costs $50 a month? That's almost the cost of 2 nights on the town.

You've definitely opened a can of worms by asking about how the economy is affecting young people (like us) just getting out on their own. Granted we're not starving and all of us have roofs over our heads, but it's still a bummer. Misery loves company though, so it's reassuring to know that it isn't just Erin and I that are having problems with the changes in cost of living.

ps. Netflix is a totally awesome and cheap alternative to going to the movies sometimes. I know I'm late to the party - but Erin and I signed up for it a few months ago and you can watch a billion movies for free online, as well as see 2-3 movies a week just through the mail (Their turnaround is super fast). I know it isn't as exciting at seeing new releases but it still sates my movie interest.

BloggingFun said...

So glad it's not just me!! Yeah I love netflix! But man I love going to the theater too!