Sara Clemence

price-tag-shopping-150Some of us are starting to spend again (a little), but it’s smart to keep it frugal. Every week, we post online deals hand-picked for Recessionwire readers by the nice people over at Savings.com. Feel free to pass them along, and if there’s something you’d like to see, let us know!

Many of us are doing some back-to-school clothes shopping. For shoes, Reebok has 15 percent off a $100 purchase plus free shipping with this coupon. (Expires 8/31/09) Clothes and accessories from the The Limited come with a discount too—$15 off every $50 (Expires 8/31/09)…

Remember the days when everyone in L.A. wanted to be a slasher? You know—actor/director, screenwriter/producer. With film budgets being but, some celebs will have to take on less glamorous roles…

mouse-and-money-150Thanks to the recession, many of us have been clipping coupons and haggling for goods. Those are good habits to keep after the recovery, but they can be a real hassle. There’s one recession hack I plan to keep. It’s easy and can be used for almost any online purchase, and the savings can really add up. I call it discount stacking.

When you discount stack, you total up a few small discounts to get more substantial savings. All it takes is an Internet connection, a cash-back credit card and a few extra minutes. Really, there’s no excuse not to do it…

man-woman-dice-gender-symbol-200In the 1970s, women and minorities got bashed by the downturn; they were most vulnerable to LIFO—“last in-first out,” a principle that labor unions swore by. In 1974, when GM laid off 2,400 workers, that included almost every woman on the assembly line, since they had not been hired until four years after the Civil Rights Act was passed.

This time around, we’re seeing a Mancession. The vast majority of the jobs lost in the downturn have been held by men—manufacturing and construction have been hit harder than health care and education. Women now make up 49.83 percent of the American workforce—more than ever before.

But reality isn’t all simple and shiny.

The biggest reason to hold off on celebrating: Do we want more work or do we want more choice? They’re not the same thing…

paris-hilton-in-tiara-200There have been many sad passings in the downturn, some the results of the economy (lots of jobs, Domino magazine) others not (John Hughes). But as always, there is an upside: The bust seems to have killed off some of the more distasteful boom trends, expressions of excess that just aren’t appropriate anymore.

McMansions
All around the country, sprawling new developments sit empty, oversized homes are being foreclosed on, and home buyers are choosing—for the first time in 15 years, more normal-sized properties. A double-height great room does not a happy (or financially sound) family make.

SUVs
The McMansions of cars also boomed in the boom, when we didn’t care how much we spent for gas and were happy to tower over pathetic hippie cyclists. Wired.com says that 60 percent of the cars that have been junked through the Cash for Clunkers program are gas-guzzling Ford Explorers…

Recovery for Dummies?

by Sara Clemence on August 13, 2009 in Culture

money-fallingSo the fed says the recession may be coming to a close, but how will you really know when it’s over? Blogger Thomas McDermott entertainingly suggests that it’s when our IRAs go back to pre-bust levels and Vladimir Putin stops referring to the U.S. as “Iceland with no ice.” He also gives props (McDermott, not Putin) to Recessionwire: You’ll know it’s over when we change our name.

mouse-and-money-150Some of us are starting to spend again (a little), but it’s smart to keep it frugal. So every week, we’re going to post a handful of online deals hand-picked for Recessionwire readers by the nice people over at Savings.com. Feel free to pass them along to your friends. And if there’s something you’d like to see, let us know!

Nothing better than a free weekend at a friend’s country house. But of course, you have to pony up a present. Top wine gifts are 10 percent off at Wine.com. (expires 8/31/09)

Homeworking these days? You need a printer now that you can’t use the jumbo one at the office…take $30 off when you spend at least $150 at HP. (expires 10/31/09)…

credit card 200Americans are pretty dumb about money. If you’re tempted to argue with that statement, just remember that we’re in a financial crisis of our own making.

The good news is, the downturn seems to be making us smarter—at least when it comes to credit cards. People are actually becoming more responsible, taking on less credit card debt and paying off their balances promptly. How do we know? Because it’s hurting the credit card companies! According to the Washington Post, Capital One Financial, the company that issues the Orbitz and MTV Visas, among other cards, is losing money in part because it’s not making as much from fees.

“Many have witnessed the financial turmoil and threats of layoffs and taken a more disciplined view of their finances, making sure to submit payments on time and adhere to limits,” the Post says…

flag lebanon heart-200A couple of months ago, while working on a story about what the recession is called in other countries, I reached out to a Lebanese friend who working in Washington, D.C. Her response: There wasn’t a recession in Lebanon. Hmm, I thought. Something to look into.

Dr. Doom is ahead of me, as always. (Not to mentioned overhyped, but stay with me.) Nouriel Roubini has done a survey of countries that have been gliding through the downturn for Forbes.com. “All economies have been affected by the crisis, but a combination of policy responses and strong fundamentals has given some countries, especially some emerging market economies, a relative edge,” he says.

Strong fundamentals aren’t the whole story. In Lebanon’s case, for example, banking regulations kept a lid on subprime investments that the U.S. banks all went wild for. But there was also an upside to “domestic political uncertainty”—it helped keep the country’s economy relatively isolated…

who-me-guy-blame-200The self-esteem movement isn’t just making our kids responsibility-shirkers—the adults might be even worse. As Daniel Gross points out in Newsweek today, CEOs of troubled companies from Eddie Bauer to Creative Scrapbooking to Six Flags are blaming balance sheets for their bankruptcies. That’s sort of like blaming your credit card statement for getting you into $80,000 worth of debt…