Photo: John Edwards
Wise Bread is holding a $10 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway for a random answer to the above question and I thought it would be a good exercise for me.
Frankly my first reaction to this question was “There is no silver lining.” Our business sales are lower than ever so income is down while food, utility and gas prices keep rising. We have several things around the house that need repair but are holding off on them because keeping money in the bank seems more important at this time.
One of the things that need repairing is our central air conditioning, which is somewhat important as we live in the desert and are expecting temperatures as high as 110° Fahrenheit starting today, but we have decided to try to make do without for now, which is highly unpleasant.
So where’s the silver lining in all this?
It took a little thinking, but I’ve come up with one. The silver lining for me is that this is happening while I’m still young.
I feel guilty and selfish for saying this because not everyone is able to, but I am young enough that this recession won’t destroy my entire future and I can learn from it. For those at or near retirement age, this recession could permanently impact the rest of their lives by wiping out or taking a large chunk out of their retirement savings and investments. I am at an age where, once the recession is over, I still have a chance to build up investments and savings.
Throughout my life, I’ve read stories, watched movies or learned in school about the Great Depression, but because it was all so long ago and our society seemed so far advanced that the possibility of our falling into another depression never occurred to me. I’ve always been careful with my money, but took for granted that our society and economy are well enough advanced that we need not worry about the not having enough money for basic necessities.
While we are not at the point of destitution, things are worrisome enough now that this is something I will never forget. I have learned that merely being careful with money is not enough. I have now learned to be vigilant with my money, and that is something I won’t cease to do even when this recession is over.
That’s not to say I will be living in a state of pecuniary paranoia for the rest of my life, but you can be sure that I will never take economic and financial stability for granted again. So the silver lining in this recession for me is a lesson well learned and remembered.
While my silver lining is only a silver lining for me and those of my age group, I hope that those further on in years have found silver linings in other forms.