How's the economy hitting you?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by kesslari, Jul 8, 2008.

  1. kesslari

    kesslari Groovin' with the Fusion Cats Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2007
    Santa Cruz Mtns, California
    Lark in the Morning Instructional Videos; Audix Microphones
    Let's not go political here, but is the economy hitting you?

    I've still got a job, which is good, still supporting my family, which is also good.


    I'm having to cut my music gear budget at least in half;
    Cutting down on meals out;
    Being Very Aware of when, where, and why I drive (and I have a car that gets 46 mpg!);
    Other ways that we still haven't figured out...

    What we're doing:
    I replaced my car with one that gets better mileage;
    I work from home 3 days per week (my commute is 35 miles each way, which adds up fast when you do it 5x per week);
    I try to bring lunch when I do go to the office;
    We're having to look really closely at our other spending habits, and try to find ways to cut back (and we don't live ostentatiously).

    It's hurting, though mostly in fairly small ways (e.g., still have a job, can still afford housing and food).

    How's it hitting you, and how are you coping?
  2. Visirale


    Mar 23, 2003
    Not too bad.

    I have scholarships to cover my 32 grand in tuition (ouch!).
    My parents are doing well enough to help me with my apartment and other living expenses (which I am very appreciative of).
    I landed a summer internship that pays well, so I actually have more disposable income than ever before.

    I am trying to sell my car because of cargo room and MPG, but I have had zero calls of legitimate interest... I give that one to the economy.

    Besides that, it's been smooth sailing, and I'm very glad for that.
  3. bwv1013


    Mar 20, 2008
    southern cal
    i'm doing well enough. plenty of "disposable" income i suppose, though recently i am making a conscious effort to not dispose of it wherever possible. driving is the biggest thing i watch, i keep that to a minimum even with a 4 cylinder car.
  4. thesteve


    May 28, 2007
    San Diego, CA
    I think the economy is kicking my butt, but it might just be life.

    I've been reducing my travel expenses by taking the bus to work (it's free through the university) since February. I would have a short commute (4 or 5 miles each way) but the parking permit would be $80 a month. When I do drive, I try to keep my speed low (nothing over 70 if I can help it), my acceleration slow and I cruise down hills whenever possible.

    I've been selling off gear I don't use with the intention of buying gear I would use, but instead I end up spending it on bills. I currently have a guitar (I traded a bass for it) that I'd like to hold onto because it's 26 years old and I only see it going up in value, but in this economy its value is taking a hit and I don't know if I can afford to hold onto it much longer anyway (because I'm broke).

    Definitely been cutting down on meals out. My wife and I used to eat out with my band mates every Wednesday night after practice. Even though it's a cheap Mexican place and we typically spend $10 there between the two of us, over the course of a month that becomes close to a full tank of gas spent on burritos.

    I need to send in my Lojack information to the insurance company so I can hopefully get a "security device" discount on my car.

    The real killer for us this summer is that my wife and I are both in the bridal party for my guitarist's wedding. The bridal party expenses (especially bridesmaid stuff like bridal showers and bachelorette parties and whatever) add up really fast. I think we're done spending money on that (the wedding is in a week and a half) but the wedding is also across down (20 miles) and we'll be driving there the night before the wedding for the rehearsal and the day of the wedding, plus the drive to the reception after the wedding...I'm already looking at an easy 100 mile weekend.

    but...writing this all out actually makes me feel better, because when I have a concrete, written idea of what is coming up it makes things a lot easier to prepare for.
  5. ryco


    Apr 24, 2005
    Not too bad. I have a good paying job and little gigs to supplement income. I work construction and things have really slowed down here.

    We've cut down on taking out of town drives and have consolidated our major shopping trip to once a month instead of twice.
    We've cut down on dining out, which we don't do a lot anyway.

    We live pretty simply and don't have bad habits or toys to maintain.
    Own everything and have money in the bank. No kids.
    We live in a fairly isolated area, so to do major shopping we travel either an hour north or south to larger towns. That adds a little over $25 in gas.
    This town only has one market and it's prices are kinda steep. Also a Circle K and a little health food store/cafe.

    It's frustrating the price of staples has gone up so much. It's merely irritating to us. I feel concern for those families with kids who aren't as well off. The local food bank is really running low.
  6. TallLankyBastyd


    Jan 31, 2007
    Bought a new house back in April non-contingent (seems stupid yes, but I had compelling reasons for taking such a gamble.) My other house has been on market for two months... lots of looky-loos... no offers... gamble is starting to look like a major mistake.

    The day after we closed on the new house... my wife was informed that her Community College Program she directed would be closed down after ten very successful years (freaking politics strike again.)

    So... our savings are drying up quick... getting close to doing the dreaded musical instruments offload before much longer.

    Oh well, things could be worse... we could all go on strike at my work this coming year!! :rollno:

    Yeah... things are kinda ugly on my personal economic front!! :help:
  7. I have to really consider mileage (unless I can ride with someone) before I accept a gig. It doesn't take too many miles before you're playing just to refill you gas tank.
  8. I dunno, I look at everything as just a part of life, so I don't see the economy as my enemy. Gas is expensive, and that sucks. It doesn't change that I'm still putting about 20 thousand miles a year on my car that only gets about 20 mpg. It does mean that I'll be looking for a more fuel efficient car this summer when I get a newer one, but I'll still be driving half an hour to my church a couple of times a week, or 45 minutes to band practice at least once a week.
  9. Joe Gress

    Joe Gress

    Dec 22, 2005
    Pueblo, CO
    Bumming rides from my brother to work, because dad is using my car, because we can't afford to fix his transmission.
  10. Well, I've been raking in about 150-200 bucks a week for nearly 4 years now. Back in the day I could actually afford new gear and clothes and just overall stuff. Keep in mind that extra money was mostly going to just stuff I didn't really need.

    Now all I can afford to do is drive to work, eat, and pay my bills. No more money for stuff.

    Now I know for a fact that I can and could make my money go further but being a fan of 'spinach' as a friend of mine has coined it as a safe term around his children, and beer money... Pretty much leveling dead even. Not that I am complaining, I know some would say just go clean and reap the benefits of having extra money, but those two vices help me stay sane and truly appreciate how lucky I am to be healthy and at least have all the stuff I have now.

    I'm not a materialistic person so its all alright I guess.
  11. I don't really drive much so gas prices don't have much of an impact. I can tell that the custom knife buyers are feeling the impact. The past few shows have been slower than normal and the secondary market is also feeling it. I'm blessed with a strong international following and customer base for my knives but I know some new makers that are really feeling it.
    My wife and daughter are starting a new business venture so maybe I can lean on them if I have to :p
  12. fenderx55


    Jan 15, 2005
    Well, I just graduated, where people were hiring for my position like whoa 6 months ago, I'm technically a "professional musician" at this point since i'm doing an unpaid internship for "experience" and my "portfolio." Then again, this is all mostly just because magazine publishing is adjusting to a mostly online marketing deal and I have 0 in my online portfolio.

    Def. not going to the bar as much, sold some pedals, thankfully my parents took me in when I graduated and I don't have much by way of bills. Bumming way more rides (no car, don't wanna pay for 93octane in my parents').

    Yeyyy Bachelor degree!
  13. peterbright


    Jan 23, 2007
    On The Bayou
    Getting some great deals on gear
  14. just offered me a beer

    oh wait, hitting me, not hitting on me...

    well, im pretty good at dodgin...
    im sorry, couldnt resist:atoz:
  15. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    I have to say we haven't changed a thing. I guess we have enough income that gas prices are not an issue at this point. I ride my bike to campus a few times a week (but it's summer - no way I'll be doing that when the weather turns bad, and it's about 25 minutes each way) and we probably drive a little less, but that's mostly because my wife and I feel we should be doing so. There's no reason to spend money on gas that we don't need to.
  16. The economy is treating me about the same as it did this time last year. I adjusted a few frivolous spending habits but they were not necessary.
  17. b_carville


    Jun 26, 2008
    I'm getting hit hard .

    My main band's business is down about 55%.We play corporate events/private parties/weddings,etc.Those gigs have gone down.We used to play for a lot of accounting/mortgage & brokerge firms especially at Christmas.Needless to say that work is way down.

    Festival work is down as well.A lot of small towns/cities/municipalities don't have the funds to run all ,if any,of their summer programs.

    We used to play alot at the New Jersey ,Delaware & Maryland shore beach bars.The bar owners want to lower fees or use cheaper(or younger!) bands.With the gas prices being what they are it's now about $50-60 in fuel &$10 in tolls round trip.Maybe more for Maryland.A lot of those places aren't running live music 6 or 7 days a week now it's usually down to 3 or maybe 4 nights.A lot of places stopped having any music It seems most of the shore wants to get away from the rock bar scene & become more of a family resort.There is even talk of making more towns/counties "dry"in New Jersey.The drunk driving & liability laws have had an impact too.We still get the yacht/country club work but it;s a different scene now.

    Don't get me wrong we still get really nice work but many of our old clients are either defunct/bankrupt or seriously cutting back.

    I have a fun partime job in a used musical instrument/CD/vinyl record store.I've been able to get more hours there.The owner's a musician as well.I can make my own schedule if something comes up .I'm the only employee. It doesn't pay great(it's a small operation) but the owner does the best he can.If it wasn't for E-Bay we wouldn't be surviving.The retail store doesn't do great.Most of the people who come in want to sell us something.More folks are selling us great guitars & basses that we would not have seen as little as 2 years ago. Anything really good gets bought by europeans.I usually pull about 35 hours a week at the shop.

    I also sell & deal in rare records of all kinds .Been doing that for years.Collectable's are off a bit now though.

    I do a lot of local freelance bar gigs. I'm in a house band that plays every sunday night. It's a lot of $100 to $80 per man gigs with great,good,mediocre & lame musicians.It fills in the blanks.Small bars that people can walk to seem to be doing ok.Most of these gigs are not more than 15 miles round trip'

    I work everyday. It's not "tote that barge,lift that bale"work & I enjoy 90% of it & I'm not busting my ass 12 hours a day.I have decent health insurance(although a medical problem last month set me back).I've got some cash rolling in every day.
    I use public transpor tation to get around a lot.

    But I worry a bit.I'm 55years old now. I'm basically covering my rent ,car& health insurance,phone,taxes& very little else.I've had to put off dental work,car repairs,etc.Come December my health care will go up another 40%. My future is uncertain. I am glad that I'm only responsable for myself thank God! I don't know how families are coping.
    I'm working more now & making less.I'm not doing any better than I did 10 years ago & every thing gets more expensive.
  18. Sorry to hear that. Are you currently looking for something else, musically or out of industry, or do you feel as though it'll pick back up?
  19. I thought that the US economy was doing fine now that you have David Beckham over there or are his well deserved (cough) wages sapping the country of cash. Friends over there told me everyone had a spring in there step since Posh and Becks arrived.
  20. GregC

    GregC Questlove, Black Thought, Hamilton Suspended Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 19, 2007
    Congrats on the scholarships. 32 grand? Ouch indeed, must be Rollins.:D

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