Recession 2.0: Readers Report Benefits, Too

Lower gas prices and interest rates counter bad economic news.

By SHARE

More readers respond to the question: How is the financial crisis affecting you?

So far, the recession hasn't hit us too hard or changed our current spending and plans. My husband works in a field that receives more business when employers start reducing their workforces, so he's in a good position financially. I feel more nervous about my industry, but not to the point that I fear for my job daily.

Like most people, we've seen a significant dip in our retirement portfolios, but we have a long time horizon until we retire, so we're not worrying too much about it. In some respects, the recession has improved our budget and outlook.

The drop in interest rates has also reduced our monthly student loan payments, although we've continued to pay at the same level, which means the principal is reducing, too. We live in Los Angeles, so we're seeing a direct savings of at least $20 a month simply from the drop in gas prices. The local housing decline has also brought more homes within our price range, although I am concerned about finding a lender and a good interest rate. I will also soon be in the market for a new car, and auto dealers are offering great deals right now. If those hold out, the recession will be boon to us there, too.

We're probably one of the few families who can say that the recession has been good to them, and so far we're not truly suffering. I hope that will continue to be the case.

  • Jim at Blueprint for Financial Prosperity writes on his blog that he's been cooking more and eating out less.
  • Kevin at No Debt Plan says, "To be honest, we haven't felt it as bad where I live. Yes, there have been layoffs in our community, but my job is going great and my wife is a teacher. The extra income we've been earning (over what we expect each month) goes towards our savings goals."

Send your thoughts either a brief description or an essay of up to 600 words to alphaconsumer@usnews.com . Please include your name and location.