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November 16, 2011


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I guess those items all fall into either "comfort" or "economy" categories - i.e. people are stressed so they buy a pet to remind them of a carefree existence, or they eat a donut because it feels good (for the comfort category) and generic drugs and fast food in the economy category.

Our personal financial situation wasn't affected by the economy and in fact we're in much better financial shape now than before (mainly a product of being young and in a high-growth stage in our careers), and I don't think we've increased spending in any of those areas in the last few years (and certainly not because of the economy). Most of the things on it we don't ever spend a dime on anyway.

My guess if you ask someone who does not have their finances under control that yes they might buy more of these items.

Personally I do not feel I have changed my purchasing habits. Maybe thinking twice but still buying what I need.

but then again I don't buy much of the things listed.

Drugs - We use our HMO's mail order pharmacy and if the drug is off patent they will send a generic make, if not they send a 3mo. supply of any brand name for $25, generic less than $20.

Fast Food - Now and again we go to Taco Bell and bring it home.

Vegetable seeds - I have a large vegetable garden.

The economy has not affected us in any way.

Totally! I can completely understand that people buy more of these things in a bad economy - they're mildly escapist. Halloween costumes let you literally be someone else! Romance novels are a great way to spend your first day of unemployment. Nail polish and chocolate are quick pick-me-ups (for us gals, anyway). Yoga and pets are relaxing, and so is sex, thus condoms. Generic drugs I think are the easiest/most obvious way to cut costs.

Considering that I don't think I've ever seen anyone dress a pet up for Halloween I have a hard time believing that $300M figure. Maybe its just not popular around here. I did find a couple sources that claim 10-15% of people dress up their pets for Halloween.

IS that really common?

I wouldn't mind spending on food, may it be donut, chocolate, or fastfood, even if the economy is bad. Food is a necessity and it is not bad to indulge once in a while.

The $300 million spent on pet Halloween costumes averages to less than $1 per year per American. That's not exactly a lot of money!

I always buy generic drugs when I can, in a good or bad economy. They're cheaper.
My donut, fast food and chocolate buying is neither up nor down. Those are once-in-a-while treats in any economy.

The rest of the stuff on that list I don't buy.

I'd agree that I spend more on nail polish now then I did before the recession, but that's because I used to pay someone to do my nails every week at $30 a pop and now paint them myself. :)

jim --

A lady in our office commented that she has FIVE costumes for her dog!

I do the generics and am addicted to chocolate, but regulate it because of my diabetes.

I also say I am going to buy a lottery ticket whenever the pot gets over 25 million. As a result, I hardly ever know when it gets that high because I'm not watching. I have probably bought 6 this year. I do 2 at a time, one quick pick and one my choice of numbers.

I considered a pet for about 10 seconds. I am a person who finds pets nice - on the other side of the fence.

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