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New Year, New Hope

New YearsAs the economy worsens (gets worse), many Americans are having to change their spending habits (the way that they spend their money). According to one recent survey, many Americans are making changes in their behavior because of financial difficulties. Here are some things that Americans say they are doing differently now:

  • Cutting (Reducing) Vacation Spending: 59% of those Americans surveyed (asked this question) said they are now spending less on their vacations than they used to.
  • Eating Out (Eating at Restaurants) Less Often: 55% of Americans are now cooking more of their meals at home. Many restaurants are suffering because of this.
  • Changing the Way They Save: About 48% of Americans say they are saving more money now than they used to — saving instead of spending.
  • Delaying (Postponing, Waiting until Later to) Buying a Major Home Appliance: A home appliance is something like a refrigerator, stove, or other large machine that you may use in your house. Major simply means large, expensive, or important. 39% of Americans say that they are delaying buying a major home appliance.
  • Delaying Buying a New Car: 36% of Americans said they are waiting before buying a new car. The US car companies are doing so poorly that they have had to ask the federal government to give them money in order to survive.
  • Adjusting Retirement Plans: 26% of Americans say that they are changing their plans about when they will stop working when they get older. Typically, this means that people who thought they were going to retire are keeping their jobs, especially if their investments for retirement are worth less than they were before this economic recession. Although the United States has a government retirement program (called Social Security), most Americans depend on their own private retirement accounts to pay for their expenses when they are old.

We can only hope that the economy will improve here in the United States, something that may take a long time to happen, however. We all hope this new year really will be happier than the old one.

~Jeff

16 Responses to “New Year, New Hope”

  1. Jose Maria, San Sebastian Says:

    If many Americans are having to change their spending habits Eating Out less, is one very good news to be in good health.
    My home-restaurante, better when we are with our 6 daughters and sons and teir 8 children, ist the best for me. :I eat enough (not too much) and well.
    Me too, I hope the best in the New Year.

  2. Peter Says:

    Another page of our life wore out, and a new shiny leaf cannot wait to start. Again ,we see off the old year with its bitter and sweet memories and embrace warmly the new year with its charade and ambiguity.

    We wish all we know and all we don’t know the strongest luck in their fight for the best possible ideals that never comes around. And, We do exactly the same pattern every single year over and over . The funny thing is we are aware of it, and we parctice it again since we are programed to be the creature of hope.
    So, we carry all the bitter memories of the past ,not the sweet ones, to inspire us for a new move towards an impossible.

    Let us be,but this time my friends let ‘s carry all the sweat memories for a change to see where they take us ,to Utopia perhaps.

    Happy new year to Jeff and luci and God bless them for directing us to Utopia

  3. elcomandant Says:

    I know here in my city, in Spain, a person who isn’t afected by the crisis. He can’t do anything to change his spending habits. Not even has been asked to this survey. His name is “Navarro”, but everyone calls him “Tequila”.

    Tequila is a men who is about sixty years old, slim, middle height, black and curly hair, strong and I would also say he is a handsome man (he has a big eyes with a long eyelashes). He lives in the street, in some place of neighbourhood several months ago, every day he wears the same cloths but it seems that always he is clean.

    Tequila is a good person even when he is drunk. His drunkenness isn’t violent, but amusing. Everybody knows him and says ‘hi’ or ‘good morning’, even some times helps him about food or some money. But it isn’t enough. Everybody can see him searching something to eat in garbage can next to the grocer’s shop.

    Nobody knows who he is, or where he is from, or whether he has family or why he has arrived at this point. However a few of we know that he prefer living this way that living under care of a institution. Tequila doesn’t like the rules.

    I don’t know if Tequila is happy or not, but If not he is, I wish he find the happiness as sooner as better.

    All the best, since today and forever, for everybody who are in the same situation that “Tequila”.

  4. RAUL Says:

    Cutting expenses is the best way to recuperate from this economic problem. This economic crises that is affecting the United States is affecting Mexico as well, but I think that the United States will recover because it is a country that is strong and its people is hardworking.

  5. Marielle Anne Says:

    Happy New Year Jeff and Lucy- Health, Serenity and Love- and thanks a lot for podcasts. It’s great to improve our English and learn differents things. Marielle Anne, Québec city.

  6. Richard Says:

    Hey Dr. Jeff!

    Firstly, happy January 2nd to all of you in ESL. Everybody hopes that this year (2009) would be a better year for them. Sadly, as what you said, it would be quite impossible to happen because of the situation that we’re into now. The information that you put on this site would probably help lots of your supporters. On behalf of them, thank you!

    Here’s what I’ve got from you today:
    Cutting – reducing
    Surveyed – ask a question
    Eating out – eating at restaurants
    Delaying – postponing

  7. Javad Says:

    Hi
    at first i wishes for all a very good year with all things you wants :D
    i think the position that we all in it , is because the wrong decision that the US government and your president have and it’s possibly over when new president respect the all people in around the world (Afghanistan – Iraq – … ) !!!

    peace for ever , thank you again …

  8. Fred Wang Says:

    As the bad economic crisis there,everyone suffers,Not only in United States,eve the opposite part of the Pacific region suffers.China for example.Just hope everything gloomy can get finished gradually.Happy new year! Jeff.I admire your vioce when you speak English…

  9. Julio Says:

    Of course, people for all over the world are going to change their habits of consumption and the way they spend their money. People are currently quite a bit frightened about the future and that’s why expectatives are dark enough to avoid current purchases and furthermore, they get to delay many planned deccions to spend and invest money.
    I hope the lastest measures which have been implemented by practically all Governments will have a good impact on the economy and as a result the calm at least might return to our lives.
    Have a good year for everybody!
    Julio, Spain

  10. emiliano Says:

    More or less some of these habits have been in my life since I got married. Not all, of course, but Cuca got off of working out home and we had to live having three children with only my earns.

    So, no matter to worry about for my part, but I know that just a lot of people should have problems about their works, salaries, mortgages, and so on. That´s the big problem:
    To have work or not to have it?, and here at my country this should be the great matter in future, as we are encreasing not working people stadistics month by month.

    But as you say Jeff we all hope that this new year should be nicer that the old one in many other aspects as: Peace, love, health, friendship…….and better politicians everyhere, persons that know well their political jobs and how to do things much more well than they have done the last we had before.

    One thing I am sure, listening ESL podcast should be as nice and encouraging as it has been last year and the year before the last one.

  11. Sumi Kim Says:

    Every cloud has a silver lining. It is sad to see a lot of people losing their houses and jobs, but I believe this hardship will eventually help Americans learn how to manage their finances more wisely.

  12. Elisângelo/ the brazilian guy Says:

    Well, what can I say about that?

    There is one popular phrase that I would like to change a little bit….” What goes around , comes around”…. So, what you’ve built in the past, is going to be what you get now….

    So, I really hope that in the Obama’s administration, everything goes around pretty well…cause I don’t wanna see so bad thing coming around like now…….

    ESL Team….. I admire all of you!!!!

    see ya…

  13. Hamude Says:

    hi there,

    i hope tat this year would be better than the last… but since 4 days till now when i watch the cnn and the other news channels and i show how the childern, innocent and civil people are killed in Gaza with cold blood and the whole world watch it without doing anything -like me too- so i think i have lost any hope to getting better time in this new year .

    i hope that the time will come in which the justic for poor people too.

    peace for ever, Germany

  14. Bakhtyar Says:

    I hope new year brings prosperity and sharp decrease of Global financial crisis,what we concern in Kurdistan of Iraq is the political process goes better, and our politicians become alot more transperent and stick to constitution rather than political debates, with regard to international political economy it has close with international and national arena,

  15. Fred Wang Says:

    Still here is some words from Fred in China,
    I just wonder if anyone can help to come out with your appreciated suggestion about how to develop a sense of English,I mean the ability to think and mediate in English,since I feel that could be the best way for all of us whom to learn English well.Any good recommendation?

  16. Marina Says:

    After some home-vacation, I’ve come back with my English studies. Well, I’ve found very interesting this little article because it is real. In my own case, I have to take care of the money that I spend. However, I’ve found a positive point of this crisis. I have known my own village, instead to discover a new one how I used to do on my vacations. I am learning how to cook some delicious dishes instead to taste a new one at the restaurant. I am learning how to fix things at home instead to call a handyman.
    I am doing things that I thought I couldn’t do by myself and I am really proud of me.
    I’ve already learnt my lesson, hope Obama could fix this situation.
    Happy new year !!!
    Marina