I am far from what I would consider a financial guru.

Sure, I took a few economics courses in college. And yeah, I skimmed that one pop-culture econ book a few years back.

But my budget page is currently a dicey Excel spreadsheet (though soon to change--thanks, b-f-f!). And as a certain person has discovered, I may get the bills paid on time, but I'm not exactly fiscally informed per se.

And so, while I am quite aware that there has been a global economic crisis as of late--and that as a result, the word financial immediately conjures up grim, dismal, worry, and zero--I would be the last to know how the Dow looks today or the latest bailout proposal in Congress.


I just watched a refreshing TED talk that responds this crisis in a whole new way and asserts that maybe such doom and gloom is not the end of the story.

According to the speaker, post-crisis consumerism has been full of exciting and positive trends that can offer us hope in this time of great anxiety.

What on earth can be good about anything financial today? Take a look at his four basic observations regarding post-crisis consumerism:

He explains these rules in-depth but a few nuggets I found particularly inspiring:
  • 68% of Americans now have a library card
  • People now pay with debit (money you have) more than credit (money you don't have)=living within their means
  • Conservative personal spending is considered trendy; luxurious spending, distasteful
  • DIY projects and products are both on the rise as well as the reuse of existing resources
  • People are now concerned with sustainable living
  • The rise in expectation for fiscal transparency and corporate ethics and accountability
  • Cooperative consumerism abounds i.e. finding ways to connect one's pocketbook to one's community (he cites examples of communities publicly publishing each person's use of energy and how the use has now dropped dramatically)
  • The rise in support for local products and services
Sure, times are hard and undoubtedly people have been faced with really difficult circumstances as of late that cannot be ignored.

But if it has led us to embrace such spending philosophies, well, then I guess there is some silver lining, after all.

Learn more by watching the talk in its entirety here.


lauren said...

That's so interesting...I like his take on things.
"By restricting their demand, consumers can actually align their values with their spending and drive capitalism and business to not just be about more, but be about better." I still wish we could find our ability to discriminate without needing to have our own butts on the line to do it, but the values shift and new tendency to act is good. Maybe this is a time when we'll transform from being just "consumers" to creators and collaborators. With things like Etsy, rideshare, etc, it seems like we're getting there. (But then it comes down to how you can monetize! arr...) Anyway, I like your post and your points!

Sara said...

Lauren, thanks for your response! I didn't even know about rideshare...that's cool. I like the idea of consumers---> creators/collaborators shift.

...I also like you. Let's hang out. :)

nettierox said...

OKAY--in my defense--do you see how upset you got about roy? no he definitely wasn't the greatest guy ever--AND NO he didn't support the art thing--but there are things that i like to do and you would think that i was forcing tony to eat dog poop to make him do these things--some guys--are just that way--BUT SEE HOW UPSET YOU ARE WITH ROY? OF COURSE we like jim and pam together. that is definitely not what i'm saying--i like them too!! LOVE them together. best couple in television history!

i'm just saying--as a girl that has a fiance--that if another girl was carrying on a "friendship" with tony like the friendship pam and jim had at first--i'd be upset. it started out inappropriately. and with roy telling jim "i'm glad she can talk to you" maybe JUST maybe he was trying to justify the relationship in his head. LOVE JIM AND PAM--glad they're together..but when i watch those old shows now as a fiance--it makes me cringe and wonder if my "jim" (tony) would ever find a "pam" (hateful other woman that i would kill if he ever found her).....

PS i really did enjoy this post. AND--like i said...don't kill the messenger--jim and pam are amazing now--and honestly they were amazing then...no one blames Pam for dumping Roy--he wasn't for her--BUT a slightly shady relationship--thats all i'm saying. THATS IT. :) love you love your show!

nettierox said...

i totally condone hating karen. i hated her too. i still do. i don't care that a) she's on a completely different sitcom now--she will always be known as karen to me b) she got married to some hot dog or ketchup or whatever and was having his baby. she was awful.