We are in a recession. We are not in a recession. I do not know what we are in but what we all may safely agree on is: prices are up! Our dollars are stretching as much as it can to cover daily expenses such as food, gas, and overall living expenses. The back and forth rhetoric about whether or not we are in a recession forced me to ask myself: Well what is the textbook (remember those?) definition of a recession? According to my good friend Google, a recession is a period of temporary economic decline during which trade and industrial activity are reduced, generally identified by a fall in GDP in two successive quarters. Many economist claim we are not in a recession because the job market is strong (everyone is hiring) and unemployment rates are low (this may not take into account the number of people who are not actively seeking work or not eligible for unemployment benefits). Although many of us have seen a large increase in the cost of every day food items, BEA.GOV argues many Americans have an increase in savings from the time we were in lockdown and not spending as much money as we normally would.
Some American workers have increased their yearly income but argue the additional income is not being saved but rather being used to meet everyday needs due to the rise in costs for housing and food. Those whom are working parents know all to well the hefty cost for early childhood education, before and after school care as well as summer camps and excursions. It has been a relief to the wallets of many Connecticut families that have been able to participate in Connecticut Summer at the Museum. I have had the pleasure of taking advantage of this free program this summer and it felt really good to not have an additional expense with my little one as we explored new things together (honestly the money saved allowed us to enjoy fun treats like ice cream during that hot summer day excursion).
I know some potential homeowners whom are watching interest rates and waiting for it to decrease before continuing on their journey of home ownership. Everyone is literally holding their breath and waiting to see what will happen next. Grocery shoppers take their time walking slowly throughout the aisles, making a point to stick to their list as they find creative ways to make sure all their basic food items are met. It is times like this that I wish I had a large backyard to grow all my fresh produce. How amazing would it be to be able to go outback and pick most of my dinner?! The most I can have in condo style living are herbal plants. However, I will not complain, as I know many families depend on food banks and charities in order to provide their families a well balanced meal.
So whether we are in a recession, tumbling towards a recession or no where near a recession; we are all hyper aware of the current state of our economy. The grocery store, like the toilet, is a great equalizer. No matter your socioeconomic background, gender or race we have all had to find a way to feed ourselves and our families. Many of us have done so with a certain level of creativity we didn’t even know we had.
What are your thoughts dear reader? I’m looking forward to reading your comments! Blessings.