Ask the Readers: Are You Optimistic About 2011?

By Will Chen on 3 January 2011 (Updated 11 January 2011) 50 comments

Editor's note: Congrats to @KeriRitenour, Roechell, and Susie for winning this week's contest!

According to a recent CNN article, a growing number of economists think 2011 will finally bring what we've been hoping for: More jobs and a self-sustaining recovery. But on the other hand, we all know friends and family members who are still struggling in this economy.

Are you optimistic about 2011? Do you feel we're on our way to an economic recovery or do you see another tough economic year ahead?

Share your thoughts with us and we'll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

Win 1 of 3 $20 Amazon Gift Cards

We're doing three giveaways — one for random comments, one for random Facebook "Likes", and another one for random tweets.

Enter 1 of 3 Ways:

  • Post your answer in the comments below, or
  • Go to our Facebook page, "Like" us, then "Like" the update mentioning this giveaway (you can comment, as well — but you don't have to for entry), or
  • Tweet your answer. You have to be a follower of our @wisebread account. Include both "@wisebread" and "#WBAsk" in your tweet so we'll see it and count it.

If you're inspired to write a whole blog post OR you have a photo on flickr to share, please link to it in the comments or tweet it.

Giveaway Rules:

  • Contest ends Monday, January 10th at 11:59 pm CST. Winners will be announced after January 10th on the original post and via Twitter. Winners will also be contacted via email, Facebook, and Twitter Direct Message.
  • You can enter all three drawings — once by leaving a comment, once by liking our Facebook update, and once by tweeting.
  • You must be 18 and US resident to enter. Void where prohibited.

Good Luck!

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Guest's picture
Tara

YES! I will start the year traveling so I'm psyched!

Guest's picture
DownloadAddict

Yes, of course! 2011 will be an optimistic year. I am excited to start a new job! :D

Guest's picture
rmeeder

I am hoping for a better economy! Can't lose hope! Not in this day and age!

Guest's picture

I am extremely optimistic about 2011! My wife and I have set up an aggressive plan to become debt free by March, and I think we can do it! Once we do that, it's on to buying a house of our very own!

In order to become even more prosperous, I have started a personal finance website of my own that's taking off! We often have Gift Card Giveaways and it's attracted many readers. Click my name if you want to check it out!

Guest's picture
Mickeyg

I'm very optimistic. of course I'm also panicked as we are expecting our first child in 2011, so just when I think I've got it all figured out, life will be on a rollercoaster again! But a good one.

Guest's picture

I'm hopeful for the new year. Why not? It's a drag every day being pessimistic about the future.

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kristina wittchen

I'm optimistic about 2011. I think the economy is going to slowly turn around for the better.

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Sarah

I'm feeling a bit more optimistic about 2011. I don't think it'll be spectacularly better, but there are little things -- new businesses opening up where I live, the company I work at having better revenue recently compared with a year before that, etc -- that make me think things are getting better.

Guest's picture
Sue

I am. I will lose my job later this month, due to cutbacks in federal grants. I will find a job. I have to keep on believing!

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Therese

I have optimistic plans for this year, so yes, I am optimistic :)

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Becs

I've had a pretty rough go of it job-wise, but I've finally found something steady and enjoyable, so yeah, I'm feeling pretty positive about 2011 :)

Guest's picture
Guest

I'm optimistic about 2011, the economy may not recover, but I definitely have a lot to look forward to, especially after a wonderful 2010/

Guest's picture
Carrie B.

I'm feeling positive about 2011 but not because I have faith in the recovery of the economy. 2010 taught some tough lessons about frugality and saving money that I will be applying to my everyday life. The economy still seems to be moving as slow as molasses and I don't believe that will change for a few years. The peace of mind I have is from the small savings account I've accumulated for the first time ever. My mountain of dept from a student loan, a car loan, and credit cards has shrunk drastically over the last year. An end to my indentured servitude to the financial institutions is in my sights.

In addition I've learned that making myself indispensible at work is the key to feeling secure in my job. I've worked really hard this year to stand out and apply creative solutions and it's done wonders for my well-being. But I'm not putting all my eggs in one basket. I'm working on a new website that could put a few extra dollars in my wallet. All the hard work last year is what has me feeling positive about this year.

Guest's picture
Eric

I try to stay optimistic in general! But yes, I feel like things are turning around. It's a slow process, but I think we're due for more economic recovery in 2011.

Guest's picture
Nancy B from Many LA

Not optimistic. How can you get out of debt by borrowing
more money? Our government thinks it can. It's built on a
house of cards, and that ALWAYS collapses.

Guest's picture
Marisa

It can't get any worse, right? :)

Guest's picture
Keri

Yes, I am optimistic that things are going to turn around. It's a New Year and the job market is tougher than it ever was, but the seekers are going to have to learn how to adapt to the new job search techniques. Additionally, the majority of jobs are not posted and you must proactively search and network your way to a job. No more filling out an application, get an interview and your in. Also, the number of small businesses is growing and this will increase the job market.

Guest's picture
Dan

I see a tough year relative to say the late 90's, but a better year than 2010. I'm going out on a limb testing the job market and hoping it enables me to make enough to be a single income family. Hoping for the best, but not expecting it.

Guest's picture
KelR1

I think the economy may still be a little rough, but I am optimistic about 2011. If you don't have hope, what do you have?! I plan on doing my best to turn around my own personal financial situation, and I think this year will be a very good one!

Guest's picture
Shimona

Yes, very optimistic, I have been waiting on a green card for 13 years and I just got it a month or so ago. I'm excited to start living life on my terms and making decisions based on my goals and hopes rather than immigration reasons. I know this doesn't have much to do with the economy, but I woke up Jan 1st and told my BF how optimistic I felt about this year, so I was inspired to comment on this post when I saw it today.

Guest's picture
Nicholas

I am optimistic about the overall 2011 year but not so much for my work. Since I work for a local county government we have been on a buying (upgraded equipment to do our jobs better), hiring, and promotion freeze for a few years now to help put off layoffs and furloughs. I don't think we will see anything good for a few years here but I do have high hopes for this year for the economy as a whole.

I started the year off right with a purchase of a new car. I already contributed to the recovery of our economy.

Guest's picture
gina

I am optimistic about 2011--I don't think it will be as tough as the last couple of years!

Guest's picture
cynthia rafler

No I am not optimistic about 2011. At the end of the month my husband will be terminated from his insurance agent job for not making the quarterly quota in policy sales. Over the holidays he took a seasonal job as a baker, to try to help pay some of our mounting bills, but they have to lay him off on Jan 10th due to lack of work. We are on the verge of eviction from our rented home.
I am trying to train myself to be a realistic optimist, that this is the bottom and after these crushing blows there is nothing to do but move forward from there.
I also remind myself there are many people who are having the same difficulties and or are worse off than we are.
I also remind myself that there are many people who care out there that will try to give people a helping hand up when they can.
I am also grateful for websites like this who teach us to be frugal with what means we do have.
Someday we will all look back and say we survived the great-recession of 2011.
“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty” – Winston Churchill

Guest's picture
Lynda

i don't think the economy in 2011 will pick up much, but i am optimistic for my own financial goals! will save enough for wedding AND go traveling!

Guest's picture
gt0163c

I've had some personal struggles of late and I'm optimistic that those will get better in 2011

Guest's picture
Jeanine

I see an upswing, everybody has been down for a while with bad news. I think alot of people really tightened belts after years of free spending and now have downsized but lessons learned. You don't need alot of junk to make you happy. Invest in people. :)

Guest's picture
john

I think "recovery" in the way most people think of it is impossible. This is the new normal.

Guest's picture
Susie

I think this year will continue to be tough, but I'm optimistic about my *own* goals and plans.

Guest's picture

I think so. It looks like there will be more hiring but I don't think we're creating enough new jobs. I'm excited for people who are creating their own jobs...2010 was a great year for entrepreneurs and I think 2011 will be another benchmark.

Guest's picture
susan

definitely optimistic...waste of energy to be any other way.

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gerryp84

I had a ton of ongoing back problems. Had surgery to fix it on the 23rd of December and am doing great so far. I am looking forward to a much better and healthier new year!

Guest's picture
Bev

I'm optimistic. 2011 is bound to be better than the last few years.

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Alicia C.

I am not optomistic about 2011. The last decade has taught me to just go with the flow. I have no expectations (good or bad) for this year. It keeps me from the let-down when things go wrong and, when things are good, I'm pleasantly surprised!

Guest's picture
clayton quamme

It will be a great year! I plan to make the most of each moment.

Guest's picture
ruth

with the number of people out of work, the mortgages in foreclosure and the rising cost of health insurance - no - i am not optimistic.

Guest's picture
Guest

I am optimistic because I see a renewed commitment by men and women to improve their habits fiscally. This will be especially important as the federal crisis continues to trickle down to the state governments. This will especially affect our daily lives, but with a new mindset and parameters in place for individuals, it will be manageable. Not necessarily EASY, but worth it.

Guest's picture

It will be a tough 2011 for job seekers - especially those who lost their jobs for more than a year.

Guest's picture
Lisa

I'm not sure what 2011 will bring but I am definitely working on improvong my education for a better job and tracking expenditures!!

Guest's picture
kathy w

I am really looking forward to this year and I am hoping with all my heart that 2011 is better than ever. I want to the year to better for others also.

Guest's picture
Richard

Well despite my car transmission dying this past week...I am optimistic for a 2011 that will be better than 2010. It seems that unemployment is really bottoming out and people are becoming more willing to spend, travel, etc.

Guest's picture
Liz

I am optimistic that it will at least be better than 2009 and 2010 were!

Guest's picture
Roechelle

I am very optimistic about 2011, 10 days in and i'm still feeling the positivity and "To Do" energy running through

Guest's picture
Roechelle

Liked on facebook

Guest's picture
Roechelle

tweeted
http://twitter.com/#!/HugATreeWithMe/status/24559272813658112

Guest's picture

For myself I know 2011 will be a better year. It has already started off on a good note and I have been presented with some excellent opportunities.

As for the economy, I am not sure. I am in Australia and we weren't as badly affected as the USA and many here think we will suffer this year.

Either way, I know my family and I will be fine.

Guest's picture
Betty

I am very optimistic for 2011! I'm a believer in "you make your own bed." I stay positive, work hard, and leave room for fun.

Donna Freedman's picture

I am optimistic because my word of the year is "permission." I am giving myself permission to go for new things rather than sit and hope that new things come and find me. I am also giving myself permission to stop being afraid.

Guest's picture
Angela

I'm incredibly optimistic about 2011, in part because we're fortunate and have stable incomes but more because my husband and I have done a lot of clarifying priorities in the last two years. We've paid down more than half of our debt, finally established emergency savings and are hopeful we'll have a down payment for our first home by this summer. We've learned a lot about the power of setting and working towards goals.

Guest's picture

If you look at many indicators, as I do, there's little reason to be optimistic for the investing and saving public. Lie a chart of the dead cat bounce from the early thirties over top of a NYSE chart from say 2007 to present day and they pretty much run perfectly in line with each other.

The imbalances of the day are monstrous. Did you know that many for-profit colleges are actually enrolling homeless people in order to get government subsidies? Regional, mini currencies are springing up around America because people are losing faith in the dollar. State governments are basically stealing the life insurance policies from their employees, through tricky legal jargon. Fema Camps are being built all over the place and Americans are being subjected to checkpoints - nazi-style and not just in airports. "Do you have your papers?"

Americans need to wake up on mass and take control of what’s happening with their federal government and monetary system, because the decisions that are being made at the top are set to dramatically reduce the quality of life in America.

Do you know how the government calculates the unemployment rate? If your benefits run out, they simply take you off the list of unemployed; this statistical trick duped the people into believing, "The situation isn’t that bad," while many prominent, real world, private sector economists are calculating the unemployment rate to be over 20%. Forty million Americans receive food stamps. Walmart's CEO says that Walmart sees their highest sales volume for the month (every month) at around 12:05 a.m. on the first of every month - the minute the digital food stamps get put into recipients’ accounts. These welfare recipients mill about the store, "shopping" and waiting for the clock to strike 12, because they have no money! They're there buying food and other staples like formula and diapers.

It' like Rome in its later stages: “Give them Bread and Circuses.” As long as Americans have T.V. and food stamps, maybe they won't take to the streets like in Egypt. The thing is, there are so many angry people in the nation right now. I like what Gerald Celente of the Trends Institute says; "People lose everything and then they lose it.”

Me, I hold my savings in a variety of foreign banks, 30% in physical precious metals. I have six months worth of living expenses on hand (not in the bank) but in a well-guarded place which only my wife and I and our eldest daughter know of. We are self reliant for food, have a very good source of water and non-electric heat sources like a wood gasification system and solar.

Boiling it down: rural America could thrive. American urban centers could be disasters.

Guest's picture
Toby Ann Reese

No I am not at all optimistic about 2011. It has been another very bad year for me financially, and 2012 is not looking much better. I do have two jobs now so that will help a little, but as a retired person who had to go back into the work force it has been very difficult to keep up the pace of work I am now required to do. I keep telling myself each year things may improve, but for the past 3 years it has only gotten worse. If I can keep my head above water, and not get sick I will survive, barely.