What's the silver lining in this recession? Share your answer to win $10


The drawing is over.  The winners are:

Winner #1 - Commenter #104 Guest, who said:

Time for the important things in life

We just had a baby so the shortage of work feels like a blessing. We may not have money to go out to eat but we have time with our daughter. Waking up in the morning with her without rushing off to work is priceless.

Winner #2 - Tweet #10 by @frugalfinesser, who said:

People are increasingly focusing less on material objects and more on what really matters like family, friends and community.

Congratulations to the winners!

Responses from Twitter

  1. doctor_s: @wisebread at least we r buying investment products at cheaper prices every 2 weeks when my retirement account purchases shares?? maaaybe?
  2. The_Weakonomist: @wisebread personal savings rate nearing 5% for the first time since 1995.
  3. brokeinthecity: @wisebread I guess being able to take a break. I was pretty lucky to save a bundle of cash in a short amount of time before it crashed.
  4. katemtsui: @wisebread Silver lining to the recession is that thrift and discount shopping is en vogue.
  5. ncheapskate: @wisebread The silver lining to the recession is that I was able to refinance my house! Saved $200+ a month!
  6. joverto3: @wisebread people form better spending habits bc they don't have as much.
  7. collegemoneygal: @wisebread silver lining of the recession is that people are finally showing financial responsibility and have started to save money.
  8. creditgoddess: @wisebread Spotlight has been put on predatory credit lending, which is spurring govt to actually do something about it.
  9. savingforhome: @wisebread Silver lining=People are more friendly to people commuting by bike. I used to get honked at...now people smile and let me go :)
  10. frugalfinesser: @wisebread People are increasingly focusing less on material objects and more on what really matters like family, friends and community.
  11. Mmmeg: @wisebread The silver lining to the recession is that people are wasting less energy & less stuff is ending up in landfills.
  12. Laffertron: @wisebread People have a new appreciation of what they really value. You only know what is really valuable when you lose the stuff that isnt
  13. jjlonsdale: @wisebread I'm finally learning how to cook at home, and to my great astonishment and delight I'm actually enjoying it!
  14. k3ri: @wisebread Airline tickets are discounted. Mothers Day gift: her other son and his new wife that she hasn't seen for a few years!
  15. AmyKlingensmith: @wisebread spending more time with family while finding cool free stuff to do around town
  16. justanna: @wisebread - bad housing market meant husband and I could purchase our first home at a great interest rate, and still continue saving!
  17. DerekDuff: @wisebread Since I am young & have limited investments, any money I put in now will grow in my 401k or individual investments.
  18. whatevrittakes: @wisebread The silver lining is more folks are becoming aware of there debt problem and working toward debt free living. Saving more.
  19. dualicious: @wisebread people are learning financial responsibility thank to the recession! finally!
  20. chrisric2: @wisebread the silver lining to the recession is that after being laid off from a career that I love, I get to spend all my time w/ my kids.
  21. PenelopePince@wisebread What's the silver lining in this recession?http://bit.ly/tfx9r
  22. MyLifeROI: @wisebread Responsible people are finding a lot of great deals on houses and cars.

Don't forget to follow @wisebread!


All we hear these days are doom and gloom news about layoffs, bankruptcies and stock market dips.  But it can't be all bad out there.  So we're asking you:

Where's the silver lining of this recession?

There's no right or wrong answer.

It can be a tangible benefit ("I got a stimulus check to buy a TV") or an intangible one ("I've gotten to spend more time with family").  What aspect of your life is better because of the recession? Maybe this economic climate forced you to make a change that turned out to be a blessing in disguise.   The silver lining of this recession could apply to you personally ("Forced to look at my budget, I'm now saving over $500 a month") or it could apply to everyone ("The stock market is full of bargains now!").

Share your silver linings, and be entered to win one of two $10 Amazon gift certificates.

Win a $10 Amazon Gift Certificate

We're doing two giveaways -- one $10 Amazon gift certificate for a random comment, and another one for a random tweet.

How to Enter:

  1. Post your answer in the comments below, or
  2. Tweet your answer.  Include "@wisebread" in your tweet so we'll see it and count it.

If you're inspired to write a whole blog post, please link to it in the comments or tweet it.

At the end of the drawing, we'll update this post to include (and link to) all of your helpful responses.

Giveaway Rules:

  • Contest ends next Wednesday, May 20 at 11:59pm PDT. Winners announced May 21.
  • You can enter both drawings -- once by leaving a comment and once by tweeting.
  • Only tweets with "@wisebread" will be entered. (Otherwise, we won't see it.)



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Guest's picture

I guess for me the silver lining is that Americans got snapped out of their ridiculous, debt-ridden reverie. I don't know that it will last. I'm actually pretty sure it won't. But if even a small percent of Americans learn something about frugality/living within their means, that's something.

I know it's awful to be suffering when you've been responsible. But I do think America had an Icarus complex. We flew too close to the sun, despite the obvious perils, and now we're coming crashing down. I hope our landing will softer than our mythological counterpart's. But it was a realization that needed to come.

We've all been living more and more tenuously since I can recall. Even things like the S&L debacles didn't thoroughly stunt this sense that nothing can go wrong, no matter how thin we stretch ourselves. Unfortunately, it takes something like this to get the whole country to notice.

I don't think this will come close to ridding Americans of their overwhelming sense of entitlement. But it did put a dent in that assumption, at least.

I don't know that we can be a truly great nation again until we realize that there are consequences. For up times, there will, at some point, be a downward spiral to compensate. And that is something we must bear. Today there is still a sense of outrage that we are finally taking our lumps for the decades of drastic growth. It exists in much smaller amounts than it did at the outset of this recession, but it's still virulent. And until we can shake off this belief that we deserve to always make money in stocks, that owning a house is not a right, and that things won't always go our way, we're doomed to a boom and bust cycle that will shake us to the very core.

So, in my eyes, while this recession deals us a bitter medicine, it's a dose we very much need.

Guest's picture

The general economic down turn and the loss of my husbands’ job has actually been good for our family in some ways. In the past, friends marveled at our ability to live on one income of $10 an hour. However, we still bought many things we did not need and were vulnerable to the pull of appearing to be middle class. We spent much less than most but we still were trying to purchase fulfillment. I admired modern design and bought unnecessary things from IKEA. I replaced things that were still perfectly usable for aesthetic reasons. I gave away our mismatched dining chairs for four matching ones of lower quality. I spent more than I was comfortable with to feel like I was fitting in with my middle class peers. Now I am spared from that pretension because we don’t have that extra little bit of cash. The $10 frivolity now might be the $10 we need to pay the electric bill in a couple of months. It really helps to you rid yourself of character flaws when the consequences are so much more dire and clear!

My fulfillment these days comes more from real things such as growing food and finding ways to make do. I focus on the blessings I have such as loved ones, health, basic needs, and even comforts and luxuries such as a car and a computer. When our car recently broke down I spent the time reading and talking to my daughter while my husband walked to the store to buy radiator fluid. If the car dies entirely we will try to repair it ourselves and/or find other ways to get around. There is not much point in freaking out when there is not much you can do about a situation. With less money there is less worry about what to spend that money on. I had the luxury of solving issues with money and goods before. Now I have to rely more on my own resources. I am enjoying the creativity that this requires. Even with the stress and uncertainty of our current situation I feel more alive. I am hopeful that the silver lining of this economic trouble will be others rediscovering that excess goods are an unnecessary drain on your time and energy. Most of us need much less than we have and we are accustomed to having more than the earth can support. I am being forced to reflect on, and adhere to, my values of simplicity and environmental stewardship.I now have more clear opportunity to pass these values on to my daughter.

Guest's picture

I think the silver lining is that it is making people appreciate the simpler things in life such as family and friends. We can get back to playing games, pot luck dinners, reading, things that are pleasant and fun but do not cost much money. Hopefully these things will also help the environment and remind us of what is really important in life-only one life, will soon be past, only what's done for Christ will last.

Guest's picture

We just had a baby so the shortage of work feels like a blessing. We may not have money to go out to eat but we have time with our daughter. Waking up in the morning with her without rushing off to work is priceless.

Guest's picture

If you haven't discovered Aldi grocery stores yet, it's time to do a google search for your area. Aldi has saved me 100's of dollars. One of my favorite purchases...CHIPS. Chips are $1.29 everyday. Their taste compares to and in some cases surpasses the name brand chips that are $3.99/bag. As a mom with 5 kids who brown bags lunches everyday, I will not shop anywhere else! Yeah, for Aldi.

Guest's picture

Our town was supposed to be completely decimated by the loss of a large employer. We lost thousands of jobs and yet people here have hope. Our community members have discovered how resilient they are and everyone is coming together to take care of each other. We are rediscovering what being part of a community is all about!

My brother was one of the thousands that lost a job this month. He had just been blessed with three baby girls in October and this is giving him time to take care of them. He loves being a stay-at-home dad!

My husband lost a job he absolutely hated last year. He was always stressed out and under pressure. He was able to find work and his income was cut in half but so was his stress level. We have had so much fun learning how to cut our costs and save money. We are saving more money now than we ever did when he made more and our family is closer than ever before. I have even created my own blog because we feel positively blessed in every way.

Guest's picture

The silver lining for me is that it's caused us - and most of the folks around us - to really focus on our relationships, to pull tighter and support each other. So life may not be as comfortable, but hey, it's a lot less lonely!


Guest's picture

It's ok to penny pinch. It's ok to hit up the yard sales and the library. It's ok to use coupons. It's ok to buy used rather than new.

It's ok to be frugal.

I spend less time worrying about money and material stuff and now I'm able to really focus on what matters in life as many of the posts have explained extensively.

Guest's picture
Lisa Smith

The house prices in our very nice neighborhood have tanked. This is a good thing because for a long time families have not been able to afford to move into our neighborhood, and now they can. My kids have lost lots of friends that moved from the neighborhood, and now are making new ones. Luckily for us, the prices have not gone below what we paid, yet.

Guest's picture
Jessica W

I was laid off in December and started a home business. I wish I'd done this years ago. I love the time at home with my kids and our whole family is more relaxed.

Also, we've been making huge progress getting out of debt due to more time to spend on "home economics" and lower interest rates.

We just refinanced our 30 year mortgage into a 15 year mortgage--closed today. We think we'll have the house paid off in five years.


Guest's picture
Gary Iverson

Since no one is hiring high school graduates that are going to college in the fall, I made my own opportunity. I've been writing articles for the last few weeks, and its one of the most enlightening experiences I've had so far. I have only made about $6.65, but I feel that I truly earned the money; I poured my heart and soul into those articles, and, looking back, those six measly dollars seem like six-thousand. And that makes me feel good.

Greg Go's picture
Greg Go

Congrats to our drawing winners!

Winner #1 - Commenter #104 Guest, who said:

Time for the important things in life

We just had a baby so the shortage of work feels like a blessing. We may not have money to go out to eat but we have time with our daughter. Waking up in the morning with her without rushing off to work is priceless.

Winner #2 - Twitterer #10 @frugalfinesser, who said:

People are increasingly focusing less on material objects and more on what really matters like family, friends and community.

Guest's picture

Congratulations! I really enjoyed reading all their answers, and I have to agree with some of the winners' answers! For me people are taking this recession as a reality check.