incrediBILL - 8:24 pm on Mar 6, 2012 (gmt 0)
and that the percent of "family income" for housing, food, fuel and other commodity items is greater, we'd realize that we have less "leisure time", the average person is expected to work much longer in their life (or not be able to retire at all)
I quite disagree.
I semi-retired about 10 years ago, wife joined me 5 years ago, but we were busy making money, saving money and investing money instead of trying to compete with others for the nicest homes and cars, good for them, not for me.
For instance, the recent mortgage crisis where people were buying houses they couldn't afford, way out of their budget. Both parents have to work because now they're living beyond their means, house poor and probably car poor in some big fat gas guzzling SUV that costs upwards of $40K, the expensive phones with $100 fees, the big TVs and $100+ cable bills, so on and so forth. Then they don't have money for food and clothing and max out their credit cards and add $300/mo in interest paying for that money they never had in the first place.
People are pursuing junk they really can't afford, don't need and not shopping frugally yet it's all the fault of someone else that they're failing.
If you want to spend all your money on bigger and better cars and houses, knock your socks off.
While some need to look cool in your $100 jeans, I can get 5 pair of Kirkland brand jeans at Costco, or similar at Walmart. Those $50 shirts look nice, the same thing for $15 at Costco looks just as nice, I'll take 3. Walmart will sell clothes under $20 and deliver them to your house for $0.97, which is cheaper than it costs to drive to Walmart!
While others shell out $5 for just a head of lettuce at Whole(PayCheck)Foods, I can get a whole bag of vegetables at the local Chinese Market or from one of the discount grocers like FoodCo for a whole lot less than the crazy upscale stores. Who in their right mind pays for all those fancy tile floors and chandeliers in a grocery store? Not me. I'll shop where they put the food, still in the box with the side cut out, on a metal shelf and the floors are concrete, no tile, and even bag my own food if I'm saving up to 50% on the same exact stuff.
However, I love my electronics and will spend top dollar on computers and big screen TVs. I can afford it since I don't blow it on $100 jeans and $5 lettuce, but I'll also keep them 5+ years and use the heck out of 'em.
FWIW, Sears almost sold me my 50" Plasma TV a few years ago, it was on sale for a great price, until the idiot salesman said the plasma TVs needing to have their gas serviced every 3 years. It was all I could do to not laugh like a hyena in his face and we walked away quickly while loudly snickering as we fled the store. That was the last time I ever went shopping for electronics at Sears.
However, we do have Sears patio furniture and washer & dryer, all good quality, all were a good price, and have held up well for years. Maybe that's Sears problem, they were always a simple store, never too extravagant, never trendy, just a good quality for a good price.
Sears needs to sell JUNK like the other stores that falls apart in a year or two so people will be back to buy more JUNK and then they'll be profitable again!
They can haul that JUNK in their about to be repossessed SUV back to their home that's almost in foreclosure and enjoy ;)