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... to wonder why there is still so much money kicking around?

(39 Posts)
lambshop Wed 08-Jun-11 12:03:03

I work in quite a depressed area (lots of people out of work, very narrow set of jobs available if you don't have a specific skill, like cleaning, care work, shop assistant stuff - perfectly reasonable but 100s of applications for each, according to local papers).

And I try to keep up to date with what's happening in the news a lot, esp now that DH is facing redundancy (private sector - orders down year on year, but business not at risk of closing). Very worrying times, we've tried to cut back on a number of things - managed to slash our food bill by a third compared to last year with batch cooking and meal planning grin

But this morning I was dropping off DH's keys (long story) to his work at 9am, in his work's town centre, and because I've not been there in a few months cos we live a good 20 miles away from it, I was surprised to see the general state of the place, tbh....

AIBU to be shocked to see;

- No downturn in the number of people in cafes / coffee shops (isn't the media always talking about how people have started to cut back on the non essentials, like us?)

- Parking in the town square still as choc a block as ever (paid - run by a private company for the local council i think)

- Buses still empty like when i used to use them for work (not surprising due to our rural area)

- Sooo many people walking down the road with a sandwich and Starbucks in their hand

... on the ground level, is anyone actually seeing a reduction in "non essential" spending in their areas? I did notice one shop has shut down since I was last in DH's work town but it was a party shop (cards and stuff) and entirely unsuited to the area, it opened last year and 10mins away there's a Tesco..

What's it like in your area / your perceptions?

BooBooGlass Wed 08-Jun-11 12:04:53

Lambshop this reads just like fishing for article-fodder. And it's your first post hmm

lambshop Wed 08-Jun-11 12:07:03

I'm a name changer. Not sure how I can prove I'm a regular on here, but I've been here 2 years. Spend most of my time on the relationship forum e.g. helping out on the toxic parents/stately homes threads (survivor of a toxic MIL (now ex fortunately)).

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 08-Jun-11 12:09:00

I think it's all relative. Unemployment is obviously worse in some areas than others. Some people have struggling to meet bills, others are in safe jobs and have had pay-rises. Spending £2 on a coffee or a sandwich might still be an affordable treat but the local sofa store probably isn't shifting so many £3000 leather suites. I tend to focus on what I need to do for my family rather than get too worked up about anyone else's spending behaviour.

Rebecca41 Wed 08-Jun-11 12:10:24

On the rare occasions I go shopping to the big out-of-town place it's always heaving, nowhere to park - so I'm confused too! But maybe people go window-shopping for fun, and are actually spending less money.

fgaaagh Wed 08-Jun-11 12:13:15

I can vouch for lambshop , she's not a reporter. I've just realised who she is - not very imaginative with the name change, L! grin

as you were...

uselesscamhs Wed 08-Jun-11 12:16:04

I was thinking about how my town has changed over the past 4 years

Empty boarded up shops, closing down sales, 75% Off sales, empty shops, less shop assistants, remaining staff bored and under-occupied. Some shops are opening later or closing earlier.

A few public houses have closed, many more are closed at lunchtime and quiet in the evenings. Fewer seem to be serving food and those that still do the meals are more expensive or of poorer quality.

Buildings are looking dirty and shabby as less money is spent on cleaning and refurbishing/decorating. And removing graffitti.

More homeless rough sleepers.

Matekiddleton Wed 08-Jun-11 12:17:06

When I try to cross my busy road it does seem to me that most (not just many) are new mercs. Same for the pub car park. It doesn't bother me but it does seem to be at odds with what I read on here and in the newspapers.

sailorsgal Wed 08-Jun-11 12:17:38

I was just talking to dh about this the other day when we were in London for a few days. Everywhere was heaving and we couldn't stay an extra night in our hotel as it was fully booked. Queues outside restaurants everynight and even though we were eating at general places such as TGIF Fridays, Giraffe etc I was shocked at how much it all costs. We don't eat out much at home but that may be out of lack of choice in our area.

minipie Wed 08-Jun-11 12:18:39

In my area I gather that things still LOOK very busy and "spendy" on the surface, but actually a lot of people are window shopping rather than buying. Retailers are feeling the pinch.

TotemPole Wed 08-Jun-11 12:21:05

Starbucks is always busy.
Tesco's sandwich and alcohol fridges have obviously seen a lot of activity.
Plenty of full cabs, not the abundance of those with lights on that you usually get in a recession.

Callisto Wed 08-Jun-11 12:22:44

I'm in the Cotswolds and house prices haven't fallen here, people still have pots of money, there haven't been significant job losses and tbh, the people I know haven't really been affected at all by the recession. Having said that, retail sales are down this year.

LaurieFairyCake Wed 08-Jun-11 12:23:13

I've just got back from Space nk - the woman in front of me spent £845 on cosmetics/skin care and didn't blink.

St Albans in general was quite busy - white company busy, Carluccios very busy - and it wasn't quite lunchtime

Honeydragon Wed 08-Jun-11 12:26:27

Maybe you are noticing more as you now perceive these things as treats / luxuries yourself? Rather than the normal background.

Buses are expensive, I walk more and go into the nearest town at lot less so they are probably only busy at peak times?

Plus people budget differently.

Tomorrow I shall be going to the wholesaler, I stock up on all cleaning products and dry goods, and toiletries this lasts me about 6 months and I shall probably part with £200.00, giving someone else the impression I'm minted. grin

A friend was over last week and gave me hmm, as Ocado had just pulled away. I have a delivery pass, and spend about £40 a week on fresh food, as the quality means it will go further.

I think I'm frugal, but taken as a brief encounter each scenario makes me look extravagant.

TheCrackFox Wed 08-Jun-11 12:27:10

Well, most people haven't lost their jobs and interest rates are at an historic low so some people have more spare cash than they did 3 yrs ago.

I do know a lot of taxi drivers and they are making less money but not enough of a difference to put them out of work. Similarly restaurants/cafes have had a down turn but it just means they hire less staff.

SamsGoldilocks Wed 08-Jun-11 12:31:13

In times of recession - luxury goods/ companies usually survive as people feel they deserve a treat/splurge once in a while for being good at being frugal

InTheNightKitchen Wed 08-Jun-11 12:31:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

GypsyMoth Wed 08-Jun-11 12:31:35

st albans was v busy few weeks back when i was there too laurie

uselesscamhs Wed 08-Jun-11 12:36:38

It clearly depends where you live. No surprise there.

LaWeasel Wed 08-Jun-11 12:45:17

Depends doesn't it - for eg, you could see a busy cafe and say "ah, people are still spending money!"

Or that could be the one time they have eaten in a cafe all month.
Or it could be business people meeting in a cafe to save on office fees and take advantage of free internet
Or that the very wealthy who come in several times a day are still wealthy and were never going to be affected anyway (no surprises there)
The cafe may be using less staff to cover each shift.
The cafe encourages people to sit at the front of the store first so that they appear busy but upstairs areas are empty.
People are buying a sandwich and a drink as their treat when they go out shopping and not £100+ on clothes.

If you live rurally it is generally cheaper to drive that use public transport so I am not surprised that people choose not to use it and to pay to park in town instead.
Rural buses are not really for commuters they are for the elderly and others who can't drive.

LaWeasel Wed 08-Jun-11 12:46:54

Everyone has really, really nice cars here.

But it is a car place. There are hardly any shops and lots of empty lots. Even wealthy people prioritise I think.

nokissymum Wed 08-Jun-11 12:49:22

Where's the money kicking around ? please tell me I want some grin

hogsback Wed 08-Jun-11 12:52:57

Most industry sectors have not been badly affected by recession and most people still have jobs and have not had paycuts. Especially if you live in London or the SE, you would be hard pushed to notice that a recession even happened.

Funtimewincies Wed 08-Jun-11 12:53:56

a) Bus to and from town (have to buy two singles on my route) complete with buggy = £2.50
b) Parking for 2 hours and much less stress (5 mins from bus station) = £1

No contest grin!

LaWeasel Wed 08-Jun-11 12:56:04

At nearest town you can park for two hours for about £1.80, the bus costs £5.80 per person!!

It's an absolute fucker - because I can't bloody drive! Which reminds me I have to get the stupidly expensive bus in order to get to a post office that can actually sort out my provisional license for me. Grr.

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