Like beauty, a recession may be in the eye of the beholder.
Since her contract job on Fort Stewart ended, Eunice Rothwell’s job search has stretched a year, but she thinks an individual determines if they are in a recession.
“It all depends, because it affects everybody differently,” Rothwell said. “My lifestyle hasn’t changed...it’s just that I cut back on my spending.”
The single mother of three now accounts for every dollar spent, categorizing expenditures as “needs, wants, desires.”
“At the foremost, I have to make sure all my needs are met...if it’s something I really desire to have, I save for it,” Rothwell said. “It’s not a spur-of-the-moment type of thing anymore.”
With fluctuating gas prices, the Midway resident also plans her trips to Hinesville, but allows visits to the Department of Labor Career Center.
She has concluded out-of-town employment is her only option, admitting there are local jobs, just not at the pay she needs.
“If I were some kid out of high school, it’d be really great. But for me, being a single parent, that will not do,” Rothwell said.
Even in the stumbling economy, Amy Zimmer will be buying her first home on Monday after relocating from California because of her husband’s military duty station change.
“We’re lucky enough to have the military to help us out with the housing allowance,” she said.
The Army wife said the bank approved more than what she and her husband decided to take on the three-bedroom, two-bath house.
But Zimmer said she has always been money-wise, and knows how to make a dollar stretch, so economic shifts have not forced the couple to find new ways to save.
Still eating out about once a week, she clips coupons and buys in bulk, storing up meat in a large freezer.
“You can still live and cut corners,” Zimmer said.
With his six years of experience, local real estate agent Jimmy Shaken, said people shouldn’t avoid buying a home, paraphrasing a saying from John D. Rockefeller.
“When it’s on sale is when you buy,” Shanken said. “And that’s what’s happening right now. Real estate is on sale.”
The Coldwell Banker, Holtzman Realty agent acknowledged homes not selling as quickly as they used to, but partially because of what locals hear in national news.
“I personally know five folks who are qualified to buy a home and have looked at homes and are just sitting on the fence,” he said.
A 10-day national sale is being planned for Oct. 10-19.
“Hopefully, that would move those buyers off the fence and into the buying,” Brian Maike, local sales manager for Holtzman, said.
As a National Association of Realtors member, Shaken speculates the nation’s housing crisis is nearing an end.
“There’s no real major banks to go bust anymore,” he said. “By the end of the fourth quarter or beginning the first quarter, it’ll be OK.”
Local business owners are also hoping for the future.
Willie Price opened a local barbershop 20 months ago and though he has some slow days, he also thinks his business still has a future.
He is currently trying to attract more business with $7 haircuts opposed the original $9.
Price doesn’t even believe in the concept of recession, but the “really trying times,” have him keeping a bicycle in his shop, “as a back up, just in case I run out of gas.”
“If push comes to shove, I’m a fisherman,” he said. “I’m going to survive.”
With Congress haggling the President’s proposed $700 billion rescue plan this weekend, Price believes the fall of giant financial institutions was bound to happen since some of the business leaders were motivated by greed.
“I don’t think the government should bail out Wall Street,” he said. “Because they got themselves into that position by using poor judgment and bad business practices.”
“It’s those corrupt people that’s causing all the problems,” he said. “And this is America. We’re better than that.”