I know what you’re thinking, “she’s fallen off the wagon”. Not true my friends.
October 24th, 1929 was a Thursday. Eighty-three years ago the markets came tumbling down. It was the first day of a Stock Market Crash that would begin The Great Depression. The following Tuesday, would be forever more known as Black Tuesday, the most catastrophic day in market history. Lasting for over 10 years. It only really ended as the world went to war in 1941.
Some of us had parents who grew up during The Depression. I remember Dad, who never complained about anything, talking about how times were pretty hard. Most everything was a luxury, including nice school clothes. My Dad, with his brothers John and Metro, is the second from the left in this school picture from the late 30’s.
After the economic mess hit the fan in 2008, I wondered if people have the backbone to make the kind of sacrifices our parents endured during the biggest economic collapse in American history. I know people who can’t even live a single day without their iPhones. It’s terrible how thousand of people have lost their homes or jobs, or worse case scenario, both. What if? What would I be willing to live without?
What I don’t quite understand, is how some people continue to spend like drunken sailors. A news report last week talked about how the average household in Canada is 163 % in debt. That is to say, for every $1.00 they earn, they spend $1.63. I don’t believe it’s entirely because of the cost of living.
What I do believe is, we’ve not learned from the past. We’re not good at denying ourselves much of anything, even if it means going in debt. We’ve made living beyond our means a habit.
I’m going to use this dark anniversary to think about how I can spend money more wisely and live like I’m more thankful for the sacrifices daddy made along the way.
All photos: Wikimedia Commons (Except Dad)
“I would get these newspapers from 1929. I couldn’t get enough of it. I read everything – not just the business and stock-market stories. History is interesting, and there is something about history in a newspaper, just seeing a place, the stories, even the ads, everything. It takes you into a different world, told by someone who was an eyewitness, and you are really living in that time.”- Warren Buffett