Over the past few days, I have heard from more than one person that the economy has them so stressed that they’re doing everything they can to avoid thinking about it. Which means that they’re not checking their investment account balances, they’re not reading the business section of the news, and they’re not reading personal finance blogs.
I understand the feeling. I look at my investments once a month to update my net worth (I figure I’ll be glad I did it later, when I can see just how much things have bounced back) and there are days when I just turn off the news in the evening because I don’t want to hear about the stock market. And I admit, there are days when I open my blog and I just don’t know what to write about. Everything is such doom and gloom and I know you don’t want to read it and I certainly don’t want to write it.
I don’t know if avoidance is the best solution, to be honest. On one hand, I’ve decided to not change my retirement contributions, so looking at the numbers won’t make any difference except to cause a bit of anguish. So avoidance is good there. On the other hand, it’s good to realize what’s going on because it makes me remember just how great my life really is. Yes, times are tough. But I have enough to eat and I could afford to buy gifts for my family for Christmas (though I didn’t spend much), and I will get to spend the holidays with friends and family, and my job is safe for the most part. Really, I don’t know that I have all that much to complain about.
So maybe thinking about the economy is a good thing because it reminds us that even though times are bad, we’re lucky. And maybe it inspires us to help those who aren’t quite as lucky. Of course, I understand if you choose to not read the news and start skimming personal finance blogs like this one. I’m not offended, and hope that you come back when you’re ready to dive back in.