0

Anticipating a long-awaited economic rebound - Valerie Baldowski

I, for one, will be glad when the economy begins to recover.

I say that on a personal level, because I have put some parts of my life on hold until the economic rebound lets my wallet and checking account know it's OK to breathe easily again.

Some people are "livin' large." Forget the super-sized motto, I just want to live medium again.

I honestly thought we would be able to move out of our home by last year, or the year before. The economic downturn forced us to postpone our plans.

Our house lost value, and when home sales plummeted, we became stuck in our own home for a while. If we had posted a "for sale" sign in the yard, it would have sat there indefinitely.

We have friends who have been trying to sell their house for several years. I think they gave up for a while. With them being in Jonesboro, and us being in Morrow, we are well aware that, at least for now, this area is not a place to which many people are likely to move.

We also have a home equity line of credit that we shake hands with every month. Selling the house and settling accounts with that remaining balance would help us start over with a clean slate.

Everyone is feeling the pinch. Charitable donations are down, and everyone is carefully watching their wallets and bank accounts. The other evening, I got a call, out of the blue, from an old high school classmate, who was doing some fund-raising for the school. She called to gather information from me, an alumnus, for the school newsletter, but also to ask for a donation.

I said yes, but knew full well it'll be a while before I can scrape together some extra cash. I mean well, but paying the bills, the mortgage, school tuition, buying groceries, putting gas in the car, etc., take precedence when prioritizing where the money will go.

I've been wanting to write a check to my college Alumni Association for the longest, but have not yet.

I admire the individuals who bravely take on the task of fund-raising, because, right now, there's not many funds to raise, when it comes to the average working person. I also admire those who are in sales as their chosen profession, as, right now, it's awfully tough to make the sales quota, and make a decent living.

Jobs that require one to try to get people to part with their money take a delicate touch, to find just the right balance. A late friend of ours, who was in real estate, told us last year he was having a heck of a time just keeping his head above water.

Depending on who's doing the talking, economic gurus predict the turnaround will take until late this year, or sometime next year, before it can be felt. So, looking on the bright side, I say that means we've hit rock bottom and we're on the way up.

So, as long as we're on the rise, I'll focus on preparing for a more comfortable lifestyle which will emerge on the horizon.

The proverbial pendulum has swung as far as it can one way, and now, as it comes back, I'll count the days until we can resume some semblance of normalcy.

Valerie Baldowski covers government and politics for the Henry Daily Herald. She can be reached via e-mail at vbaldowski@henryherald.com.