My friend was telling me about a friend who was “only” going to spend $500 on each of her (grown, non-board paying, college graduates still living in her house) children for Christmas — because times were hard.
Which kind of shocked me, because I don’t think I’ve ever spent $500 in total on Christmas presents, including all my relatives. I don’t think you have to buy everything a kid wants, especially when you can’t afford it.
But then, I have a different gifting philosophy. If I don’t see something I think that person would really, really like, I just give them something generic – like a box of good candy. If I do see something they’ll like, I get it. Otherwise, I don’t worry much about it. I’m just not oriented that way. (I’m more likely to stumble across something a few months later and get it for them then.)
How much do normal people spend on Christmas? How does your family unit do it?
So the governments and banks are doing the exact same thing that didn’t work here. Freedom!
(Reuters) – While workers protest against austerity measures on the streets, cash-strapped Europeans are feeling the pain at home, struggling to pay for heating as winter approaches, reviving soup kitchens for the poorest and getting rid of costly pets.
The debt crisis now ravaging the euro zone has seen governments cut spending, including to welfare programs, and raise taxes. Unemployment is rising and many Europeans are planning for a bleaker future.
Romanian mayor Florin Cazacu staged a six-day hunger strike last week over cuts to heating subsidies which meant his town of Brad could not afford fuel oil and 10,000 of its residents, public institutions and hospital faced a bitter winter.