It's wild to think that 80 years ago today the stock market tanked and overall value dropped over 23% in two days. These days it isn't easy to find people who remember that day well, most remember the ripple effect, the years that followed that we now mark as the Great Depression.

I think most of us today are similar in thought when it comes to our own financial struggles, there are a rare few that can remember vividly what set the tone, but many people can be found who have stories of their own ripple effects and their struggle and continued struggle to make ends meet.

It seems, from what I have read, that those who have lived through the Great Depression have one of two attitudes today about what they experienced. They have either continued to live frugally based on the things they learned as a child and young adult or they want to put those years behind them and live well because today is nothing like yesterday. But both groups seem to agree that they don't want to live through those times again.

And today I believe those same attitudes are growing. There are those who have learned to be frugal to get through these lean time and will carry those experiences through the rest of their life and those who are eagerly waiting for life to get back to "normal" so they can put their hardship behind them. Call it frugal fatigue or short attention span, but I think that even though people what to move beyond this required frugality I don't believe that they will so easily forget the ways that they tightened their belt and how it helped them get through.

It seems that time helps us remember when history passes on by us and our memories or those who carry those memories are no longer around to remind us. It is in this "Great" Recession that we will gather together the things we have learned so those who come after will not forget.

Obviously the day to day can be very boring yet it is punctuated by creative ideas to get through to the next pay day and topped off with personal enlightenment that all may be quickly forgotten as it become another act in our day to day living. However, I wanted to bring your attention to some books and blogs that I read that inspire me, jumped start my creativity and let me know I am not alone.

The books that I keep on my shelf for personal reference:
The Tightwad Gazette - The book that took frugality to a mainstream idea. Many were already doing it but now the ideas were gathered together so that they could share with one another what worked and what didn't.
Living More with Less - Understanding that here in America even in our worse condition, we do have some advantages still. It is about appreciating what we have.
The Ultimate Cheapskate's Roadmap to True Riches - A new book that uses one man's personal, lifelong mission to be as cheap as possible and finding value and wealth in what is truly important.
Extraordinary Uses for Ordinary Things - If you want to re-use something but not sure how, this book will have at least a half dozen ideas for you.

When I initially started blogging in late 2004, I was the only frugal blog that was out there (the old blog is not archived, sorry) but in the last 5 years the number of frugal bloggers has exponentially grown that I am amazed and inspired myself. Below are only a few of the many blogs I keep up with who share their own day to day stories.

Blogging Away Debt
Out of Debt Again
Under $1000 Per Month
Wise Bread
Pat Veretto's Frugal Living Blog
Frugal Babe
The Simple Dollar
My Frugal Life by Thriftyfun
Frugality in the Making
Frugal Dad


  1. Anonymous // Friday, October 30, 2009 1:22:00 PM  

    Great article! My parents lived through the depression so they were very, very frugal. I didn't understand, so I spent my youth trying to obtain more and more stuff. I finally get it. I'm living a much better life now, despite the economy.

  2. Lawrence // Saturday, October 31, 2009 2:08:00 PM  

    I believe that stories of the Great Recession will almost certainly even make it into the history books. I'm extremely thankful that my name will not be associated with it.

  3. Ralph // Monday, November 02, 2009 2:26:00 AM  

    I hope history does not forget to highlight the amount of greed that got us here. If we can remember the lenders, CEOs, investment firms, and all others who lied and cheated out of greed, perhaps that lesson will prevent it from happening in the future.

  4. Simple in France // Monday, November 02, 2009 5:51:00 AM  

    I've known people with 'frugal fatigue' as you put it--who grew up very poor and who think that security and happiness are the same as being able to buy what you want when you want. It's funny how the same events can affect us all differently.

  5. Dawn // Monday, November 02, 2009 8:49:00 AM  

    I was the same way, I didn't understand the value of frugality until I was in my own predicament

    Sometimes being remember in history is not a good thing, I can see that.

    True, while there is the personal story of the depression and now the recession, there is definitely a cause for that effect.

    @Simple in France
    Exactly! Some people want to get as far away from the idea of poverty as they can.

  6. Karli // Tuesday, November 03, 2009 3:53:00 PM  

    I now have some perspective of just how bad things were in the great depression. Up until now, I had no idea but could only imagine.