When the housing market was strong, American’s believed in a future full of commitment. Buy one car and keep it for 20 years, save and buy a house, marry one person for life.
But the housing crash and ‘foreclosure nation’ we live in now is a reflection of how commitment-phobic people are these days. Cars are being leased instead of bought. When cars are bought, they’re being traded in after just a few years. The average age of people getting married is steadily rising. It now stands at 29, whereas it was 26.4 in 2000.
The X Generation has seen their parents go through hard times, with divorce and unemployment rates climbing steadily over the last 10 years. That has led to a young group of people that are very hesitant to commit to anything.
There is a scarcity in buyers at both the home and automotive levels. With jobs that were solid just 20 years ago (like those in the Post Office or Government) now seemingly tenuous, it’s easy to understand why 30-and-unders don’t want to commit to long-term deals. Even pre-paid phone ownership is on the rise, as discount dealers such as Metro PCS and Virgin have seen great rises in their cellular business. Gyms, viewed by most as expendable income, have stopped offering 48 and 36-month long contracts, and increasinging amounts are offering month-to-month deals.
Timeshare sales are a common impulse buy that has seen a number of factors in its decline. First, people don’t have expendable money to go on yearly vacations to the same place anymore, so they don’t want timeshares. They also come with lifetime commitments, or perpetual contracts that even extend to the children of the buyer. The yearly financial burden of something that is rarely used is the first cut in a budget-conscious family (this is often why cable TV service is being discontinued by many).
These conservative leaning practices are leading towards a decreasing national credit debt. The Federal Reserve said total consumer credit in November 2010 was $2.48 trillion, down 3.3% from 2008.
Posted in Budget, Finances, sell timeshare, timeshare, timeshares for sale, tourism, transfer smart, Travel
Tagged budget, Commitment, timeshare, transfer smart, Unemployment
Pha That Luang, Laos.
As Europe’s economy stabilizes, the euro’s value has increased against the dollar. With this in mind, many American tourists are looking at Asia as a viable place to get a great vacation on a budget. Here are some of the best places to get a big bang for your buck in Asia.
Countless miles of coastline as well as upscale shopping and lodging at budget prices put the Philippines at the top of our list. Add in a people receptive to American travelers and you have a great but uncommon destination.
More expensive to visit than Thailand but cheaper than Singapore, Malaysia also offers miles of beaches and friendly people. The food is excellent, and English is
Laos is a backpackers dream. The kip has very little value against the dollar, and the relaxed pace screams vacation. The temples, natural beauty and peaceful vibe are a tonic to Westerners.
Many Westerners don’t know what to think of Cambodia. A rampant underground sex trade keeps many people away, but there’s more to see here than that. Investors around the world are building hotels here, and it has more of a modern feel than most of southwest Asia.
Visit the place that most Americans find exotic and dangerous, and you’ll it much more inviting than history would suggest. The current exchange rate is 16,000 dong to one USD, which means the best lodging, food and shopping can all be had for incredibly low prices. Throw in museums, nightlife and a vibrant, youthful energy and you have perhaps the best mix of cheap prices and exciting attractions in all of Asia.
A Spirit A319 in flight.
A newly proposed federal law is being railed against by budget airlines like Spirit, Southwest, and Allegiant. The Department of Transportation (DOT) recently stated all airlines must itemize government taxes and present that as part of their fare. Airlines like Spirit, who advertises one-way tickets for $9 and then tacks on additional charges later, has been angered by the ruling, and sent out an email to their customers stating the U.S. government is “hiding taxes in your airfares (so then) they can carry out their hidden agenda and quietly increase their taxes.”
The ruling will give consumers a more realistic picture of the price they will actually pay for their ticket, not just the low-cut promotional price. Consumers are thrilled. “They should tell us everything we need to know,” says Mary-Jane Reeser of San Diego, California. “I’m tired of booking a flight for $300, only to find out it’s actually $386!” Airlines for America, an industry group, said taxes now total 20% of a $300 round-trip domestic flight.
One of the arguments the airlines are making is that it’s uncommon to have taxes included in the advertised price of most consumer goods, such as fast food or electronics.