May 18, 2008

What will Americans cut back on the most as the housing crash continues, the Housing ATM remains closed, incomes remain flat, and inflation roars?

1) Eating out at restaurants

2) Taking nice vacations

3) Entertainment (bowling, movies, clubs, etc)

4) Shopping (clothing, cars, electronics, etc)

5) Vices (strippers, gambling, drugs and hookers)

6) Other (_______)


Anonymous said...


Sushi bars, high end cars, vacations,


Anonymous said...

That's exactly what the mall looked like tonight when we went. So empty!

Anonymous said...

I think that eating out will be #1. Movies will have an increase in attendees due to a more affordable family or individual outing minus snacks (i.e. mattinee).

Anonymous said...

Two words

Bottle service

Nick said...

I don't know what you are talking about Keith. I went to two different shopping malls, a K-Mart and a restaurant on Saturday. Everything was busy, parking was hard to find because the entire parking lot was full and people were out spending their hard earned money. I truly believe that you are a loser who only wants to see other people fail, lose money and be miserable. You are always negative and you always think the worst will happen. You and your minions are perpetual doom sayers.

Anonymous said...

Its the worst case scenario for strippers

Falling demand
Increase in supply

Anonymous said...

1) gas guzzlers

Andrew Hac said...

Americano = Albusto !!!


Yes, it is the time to pay the Piper for that Wild-Wild-West Housing Bubble Party last night. Add in the maxed out CC debt, the home equity extract, the spend-like-there-is-no-tomorrow mentality of the Americano, the oversize SUV, the run-down-the-cow F350 pickup truck and the Americano is now having a handful of shits, pukes, and hangover biles to deal with. $150.00/barrel of oil in May 2008's...
But worry not, my dear fat-ass buckteeth Americano, Dubya Shrub will lead you through the dark, ominous, pee-in-the-pant time. He has to, he has no choice, since the dim nitwit Americano voted for him 2 terms in a row. Yes, it is fittingly beautiful: "The head turkey leads the horde of wacka-doo-doo, BORKAFATTY, blind turkey down the gutter...".

Now, a little verse from the "Man With The White Beard" to cheer things up for the horde of Snapper Turtle, Porpoise, Armadillo, Raccoon, Opossum, Porcupine, Skunk, and "BORKAFATTY" AKA :::The Pig:::

Psalm 23:4

"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of the Housing Bubble,
I will fear no foreclosure:
for Dubya Shrub & Penis Shooter art with me:
thy bail-out and thy rebate-check, they comfort me."

Anonymous said...

I don't know what you are talking about Keith. I went to two different shopping malls, a K-Mart and a restaurant on Saturday. Everything was busy, parking was hard to find because the entire parking lot was full and people were out spending their hard earned money. I truly believe that you are a loser who only wants to see other people fail, lose money and be miserable. You are always negative and you always think the worst will happen. You and your minions are perpetual doom sayers.

Take another hit off the crack pipe.

Andrea Gressinger said...

Oh Nick... like you're so above it all, calling people you've never met losers. Guess that makes me a "minion".

Don't doubt that people are out there spending their hard earned dollars. But, how would you know whether or not it in fact "hard earned"? Sure it wasn't MEW (mortgage equity withdrawal), maybe it was just credit card debt they were taking on.

No doubt people are at the mall and K-mart (ironic you calling Keith a loser, but you're at K-mart on a Saturday night - HA!).

We as a society are addicted to consumption. I believe people will find a way to get to they're local place of worship i.e. shopping mall until their credit cards are completely maxed out.

Andrea Gressinger said...

Oh yea...

All the above.

max_in_wa said...

Not vices -- people will need a way to escape reality more than ever!

Anonymous said...

Ive cut back a little on everything. Although I think most people will cut back on their cars though. I am really enjoying learning how to bake my own bread to!

eric in vegas said...

"I don't know what you are talking about Keith. I went to two different shopping malls, a K-Mart and a restaurant on Saturday. Everything was busy,"

What I'm noticing is that stores will be packed on the weekends and dead on the weekdays. Anyone else see this?

Anyways, shopping will be the first to go. Entertainment will be the last.

Ola Dunk said...

Are you a bitter House Gambler, Nick?

Flaccid Boomer said...


Agent 99 said...

Just bought a Honda CRX SI 1988 Red. Finally found one that's not tricked out. Oh...
It's gonna take awhile for people to cut back on the things that make them feel better. So, as people feel worse they'll go out to eat, take "one more" vacation (afterall, it's already planned), run to the mall, go see a gal. Then, it's off the the pawn shop or figuring out how to put a photo up on Craigslist. So, we'll get thru the summer ok, spend the stimulus check and wait to see what happens in the "FALL of 08"

Paul E. Math said...

I'm going to say Vacations. This is because Americans are fat and they are lazy.

All the categories you have mentioned will be hit hard but I believe that vacations will be the first and easiest thing to cut back on. Mind you, I think it's perhaps the least significant of those categories too.

Secondly, expenditures on vice will decline. As consumed as we are by vice, we are even more consumed by status and keeping up appearances. Since vice can be cut back without any loss of pride or status that will be next. Strippers are in for a hard time indeed. And not the kind they are used to.

Anonymous said...

Starbucks is out, wine bars are out, organic foods are way out, and vacations are out due to increases in gas prices.

What's likely in - salty snack foods (Pepsico), cheap fast food (Yum! Brands, Jack in the Box), cheap beer (BUD), and all kinds of insurance as hardly any J6P has the cash or borrowing capacity to cover property and casualty and auto damage (Berkshire Hathaway) out of pocket.

Health insurance will be key going forward. Couldn't tell you which firm is best at making a profit AND providing services in the health area.

Drug companies seem to be languishing. Not sure where to invest in this space.

Other than smoking, can't think of any other safe havens here. Commodities have had a great run, but is that run way ahead of itself?

Anonymous said...

The high-end restaurants will suffer ($50+/head). People will still eat out but with diminishing and expensive credit (how often do you see people pay bills in cash?) those $100+ dinners for two won't seem too attractive. Here in Paris where restaurants are a tradition I see much longer queues in my local grocery every night. Cook at home -- 10 euros, plus a 5-10 euro bottle of wine. Same meal at resto -- 50 euros easily.

The vacations will go as well -- I travel extensively on my own and with the mickey mouse dollar prices hit me. I just don't know how a family of 4 or 5 could possibly do it. I saw a McD in London last week -- an unHappy Meal was about 5 quid i.e. 10 bucks. $40 for lunch for four?

People will do the "cocooning" thing i.e. stay at home, do take-out meals, watch DVDs and have a cardiac event every time they go to the petrol station.

As many (incl Keith) have pointed out, those McMansions out in the exurbs where even a pint of milk is 20 minutes drive don't seem like such a good deal anymore, do they? SUCKERS!

Stuck in So Pa said...

1) Eating out at restaurants

Our favorite closed right after Mothers Day (a friend told me that the line was out the door and down the block.) For the last year you could walk in anytime and get a table, even on Fri night.

My brother-in-law, who travels up and down the east coast for the power industry, and eats out three meals a day, Mon thru Fri, was over Saturday and told me that restaurants that he has frequented, some for 20-25 years or more, are disappearing right and left, mostly big chains, but some mom-and-pops just not quite so many.

Items 1 thru 5 will take a big hit, but vice will actually do quite well in bad times. Time to buy some more shares in Seagram’s?

happy homeowner in the stix said...

Vices? That's a good one, Keith. Not gonna happen.


Look at homeless people. They don't have money for food, they don't have it for shelter, but I gar-on-tee that they will come up with cash somehow for cigs, booze, and the occasional toke.

It's just like my grandma always said. No matter how bad times get, people will always have money for drinks and cigs. (She ran a tavern during the Depression to support her family. Didn't get rich but didn't starve, either.)

Owner Earnings said...

Not until they are forced to. Absolutely forced to. When they have no credit left, no money in the bank or in their wallet.

upthecreek said...

sushi bars

My wife and I went to a very popular sushi bar in Huntington beach, CA last night. we talked to the owner he said business was down "BIGTIME" good thing "no wait'and much better service...

Mark in San Diego said...

I am on the way to Yosemite this morning - ate at PF Changs in Fresno last night - got right in at 8:30. . .SATURDAY!! . . .ask the woman about that, and she said - yea, it has been slow the past few months. . .PF Changs is kind of a barometer of places that are being hit by the housing slowdown.

Anonymous said...

Took my stimulus check and paid off my Visa.
Went from shopping at Albertsons to Food Co. Definately cheaper.
Had husband put in a new kitchen faucet. Should of called a plumber-still doesn't work right. ha
No restaurants food ok.

Won't give up the flowers for the garden. Yet. It brings me too much happiness.

Live in Central California and stores, malls all are empty. Even weekends.
Life joys are simpler and better now.

Anonymous said...

That was a good one about the loser going to K-mart on Saturday night. lol. :)

People surely won't give up the vices, especially gambling & drinking. It provides an "escape" from these economic realities.

devestment said...

Big expensive SUV’s


Home renovation

Driving Vacations

Second Homes

Gambling trips to Vegas

Luxury items



Home Depot

2 family incomes

Impressing their friends

Club Memberships



Luxury services


Designer Label

Private school

Expensive wedding



Government spending



Fancy Grocery

Air conditioning

And on, and on, and on…

Anonymous said...


There is a restaurant at the MGM Las Vegas that is $385 per person (booze not included)!

Most people who go to Vegas (98.5%) are not buying into that high end, especially for meals anyway.

It's that crap that will drop off


devestment said...

Anonymous said...

Movies will have an increase in attendees due to a more affordable family or individual outing minus snacks (i.e. mattinee).
May 18, 2008 5:51 AM

Try Netflix. I get 6 movies a month mailed to my door for about $10.00. My family has movie night once a week where we all get together for popcorn, fresh coffee, or whatever. Its great and costs just a fraction of what a move ticket costs with no gas consumption or exposure to pesky strangers.

Movie houses are going DOWN!

Anonymous said...
Won't give up the flowers for the garden. Yet. It brings me too much happiness.

Got a dollar? Try Seeds.

Anonymous said...

Our local liquor store told me that his business was great and getting better. He credits it to people eating out less, but still wanting a bottle of wine with dinner at home.

Also, people need their Jesus Juice (this is Michael Jackson's term, not mine) now more than ever before.

Anonymous said...

Can't cut out the Sushi, but have already cut back on all other restaurants I used to frequent.

Did go to Generic Italian Garden, oops I mean "Olive Garden" the other day, prices way up from a few months ago.

Vices? Some of them help you forget why you have to cut back on the other nice things in life. A margarita in the evening (or Two) can be good medicine.

I think casinos are the ones that are really going to hurt. I used to go blow a hundred now and then, but have not been to a casino in months. The idea of blowing money at a smokey table with angry and depressed losers, or "gamblers" now seems like no FUN at all. That vice was easy to quit!

Everyone I know is cutting back, it's crazy how the Gov. is showing a slight slowing but no big problem. I look around and I see pain, lots of it.

Good Time Charlie

Joel OC said...


Used cars are the next big thing.


Newspaper subscription, brand name garlic bread, foot massage, de-bundling cable and cell services for stuff you don't need, you get the point


Save 50% or more on food bill. Big deal (it really is)


Galivanting about places 2-3 hour drive from your house? Why not walk around, just a little bit farther? You'll find more interesting places that way. Spending $2000 on that Vegas trip? Local bowling alley is great - and you didn't even know it!!


Unless you have amazing health plan, it can be expensive. Use baking soda instead of expensive pills if you have heart burn. Work less and get stressed less if it's stress that kills you. You teeth are just as good as they are, if you eat less expensive cookies, you know!


Take that cash home and buy food. It's nice to save for the future, but if you don't eat well, you may never see that future and government will take your savings.


It's nice, but if you stomach turns every time you look at it (because you know you'll lose sleep over paying for it), then forget it. Life has a way of entertaining us that's for sure, plus if it involves outdoors and fresh air, you're doing very well on number 5 (health care)


These non-essential items will be hard to stop buying, because you're afraid people you want to love you will no longer do so. Wrong. If you tell them you're cutting back because you need to stop being so stressed (but because of that you'll have more time for them), they will understand. Some snobs will fall off, but true friends will stay even more so.


Thinking of a new loft? You need more space? No worries, just give all you junk to charities. You will get nice tax break and be amazed how spacious your house is.


Debating whether this is first or last. I guess by now we all know that housing market is going fast down the drain and it's unstoppable. Still I though I mention it for the laughs.

Anonymous said...

They'll cut back on everything but iPods, right Keith?

wmac said...

I don't plan to cut back on anything because I have no debt and have always lived a frugal lifestyle with 150k income in a stable industry. I agree with the ones who say vice will do well as in 'gin mills - great depression'. Detroit is f***ed once again because none of the visionaries there saw this coming again. Is anybody out there in the granite counter top business? Oh man, sorry, it seemed like a great idea a couple of years ago didn't it?

Ford said...


Anonymous said...

Their Sanity!

wc said...

It's been so easy to get into the cheesecake factory lately. I think vacations, retail shopping and going out to dinner in that order. movie theaters are dead.

jp said...

Health care... I learned from the illegals.

ZZwcck said...

In the Minneapolis, MN area the smoking ban has just crippled bars and restaurants. As the recession progresses I see more and more places closing their doors. There are going to be a large number of people on the lower tier of financial scale scrambling to fill the lost wages from tips. Not sure what else they can do to take a %20 profit like a major corporation. I see serving as the normal person's method of being a corporation.

Anonymous said...

Weekend busy = people are consolidating trips to save gas. Yes weekedays are dead.

People hurting Staples is checking all credit cards via ID. A lot of fraud, even at a office supply store.

New entertainment is stay home = will benefit home entertainment. More flat screen sales.

Here in Florida, the hour after hour of kiddies driving daddy's jet ski are over. They now last an hour (about 6 gallons and that's it for the day)

Our favorite restaurant ($30 each) went out of business.

The new shopping center was abandoned. The other one in developement is dragging on without any stores.

Glenna said...

None of the above. I think they'll starting taking out of their 401K's to keep the lifestyle up.

Anonymous said...

(1) having kids This is my vote...

Honorable mentions....

(2) private elementary/secondary educations for the kids you do have...or maybe going downscale in areas where public education is not only a total joke, your kids physical safety would be in question as well.

There's money to be made in abortion mills and opening up cut-rate private academies. You heard it here first.

(3) All the weird shit people do vis a vis their pets nowadays. The wife knows somebody who actually used a "pet therapist" for a while, after adopting a basenji or one of those other breeds that's too tightly wrapped. At something like $125/hour.

Pat Friedl said...

Allof the above. Well, except for the drugs and hookers - I gots ta have my b!tches!

Anonymous said...

Sushi - A lot of sushi places are not even Japanese.

In areas with sizable Japanese population, it is possible to get authentic, albeit ready-made, Sushi for a few dollars.

After all that's how sushi is often consumed in Tokyo.

Anonymous said...

Most answers are crazy--they WON'T cut back on the FUN stuff!

What they'll cut back on is the NOT fun, but more VALUABLE stuff--stuff that could help them make a better life for themselves in the future:

1) Saving for the future
2) Medical care--routing care and needed procedures
3) Fitness--health club membership, exercise equipment, personal trainers
4) All kinds of fee-paid education
5) Newspapers, news magazines, self-help and other informative books
6) Professional services--psychiatry, rehab, financial help, tax help, needed house and auto repair work

And, of course, perhaps the BIGGEST cutback---CHARITABLE CONTRIBUTIONS!

Anonymous said...

While I disagree with Nick's tone, I agree with what he's saying.

Here is my weekend:

Friday went out to a club. Place was packed. Bar 5 deep with people ordering $15 vodka tonics.

Saturday went test driving. Dealer was overflowing with people.

Sunday went to the lake. Waited over an hour to launch my boat.

Sorry HPers, your tales of doom and gloom are just that.

gutless and lazy makes the correct call (again) said...

The CORRECT answer is #7. Nothing. Dumb ass Americans will spend themselves further into oblivion.

Anonymous said...

Autos !

Anonymous said...

6) Bling like overpriced and overrated Coach handbags or Sephora rip-off products that fool stupid women.

Anonymous said...

They'll cut back on everything but iPods, right Keith?

LOL. Yep, the bankrupt won't cut back on $3,500 Macbooks, while similar Windows laptops can be found anywhere for $700. Would you like iPhone with a $120 / month AT&T rip-off plan with that, while you could instead pay $16 / month with a Virgin Mobile plan + free phone?

Enjoy your retirement in poverty, MTV Pot Smoking College idiots. Gen Yner think they are special. Bunch of brand label whores.

Anonymous said...

In my town in Central Florida, I've seen people on bicycles. And People are consolidating their shopping trips to the weekend.

Whether they will change their ways will depend on how deep the hole in their wallet grows.

My parents scrapped by during the depression in the 30's. although we don't have a depression, there are sacrifices being made. Some will go hungry and some will not be able to go to the Superbowl in 2009 or buy that 70" LCD. No different than in the 30's, there were haves and have nots.

Disgruntled Retired Baby Boomer