If you're (as I have) suffering some of the effects of the current recession, my wife and I have some thoughts that may be helpful.
1. Learn to buy not clothes, but a wardrobe. 18" of closet space can be entirely sufficient for a well dressed man. Probably somewhat more for a woman, but certain essentials can save you a lot of money while allowing you to enjoy better quality items, too.
2. Stop buying kitchen appliances and create a kitchen. My family eats for about as much as food stamps would allocate, but you wouldn't know it unless you saw the grocery bills.
3. Learn how much your "stuff" is costing you. A $500 sofa seems cheap until you count the 200 square feet that you add to your house to house it, and lots of inexpensive clothes seem "cheap" until....you need a new walk-in closet or storage space to house them.
4. Contemplate what the real cost of the attitudes one sees on the idiot box, or at the movies, might be.
5. Consider that the failure to meet a budget, or keep out of debt, just might be a fairly accurate barometer of your ability to apply "Thou shalt not covet..." to your life. Pursue contentment, and see what happens.
Dow's wild ride - See: Investing in a twitchy market Advice: ... do not be overly euphoric on market upswings or overly morose on downswings
9 hours ago