Friday, December 12, 2008

Small Increments

C.S. and I have been talking about the economy lately, and it's safe to say we share the worries of most people about bailouts, layoffs, and the rest of it. On his first trip to Vegas, C.S. believes they are hurting because everything is accessible at a deep discount, even "hot ticket" items such as last-minute access to the De La Hoya-Pacquiao boxing match. I'll leave it to C.S. to post his other impressions of the gambling/foreclosure/suicide capital of the world.

Meanwhile, I saw two signs of the economic impact in my own life yesterday, and I should probably be counting my blessings there were only two! The first sign was when I called in my pledge to my local NPR station (and if you're like me and listen all the time, please do your part -- they will happily take any amount, even if you can't spare the cost of a full membership). I had carefully waited until there was a challenge grant in play: for every pledge during the rush hour, a donor had promised to add $50 to the pledged amount. Through this magic my measly $30 was turned into $80 and I was proud of my timing. After I gave my information, the woman asked me if I would be willing to increase my pledge by $10 to show my commitment to public radio. Of course, I immediately thought that I could easily spend $10 on lunch one day (giving up fast food can be costly) and so I agreed. In retrospect, if they could get every caller to increase their pledge by just $10, that could really add up. It's a great strategy.

A similar thing happened at lunch (where I was not spending $10, because I had already spent it!). At the card store, the cashier informed me that if I spent $3 more, she could use a coupon to give me $5 off, and I had already looked at and put back several impulse buy items that I figured I really didn't need. So of course I tipped over the spending edge easily and spent another $2.95, she fudged the nickle, and I walked out with one more item of inventory that Hallmark doesn't have to unload at a deep discount after the holidays. Again, smart marketing, to squeeze that little bit extra out of the person who is already buying.

I think it's safe to say that I'm doing my part for the economy . . . not to mention being thankful every day that I have a job that I love, when so many people do not.

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