- People aren't spending like crazy and living beyond their means anymore, mostly because they can't get the credit to live this way these days. This is a good thing. People are coming back to reality.
- Families are spending more time together (mostly because parents are working reduced hours or are out of work and they can't afford to send each family member off to do their own thing). This is also good. Working together as a family, especially during hard times actually raises self esteem, teaches problem solving, gets rid of the "I'm entitled" attitude, and forces you to learn to work together and enjoy time together...mostly because you don't have any other options.
- Prices are lower. People are willing to make deals because business is much slower than usual. Restaurants in my area are offering some pretty significant discounts. Houses are selling at super low prices (like 1/3 off what they were selling for only a few years ago). And, I am getting new flooring installed in my house this week (of course cash only) because the home improvement store had a great sale on the linoleum AND business is so slow for flooring installers that a guy I know offered my a "can't beat this" price to install the flooring.
- People are learning how to do things for themselves. When our kids were growing up, we had plenty of money for all kinds of things--designer coffee, meals out, shopping for whatever looked interesting at the grocery store. This wasn't so good. They missed out on lots of lessons that I learned from my Depression-era grandparents like how to shop within a budget, how to cook, how to pack a lunch for work the next day out of leftovers...basically all of the frugal living skills that practically died out during the '90s and early 2000s.
- People are learning what it means to live within their means. If you don't have/can't get credit then you can't buy/can't charge the new TV, laptop, or car that just a few years ago was as simple as signing on the dotted line. Now you can only buy what you can afford. Whatta concept!
If you turn this current financial situation on its head, you can find all kinds of things to be thankful for while most people are only looking at the down side. And, if you need more convincing that money won't buy happiness, check out this article where a guy gives away all of him money so that he can be happier.