Becoming more needs-oriented isn’t all bad

I wrote an article a couple of months ago about having to change our buying habits due to the price of gasoline and the way our economy was spiraling downward.

Well, some things have changed — some for the good and some for the bad. Gas prices have come way down, thank goodness, to less than what we were paying four months ago. Stores are offering more sale items. Restaurants are offering better deals for meals. And mortgage rates are falling. The bad news is that there are more and more people losing their jobs. Daily there are astronomical numbers of housing foreclosures.

With economic times being what they are now, decisions have to be made on what we give up or change to offset all the additional costs that we face in our day-to-day lives. We eat at home more than we used to. We wash our own cars. We shop more for bargains. We adjust the thermostat in the house.

Some of the things that we cannot or should not give up are our life and health insurance, even though health insurance continues to go up and up and up. We all know that life still goes on, no matter what the economy does. We will still get sick. We might get injured or even die. A catastrophic illness or even premature death could completely devastate a family. Before dropping your life or health insurance policy, shop for better rates, raise your deductibles and/or check into changing your life insurance limits. All these could save you some money in these tough times.

Economic challenges are hitting everyone either directly or indirectly. As our families and the country face these challenges, we all need to become less material-oriented and more needs-oriented.

We as a nation will get through these tough times, just like we have in the past. We can become more thrifty, more needs-oriented and maybe more family-oriented.

What’s the worst that could happen? We spend less money going out to eat and spend more time as a family. Gosh, I think that is how it was when I was growing up.

It was really great then and it can be now, too.

Kim Cummins, the life and health specialist for Des Champs & Gregory, Inc., specializes in individual life and health, and employee benefit plans. Des Champs & Gregory has offices in Bradenton and Lakewood Ranch. Cummins can be reached at (941) 748-1812.