In This Issue

Making the Best of a Troubled Economy

Can you budget and still enjoy life? Tell us.

March 30, 2009

Jacky Johnson, Oxford, Ohio

Less than 12 percent of people today were alive during the Great Depression. For the majority of Americans, the ’30s is more a historical footnote than a life lesson.

Till now. The recent financial fallout has put the economy in the front of everyone’s mind, including Jacky Johnson, an archivist for Miami University of Ohio. Like many ERIE Policyholders, Jacky has an appreciation for the nice things, and the foresight to plan ahead.

“Everyone dreams of having a nice home, nice car—there is nothing wrong with wanting nice things,” she says. “But you have to make sure that it won’t hurt you in the long run, that it’s not outside of your budget.”

Jacky practices what she preaches by making sure she has a fund for things she likes to do, like see movies and go to the ballet, but she also has a sense of balance.

“I rented a room in a college town, and I parked my car on the street and rode my bike or walked to where I needed to go. I wanted to save money so I could buy my own home,” she remembers.

Jacky purchased her house 13 years ago, and she is working to pay it off and reduce her debt by living without a lot of luxuries. Instead, she makes extra payments and uses the house itself as a source of entertainment by inviting friends over.

“You spend so much money on making your house nice,” says Jacky, “it’s good to be there and enjoy it.”

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