Silver Lining to the Financial Situation

04 Mar 2009|Leigh Marinner

We’ve been discussing how the worsening world financial situation may affect people’s behavior and the meaningful experiences in their lives. Cheskin Added Value just completed a European leisure time trends study and one finding was about people switching to lower budget entertainment alternatives. Rather than going out to a play or game or restaurant, people are making a regular occurence into a party. Our Added Value office in the UK has coined the term “eventertainment”. I.e. Having a dinner party around Gordon Ramsey’s Celebrity Cookalong on a Thursday night – drinking some wine and cooking along with the TV screen, and then having a dinner party with friends.

The changing financial situation is opening up opportunities for people to get back in touch with some meaningful experiences in their life.

People who have enough money have traditionally paid money for a babysitter, or entertained with dinners in a restaurant. They have missed the opportunity for a closer community that comes with relying on each other for help and support, rather than paying for it. There is a joy in regularly dropping by a neighbor’s (and vice versa) for a quick dinner – staying in touch with what’s happening in the little things in their lives, the ease of relaxing with no driving, no reservations, no makeup, bringing your dog along with you.

My sister lives in a working class community and has many close ties to friends and co-workers. The 7 year old son of their friends across the street has grown up as much in their house as his own, so my sister gets to have a young child around even though her children are grown. And the child’s mother can get a break when she needs it.

We may find reduced finances bring us closer to meaningful experiences we have forgotten.

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