The price is right

The economic forecast is in, and experts are saying that our countryís economy will start to rebound in the second half of this year. The best way to celebrate the upcoming upswing? Go out and buy something big.

Not only will your purchases help to bring about economic change, but youíll also be able to lock-in rock bottom prices on big ticket items like houses, cars and, my favorite, diamonds.

Last month, Forbes Magazine published a list of the top ten items you shouldnít be without this recession. Well, maybe they called it something else, like ďtop ten things to buy before the economy improves,Ē but I prefer to think of it as getting while the getting is good.

Number one on the Forbes list of things you should buy now rather than later is a house. With plenty of deals out there, falling interest rates and government incentives, now is the time, apparently, to invest in a new home.

Of course youíll need something to furnish that new pad with, so throw in some new furniture while your at it. That too is available cheap, cheap, cheap.

And why stop there. Make an impression on those new neighbors by pulling up to your new house in ... a new car! The automotive industryís financial crisis can be your gain. With dealer incentives, discounted pricing and no interest for qualified buyers, itís the perfect time to invest in some new wheels.

Now is also the time to go on vacation. With hotel occupancies and cruise bookings lagging, itís possible to get great deals. If the only thing standing in your way from taking that trip of a lifetime is work, donít worry. Pick up a new laptop before you embark. These too, are available on the cheap at the moment. (Too bad I bought my new one in January, before there were such steep discounts.)

Whether or not you go on vacation, itís definitely time for a new wardrobe. Luckily prices on womenís clothing are also on the decline, particularly on footwear, accessories and outerwear. Discount stores are offering more and more discounts and more upscale establishments are having big sales and clearance events. Aahhh, and it isnít even Christmas.

And speaking of Christmas, gift giving has never been easier. Diamonds, flat screen TVs and even childrenís toys are more affordable than ever thanks to this depressed economy. If ever there was a time to do your shopping months in advance, itís now.

For those who are still not convinced the countryís economic woes are over, perhaps itís time to buy high-dividend stocks. If youíve got the guts, that is. According to Forbes, prices are low and having those dividend payments can help you weather future inflationary storms.

Thatís right, all this and more could be yours, because the price is definitely right.

Iím not going to lie; Iíd love to say Iím rushing out to buy any or all of the above. My problem (besides my available credit) is that it feels kind of dirty to think that my gain is really someone elseís loss.

Those houses that are going dirt cheap? My guess is that a large number of them are foreclosures, or at least people who are desperate to sell so they avoid that eventuality. Those stock prices are lower than low because people lost their shirts, not to mention their retirement funds, not too long ago. And all of those other sales and discounts? Closeouts or last ditch efforts by retailers, manufacturers and even industries as a whole trying to keep their doors open.

The economist in me is deeply ashamed of these bleeding heart tendencies. She called me a pansy and told me to grow a capitalist backbone. So I beg you, while itís clear that I wonít be rising to the occasion and saving our economy any time soon, I hope those with more available cash and better credit ratings will step up to the plate.

Despite my guilt, I know the only way out of these economic doldrums our country is in is to spend our way out.

And right now, itís definitely a buyerís market. Happy spending!

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