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  #1  
Old May 13th, 2008, 11:11 PM
Geebz Geebz is offline
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Default Hawaii's Economy - Tuff Days Ahead?

Hi Gang,

Just got through listening to Joe Moore's report on the economy and he mentions that there will be a continual downturn through this year.

What's your opinion on that and what changes in your day-to-day life have you made because of the state of our economy?

For me, I cut out my morning pit stop for coffee and a snack before work.
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  #2  
Old May 13th, 2008, 11:53 PM
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Default Re: Hawaii's Economy - Tuff Days Ahead?

I think if mortgage companies could give homeowners a one month reprieve, things would get better much sooner than later. IF you had a $2,000/month mortgage and was allowed to use that to pay down higher interest credit cards and necessities such as food and utilities people could get back on their financial tracks again. I mean what's one month over a 30-year mortgage? But to get to use an extra $2,000 for one month to get back on track could really help. Yes it would result in a higher interest overall, but in 30-years I would hope interest rates should drop to the point where one could refinance to a lower monthly interest rate to compensate.

I've heard of mortgage lenders using Hard Money where you would take a loan from them (they get it from investors not thru banks) backed by whatever equity you have as assets in your home. Your mortgage payments would be paid by this hard money for a period of six months. AFter six months, that hard money is included into a refinance of your existing mortgage. Investors get their money back from the equity assets of your home. During that six month time you don't make any payments for the hard money loan, but can use your income to pay down your other credit debt.

Sounds good but in today's market, home equity is dropping devaluing the property to the point where there is very little equity left despite a huge mortgage. In the end you could be paying more than what your home is worth (upside down) and unless your income improves and your credit debt lowers (resulting in a higher FICA score) you could be in worse financial shape later on.

The best advice is to find a way to improve your FICA score by calling some of your credit card issuers and work out a payment plan. There is no need to call credit councellors as they will do the same and charge a fee.

The economy can be tough for most of us, but if you make a proactive attempt to resolve your financial dillemma and slowly improve your FICA score, sub-prime loan homeowners can weather this storm.

As for everyone else, drafting and sticking to a budget is the first step to hedging your finances during these times.

I started this thread on poor man's food in an attempt to get others to see how you can make delicious and fufilling dinners on a dime to help stay within a food budget during these tight times without being so obvious, but now it's more important that we spend less on dining out or dining high on the hog and start looking at cheap eats that are fulfilling.

These forecoming days can be tough only if we aren't prepared for them. Get into the habit of common sense spending and we can all come out ahead once this storm passes.
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Old May 14th, 2008, 02:40 AM
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Default Re: Hawaii's Economy - Tuff Days Ahead?

Hmmm...I thought this topic was covered in another thread but I couldn't find it!

Moi? I've cut my driving to an absolute minimum. Fortunately, most everything I need is within walking distance...just not doctors appts so I try to schedule more than one on the same day since they're in the same, general 'hood.

Then, I fool myself into thinking that filling my tank isn't really so bad! I fill up when the gauge reads 3/4 full! A clear case of psychological foreplay and denial all wrapped up in one!

There has to be a really, Really, REALLY good reason to dine out...an occasional snack wrap from McDs is acceptable...barely! Work related dining expenses are acceptable to a degree. They're also paid for by either the host company or my company.

As a side note, I've been tracking my town condo building's values online and noticed it's first, downward trend in the last month. My Makaha condo started tanking a year ago.

For the most part I plan grocery shopping around sale prices...but always have. No change there! Still, my grocery bill continues to climb 'cuz now the sale prices are about equal to the full prices from a year ago.

At this point I think I could unplug everything in my small living space and the HECO bill would still continue to head north. Right, Craig?!

Regardless...I'm still very lucky. I live in paradise where so many of the best things in life are free...have 2 very small roofs over my head...a car when absolutely necessary...a job (altho' advertising tends to get put on hold in a down economy; time will tell)...friends who like to do pot lucks, watch DVDs and just hang out...and most of my friends are funny; really, really funny. Laughter is free and extremely healthy! Gotta love that!
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Old May 14th, 2008, 12:39 PM
Geebz Geebz is offline
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Default Re: Hawaii's Economy - Tuff Days Ahead?

Ooooopppss, I dunno how I did it but this was supposed to be on the Bishop Streat Thread. Mel or Admin, could you move it there?
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Old May 14th, 2008, 01:37 PM
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Default Re: Hawaii's Economy - Tuff Days Ahead?

Quote:
Originally Posted by craigwatanabe View Post
These forecoming days can be tough only if we aren't prepared for them. Get into the habit of common sense spending and we can all come out ahead once this storm passes.
GREAT POINT!

I have adapted my own thoughts on what (hopefully) should be in re-training Americas thought process; "He Who Dies With The Most Toys Loses".

In speaking to a small group of individuals about their situation one of the things I mention is to sell your "stuff". Stuff under your bed, in the garage, in the storage units. Most Americans are sitting on a booty of movable items. Economy is about flow. Move the old out and shrink the burden of cargo......IMO
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  #6  
Old May 14th, 2008, 01:58 PM
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Default Re: Hawaii's Economy - Tuff Days Ahead?

I've held off on buying that Honda CRV, even if it means banging my head on my civic everytime I put the kids in and out of the car.
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Old May 15th, 2008, 03:33 AM
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Default Re: Hawaii's Economy - Tuff Days Ahead?

Makes me feel better that we sold almost all of our belongings before moving to Hawaii. Shipped one car and one crate. Sometimes I miss a few things, but not often. I really have been thinking about what happens here if there are problems. Living in a condo doesn't lend itself to becoming self-sustaining; neither does working a 45-minute drive away, at a job that is useful for others but doesn't provide specific things for my family except money.

I did start growing a few things in our livingroom windows (not allowed to put things out on the "virtual lanai") but that could never be enough. We have a shelf of necessary things (stove, lamps, candles, etc.) I used to be interested in homesteading ideas but cannot see it happening here.

So we work and go to school and church and keep paying the bills and pray that things will be okay. I have found myself planning trips in the car, so as to maximize the gas usage. I carry all my meals and drinks to work, and we try to cook and eat in as much as possible.

But when I got out to the beach and wander about for a few hours, tough times seem to be easier to handle. Feeling the water and watching the sea life are always calming to me; like it used to be when I would dig in the dirt in the garden. Oh, yeah, I am getting my fingers in the dirt of the potted plants in the house; that helps too, but not quite the same. All in all, I am more glad to be here than in SC.

Last edited by cyleet99; May 15th, 2008 at 03:35 AM. Reason: had more to say....
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  #8  
Old May 19th, 2008, 05:35 PM
Geebz Geebz is offline
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Default Re: Hawaii's Economy - Tuff Days Ahead?

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Originally Posted by cyleet99 View Post
Makes me feel better that we sold almost all of our belongings before moving to Hawaii. Shipped one car and one crate.
That seems to be the trend. Less stuff means less hassles. The latest thought is "He who dies with the most toys, looses"
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  #9  
Old May 19th, 2008, 10:38 PM
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Default Re: Hawaii's Economy - Tuff Days Ahead?

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Originally Posted by Bobinator View Post
I've held off on buying that Honda CRV, even if it means banging my head on my civic everytime I put the kids in and out of the car.
Ah, but the flip side of the issue is that, with slow new/used car sales now, APRs are very low. Not unusual to find 0 - 2.9% financing deals for new cars from the manufacturers. If you wait until the economy gets better and sales goes up, you won't find as many low APR and incentive deals.

Of course, if your job security is an "iffy" one due to the economy, then it might be wiser to wait.
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  #10  
Old May 20th, 2008, 06:12 AM
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Default Re: Hawaii's Economy - Tuff Days Ahead?

I think the economy will get worse before it gets better. It probably won't get anywhere near as bad as it did during the Reagan-era recession though (well, with the possible exception of the budget deficit).

Some of the small changes we've made to our routines to help navigate through these uncertain times:
  • Grind and brew our morning coffee ourselves
  • Adjust our work schedules so we always carpool
  • Fill up the daily driver at Costco only before 8 a.m. or after 8 p.m.
  • Buy produce from open and farmers' markets as much as possible
  • Virtually eliminate plate lunches from our diets
Some quick calculations show that these small changes are saving us at least $418/month (conservative estimate using three-month-old gas prices). Not too shabby, if Idssm.
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Old May 20th, 2008, 01:19 PM
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Default Re: Hawaii's Economy - Tuff Days Ahead?

Quote:
Originally Posted by craigwatanabe View Post
I think if mortgage companies could give homeowners a one month reprieve, things would get better much sooner than later. IF you had a $2,000/month mortgage and was allowed to use that to pay down higher interest credit cards and necessities such as food and utilities people could get back on their financial tracks again. I mean what's one month over a 30-year mortgage? But to get to use an extra $2,000 for one month to get back on track could really help. Yes it would result in a higher interest overall, but in 30-years I would hope interest rates should drop to the point where one could refinance to a lower monthly interest rate to compensate.
um, does rush limbaugh know you have this opinion? he'd excommunicate you from his faithful sheep for saying this!

Quote:
Originally Posted by MixedPlateBroker View Post
I think the economy will get worse before it gets better. It probably won't get anywhere near as bad as it did during the Reagan-era recession though (well, with the possible exception of the budget deficit).

Some of the small changes we've made to our routines to help navigate through these uncertain times:
  • Grind and brew our morning coffee ourselves
  • Adjust our work schedules so we always carpool
  • Fill up the daily driver at Costco only before 8 a.m. or after 8 p.m.
  • Buy produce from open and farmers' markets as much as possible
  • Virtually eliminate plate lunches from our diets
Some quick calculations show that these small changes are saving us at least $418/month (conservative estimate using three-month-old gas prices). Not too shabby, if Idssm.
to add to eric's list:

i don't get my nails done at the salon anymore. i do them myself at home. savings per month: $70

i've cut back on makeup purchases. i used to spoil myself each month with additions to my makeup/fragrance collection. savings per month: between $30-$100

i've also cut back on our sartorial purchases. savings per month: $100

have to say it's not merely the state of the economy that has caused these changes in how we spend. it's part of our ever-developing five year plan.
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Old November 3rd, 2009, 08:05 PM
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Default Re: Hawaii's Economy - Tuff Days Ahead?

The "tuff days ahead" have indeed arrived. Without a doubt.

Today's newspaper alone reports a whole bunch of bad news for longtime local businesses.

Honolulu Medical Group has declared for Chap. 11 bankruptcy.

The Hawaiiana Hotel in Waikiki is bankrupt and closing down its operations.

Maui Land & Pineapple Company is phasing out its agricultural operations and handing out layoff notices to 285 employees.

The Honolulu Symphony is expected to file for Chap. 11 bankruptcy soon.

Central Pacific Bank is bleeding money fast and its stock value is plummeting.
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  #13  
Old November 3rd, 2009, 08:54 PM
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Default Re: Hawaii's Economy - Tuff Days Ahead?

This is just so sad. I love the Hawaiiana Hotel. I wonder if they were also a victim of all the construction that was going on around them. It was so noisy. Not conducive to a vacation.

Thank goodness for FDIC insured accounts. I'm so embroiled in automatic deductions thru my CPB accounts that the thought of panicking and changing banks right now is just too overwhelming.

I'm still pulling for the symphony.
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Old November 4th, 2009, 02:05 PM
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Default Re: Hawaii's Economy - Tuff Days Ahead?

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Thank goodness for FDIC insured accounts. I'm so embroiled in automatic deductions thru my CPB accounts that the thought of panicking and changing banks right now is just too overwhelming.
Are you serious? No offense, but the FDIC is already $7.5 Billion in the red, meaning there is -$7.5B to insure $4.8 Trillion in deposits. The FDIC hit a negative balance in August 2009.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/19289583/F...August-21-2009
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Old November 4th, 2009, 11:29 PM
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Default Re: Hawaii's Economy - Tuff Days Ahead?

I know I'm not part of Hawaii's economy anymore, but everyone else was sharing tips, so I thought I'd throw in some from the mainland.

Living in a city with horrible/practically non-existant public transit, I have to use my car. A lot. But I try to find the best gas prices and we signed up for free oil changes for life when we bought the car. That helps a lot with fuel effecienty.

I've never been a coupon-clipper, but my best friend is and she clips out coupons she thinks I'd use. So I've started doing that too. I go to the library instead of Barnes and Nobles or even over Half-Prices Books. Bought my husband a cappacino machine so he can make his own with the Kona coffee we still have left over. Buy meat in bulk, then get sides and breads on sale, and try to get veggies and fruits from a farmer's market-type store. Use Target make-up and try to buy clothes when on big sale from Target and Kohls.

We've had the AC off for the last month and just run the ceiling fans or open windows. Instead of going to movies, we use the Red Box for $1 or Netflix so we can watch on demand also. We cut the movie channels from out cable package- saves $50/month right there.

My biggest problem is the stupid Tollways. We're surrounded on three sides by them, so it's almost impossible not to drive on them without sitting in traffic forever. They've raised the tolls ridiculously over the last year. I'm trying to take the access roads more.

I know while living Hawaii, we only bought sale items and made dinner with what we had on hand. We never went out at night. We hung out with friends in the neighborhood instead. During the day, TG and I would drive around and take pictures and be goofy, which was really cheap. Wish there were beaches here!
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Old November 7th, 2009, 01:41 AM
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Default Re: Hawaii's Economy - Tuff Days Ahead?

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Originally Posted by Frankie's Market View Post
[...]
The Honolulu Symphony is expected to file for Chap. 11 bankruptcy soon.[...]
The Honolulu Symphony's predicament made national news.
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  #17  
Old November 8th, 2009, 12:08 PM
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Default Re: Hawaii's Economy - Tuff Days Ahead?

My "personal economy" has always been on the downturn, and so right now I don't have much more cutting back than I could. We do try to enjoy the free things a lot (beach, park, window shopping); we never buy brand name (ROSS' ONLY); and we rent a small place. We do allow ourselves the occasional personal indulgence, and we have a 100,000 mile warranty on our Ki-ki-Ki-Kia (like "chia").
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Old November 8th, 2009, 03:14 PM
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Default Re: Hawaii's Economy - Tuff Days Ahead?

One thing I've learned since doing the cooking is how to spot a good deal on food and food prep. If I can feed my family (now just three kids and my wife and I) for $12 for dinner for the entire family, I felt I did good. Splurging allows for a nice pot roast dinner plus veggies for $20. That's a far cry from the old days when I would spend $20 per person at a diner and considered that a bargain!

A few days ago I made Chicken soup from scratch using leftover chicken from another dinner, plus veggies from the farmers market. I'm considering learning how to preserve food such as soups for later consumption as I still cook for a small army.

Tuff Days Ahead? I think we're in that phase right now.
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Old November 8th, 2009, 05:39 PM
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The Honolulu Symphony's predicament made national news.
It's official now. The Symphony is belly up and cancelling the remainder of its 2009 calendar.

http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/ar...=rss_localnews

Quote:
If the symphony resumes its 2009-10 season next year, it will be a scaled-down version. Mechling said the symphony plans to reduce its payroll expenses by half, which can be achieved through a combination of job cuts and fewer concerts.

In the worst case, up to half of the symphony's musicians could be laid off.
Maybe in addition to asking for monetary support and donations, the Symphony could ask for talented and capable non-professional musicians in the community to volunteer themselves as performers. I know, I know. That probably sounds ghastly to the artistic elite.... but at this point, can anyone be fussy about this when the orchestra's very existence is in such peril?
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Old November 8th, 2009, 06:01 PM
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Default Re: Hawaii's Economy - Tuff Days Ahead?

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Originally Posted by craigwatanabe View Post
[...]I'm considering learning how to preserve food such as soups for later consumption as I still cook for a small army.[...]
I always cook in quantity (6 servings) then freeze. I've never tried canning and preserving. Because it's just me, I make my own complete meal, TV dinner style...entree, veggie and brown rice or mashed sweet potatoes, for example. I eat one fresh and freeze 5. Repeat process 2 times with different entrees, veggies and starch. Then I have 15 "tv dinners" in the freezer, 3 variations. They come in so handy. Anyway, that's one idea for leftovers! You can also freeze soups in pre-determined serving sizes. Then, add a salad and garlic bread and...voilą!

Have I ever mentioned that I don't like to cook every day?!
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Old November 8th, 2009, 06:12 PM
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Default Re: Hawaii's Economy - Tuff Days Ahead?

I think the Musicians Union might have a problem with "volunteer" orchestra members.
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Old November 8th, 2009, 09:00 PM
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I think the Musicians Union might have a problem with "volunteer" orchestra members.
I'm sure they would.

But this is not a normal economic downturn. We are not going to get out of this recession overnight. In fact, some economists fear of a double-dip recession. We all want to be optimistic and think that we've seen the worst. But our hopes may not match the reality of what is in store.

Even when things start to get better, Hawaii has historically lagged behind the mainland US when it comes to economic recovery.

I have great respect and appreciation for professional, dues-paying musicians. But the labor union model is not known for thinking outside of the box when it comes to dealing with recessions and hard times. And "outside of the box" thinking is what many companies and organizations (businesses and non-profit) are doing to weather this tremendous economic storm. If bold and progressive thinking are shelved in order to appease the traditionalists, the Honolulu Symphony could end up being silenced indefinitely.

Would that make the Musicians Union happy?
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Old November 9th, 2009, 01:37 AM
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Default Re: Hawaii's Economy - Tuff Days Ahead?

I'm curious which venue costs more to put on a show, the Waikiki Shell or the Blaisdell Concert Hall? I always wondered if it would be cheaper to have the Honolulu Pops Concerts there since I assume when the mainland acts are brought in it costs more overall to bring them here?

Aj
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Old November 9th, 2009, 04:23 PM
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I'm curious which venue costs more to put on a show, the Waikiki Shell or the Blaisdell Concert Hall? I always wondered if it would be cheaper to have the Honolulu Pops Concerts there since I assume when the mainland acts are brought in it costs more overall to bring them here?

Aj
It comes down to the Union. It's not just the performance that promoters pay into, it's the rehearsal times as well, typically three paid rehearsal dates prior to the performance. At least that's what I was told when I wanted to promote a small ensemble at Mamiya Theater back in the late 80's. Oh and I had to include the entire orchestra, I couldn't pick a quartet out of the orchestra body. As it turned out the Mamiya Theater which held 600 would have meant that I would have had to subsidize the ticket prices with a grant or serious donation from a corporate sponsor. Back then without subsidy ticket prices would have exceeded $100 with a full-capacity crowd of 600 on every performance for three days to turn a minor profit.

I felt that was a no go and I stopped planning for that event.
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Old November 10th, 2009, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Frankie's Market View Post
I'm sure they would.

But this is not a normal economic downturn. We are not going to get out of this recession overnight. In fact, some economists fear of a double-dip recession. We all want to be optimistic and think that we've seen the worst. But our hopes may not match the reality of what is in store.
As far as I know, it's a foregone conclusion. It's impossible to recover by getting more and more in debt.
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