Consumers Look to Debt Relief Options as DOW Changes

New Dow Jones

Image from Flikr

Image from Flikr

Consumers are looking for more debt relief options as the stock market continues to fluctuate. This week the DOW Jones Industrial average made some drastic changes. The DOW Jones average is a roster of thirty stocks that most effectively weight the Wall Street’s financial climate. The DOW dropped Citigroup Inc and GM Corp. from its system. This is in response to GM’s recent filing for bankruptcy protection.

GM has been part of the DOW system for 83 years. This is a testament to the faltering economy and how different it may be once the recession is over. Travelers Cos. and Cicso Systems, Inc. are both set to replace Citigroup and GM, respectively.

Credit and the DOW Jones average

Many people look to the DOW as a barometer of the overall financial climate of the U.S.  With the DOW making major changes and going through restructuring, people are concerned.

Kelsey Glaser of Charleston, West Virginia said, “My family always used credit, but now that everything is so unknown, we are cutting back on plastic…with industry giants going down like they are, who knows what tomorrow will bring for us, the little guy.”  Glaser is not alone in his concerns.  Many Americans have been cutting back drastically as they maneuver the economy.

With huge corporations falling to the recession, no one is entirely at ease.  More and more consumers are trying to find debt relief options in other ways.  Some are drastically budgeting.  Many are using public transportation.  Some consumers are finding that combining households, reminiscent of the Depression days of the 40s, is the best option for them.  Regardless of the strategy, people are thinking in terms of the future and wanting to sustain themselves until things turn around and improve.

The future economy

With the Dow Jones average restructuring and dropping two industry giants, many economists are saying that though it is difficult news, it is the beginning of the end.

Maury Colevich, economics instructor, stated, “Although things are hard, this isn’t the calm before the stom anymore. We’ve already been through the storm and now things are settling themselves out.  We have to be prepared for that settling to include restructuring and reorganizing of what was typical in the past.  It’s all part of the process.”

Consumers and finances

Consumers are told to view the financial turmoil as temporary.  They shouldn’t take this as a sign of how things will be from now on. Like all things, there is an end.  In the meantime, many consumers are doing serious assessments of their finances, looking for new debt relief options.

One family in Missouri started a clothing-swap in their neighborhood to save on kids’ clothing.  Another family in Pittsburg said they are only going to restaurants that offer them half-off days.  It’s this kind of budgeting that seems to be ushering in a new way of life for Americans.

As one economist, Gail Graedey of Florida State University, stated, “People have made it through the recession, but now they are all going to hold tightly to their new altered lifestyles. … If something helped them with debt relief, they aren’t going back to their old ways just because the industry is better.  Consumers are smart and are going to watch their bank accounts for a while longer.”

Other recent posts by bryanh