Everyone has been cutting back on their spending lately.

At first, in my household, it seemed a little embarrassing.

"Why aren't we able to do what we used to do?" we'd ask each other, when deciding not to buy as many pizzas or spring rolls.

We'd gaze out the window at our neighbors, who seemed — from the distance, through the curtains, across the yards — to be carrying large boxes of pizzas or spring rolls from their cars.

It was uncomfortable. It felt very personal. And it was — in a culture where buying is too often a precursor to enjoying — a little depressing. And, because it was just us, it was embarrassing.

But, Hey, It's Not Just Us.
Seems like everyone is cutting back. Even folks used to having lots have a little less lots.

Now that I am not an employer — after paying $10,000,000 in salaries over two decades — I can ask this: Are you going to ask for a raise this year?

Now, with the somewhat unhelpful attitude of a recovering entrepreneur, I can ask it this way: "I mean really. Are you really going to ask for a raise this year?"

Or will you say to the owner, "Hey, I'm good."

Back At The Ranch
Mrs. Isaac and I understand the Teenage Cost Of Living.

So we recently proposed to double the weekly allowance for our kids.

The kids did the math — computing the annual outlay — and here was the reply: "This is no time to be spending this kind of money."

They refused the raise, suggesting, "Perhaps if you pay it monthly, rather than weekly, it will seem like more."

My wife and I looked at each other, and said: "It's nice to have some wise people in the household."

Who Are These Kids?
If they are yours, please come pick them up.

No, don't. Leave 'em here. We rather like them. We can afford them.