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A Year Without Resolution

New Year’s resolutions aren’t in the offing with the economy down

December 28, 2008
By RICHARD NILSEN, The Leader-Herald

Jane Brower of Johnstown isn't making New Year's resolutions this year, or any year for that matter.

"They'll just get broken," she said with a smile.

While waiting on customers at Applebee's on Route 30A, Brower did admit she has made some changes in her holiday gift purchases this year, but it wasn't by choice. She said she had to cut back because the money just wasn't there.

Article Photos

The Leader-Herald/Richard Nilsen
Shelly Johnston serves biscotti at the Open Window on North Main Street in Gloversville Tuesday.

Others have made similar hard choices due to the difficult economy. According to a recent Associated Press story, frugality is making a comeback, with Americans showing an enthusiasm for thriftiness not seen in decades.

At the Fremont Street branch of NBT Bank in Gloversville, Amanda Buanno and Mandy Taggart were waiting on customers Tuesday with big holiday smiles, but their own plans in the difficult economic times ahead were not so sunny.

"I have a new baby to take care of," Taggart said. "My focus is on that."

She said she has seen many customers withdraw funds from savings plans because of poor returns and the stock market downturn, but said the bank's financial advisor said people should look long term and not do anything precipitous.

At Stewart's Shop in Meco, Bob Becker said there was little anyone could do in the difficult economy.

"What can you do but suffer through it," he asked Tuesday. "When gas goes up, you pay more. When gas goes down you pay less. Either way, you need the gas to get around."

Anna Lanphere was shopping at the Open Window in Gloversville Tuesday, and said she had been thrifty through the year so she could shop and have a normal holiday season.

"There's been no crash in the economy locally," she said. "I have a job, heat and a roof over my head. I look forward to the holidays all year and expect we will have a normal holiday with the normal amount of gift giving."

She laughed and said she may be the wrong one to talk to about being frugal in the New Year. She said she is pretty much ignoring the economic woes.

"I think people in Fulton County are used to things being difficult," she said. "The downturn hasn't really changed things that much for us."

Co-owner Shelly Johnston at the Open Window said she had been careful about not buying too much stock for the holiday and so far her approach seemed to be correct.

"We won't get stuck with a lot of overstock after the holidays," she said.

She and her husband Bud have looked over sales at the store and calculated where to put their investment and efforts.

"Gift sales are down, but the coffee and snacks area has been steady," she said. "So we may expand in that area."

"Steady as she goes" was also the watch word with Mary DePasquale at the Red Store in Caroga Lake.

"Right now, if you have a job, even if you aren't thrilled with it, it's best to keep it," she said. "Now is a bad time to go job shopping."

DePasquale said she has a tendency to always be looking in the want ads for job possibilities and recently has wondered what happened to the pages of Help Wanted ads she usually saw advertised in the newspapers.

"They just aren't there," she said. "So if you've got a job, better hang onto it."

Richard Nilsen is a general assignment reporter and can be reached at



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