Spain, Credit Crunch and Creativity

All we hear these days is about the credit crunch.  Everything is doom and gloom – bankruptcies, unemployment and social unrest.  The list of negative outcomes goes on and on and on.  Listening to this the whole time can itself create a self fulfilling prophecy.  By focusing on how bad things are, we psychologically will try to spend less and this in itself will have a negative affect on the economy.  

So is it all doom and gloom or can anyting positive come out of a recession?  Well perhaps we should look around and see what is happening.  whilst devastating and harsh, deep recession can lead to new innovations and creativity.  To succeed in these times, good is just not good enough.  You need to bend backwards to capture a market. We can already see this with people working longer days to hold on to jobs, prices being slashed to hold on to market share and a much stronger work ethos.  We have to question whether this is indeed a bad thing or could this be nature’s way of re-allocating scarce resources in a more efficient manner.  Unfortunately the last few years of boom in Spain did see individuals lax into a more luxurious lifestyle and greed led to less value for money and quality control.  Take Real Estate for example, whilst so many new urbanisation’s were being built, just a handful of the complexes were really built to high quality specifications and merited the prices that people were asking.  Now in the light of current market climate the opposite is happening and prices are tumbling down -the vast supply is putting buyers in a brilliant position (those who can still buy) and moreover they are getting value for money.

Just look around you and see the innovative new things propping up, the new deals availabe, the new marketing styles.  Even on a very subtle level – take for instance Mercadona – whilst previously selling fruit and veg pre-packed, they are selling individual items.  They have obviously realized that many no longer have the purchasing power to buy ‘big packs’ of fruit and veg but instead just buy what they need.  Similarly FNAC had  a  big sale of their older Cds and DVDs at 1 euro each.  Carrefour have even got sales on new season items claiming, ‘nos bajamos los precios y los mantanemos’.  Never before have their been so many buy one, get one free offers.  Even Spas are encouraging people with their fantastic bargains – for example the Albayt are offering weekday Spa and lunch package for 39 euros and believe me we are talking slap up 3 course lunch with drink included.

So whilst recession is tough, we need to pull our socks up, tighten our belts and battle to keep afloat.  Perhaps we need to see it as a challenge – a creative exercise – just how little can we spend on the next meal for our families??? How many fun activities can we do without spending a penny?  How about taking a lovelywalk in the countryside, playing on the beach, a trip to the park, creative time at home – painting, modelling.writing. It can be scary to see the economy falling to pieces but in order to keep ourselves mentally positive, we need to hold ontight and look on it with a sense of adventure and make the most of the unpredictability of the years ahead.