The current economy has little effect on my aquarium addiction. I am more careful about buying new things for my tank. First I see if I can modify something I currently have to work.
I'd already slowed down on buying new plants from lack of room, so that's the same. I've already budgeted for the electricity used and I have a stockpile of filter media, bulbs, etc from sales I've come across (I knew I'd use them eventually).
I will say that any vague thoughts of trying a high tech tank have been shelved for the time being. It will give me something to try at a later date.
It may have a slight impact on my aquarium keeping but it won't be much. I'm just going to have to space out my purchases some rather than get the rest of what I want all at once. I'm also going to be looking more toward my local club for fish instead of going to stores to try saving a little money.
I wouldn't be looking to buy a whole new system from scratch though. That would be too much.
I've always hated waste, so I'm pretty frugal by nature.
I only buy the better stuff so it lasts, and I never skimp when it comes to the hobby, so in general, once you're set up there isn't a lot of extra expense to deal with.
With regular water changes and maintenance there aren't many fish or plant losses, so I don't need to buy much in that department either, unless I want a bit of change or set up yet another tank....
That said, our electric company has gone nuts with extra service charges and "riders", (which they say aren't a rate increase, but gee, our bill is way higher) so I have cut many of the tanks down from 12 hours of lighting to 10 or 11, just because. I've also turned the heaters down a bit from about 78° to 74 - 76° and it doesn't seem to make any difference at all.
I'm basically married and that affects my spending on anything.
But really I don't spend much at this point because I have no room to expand and get more tanks. I think if I could buy another tank and the equipment, the only thing affecting me would be the cost of college and my girlfriend.
Without starting a political debate, I must say I find this poll quite interesting. 83% of people say here that the economy has little or no affect on their hobby, and I suspect this carries over into most aspects of peoples day to day lives. Personally, my buisness is better than ever, I spend the same amount of money on bills every month as I always have, my living expenses havn't really gone up any, and now that the cost of gas has dropped way down I have even more money in my pocket! And this is what determined our election? I don't own any stock, and I cashed in my 401k to start my business nine years ago, so I feel completely unaffected by the so called recession! 8-[
The size of the impact is relative - you buying plants, or building that monsterous tank you've always wanted...
I have a lot in stock... and it's way down (wall street rules wouldn't let me sell, so now I'm here on the bottom waiting for the tide to come in).
It keeps me from buying the expensive stuff (new lights) and getting the stuff I really want (a 200+ reef tank, which will require me to remodel the living room first (to gain the wife's approval )).
But hey Robert, sounds like you're doing well! Can you spare some change!
Seriously though - I'm no economist, but with two perfect storms coming together (housing foreclosures and the doubling of the price of energy) really wreaked havoc on the markets and the economy. It took about 3-4 months for the price of oil to give us a "death-blow" and trickle across the markets (from oil, to shipping/transport costs, into food prices, commodity prices). Now with the price of gas 1/2 what it was 6 months ago, should take another 4-6 months for "deflation" to really kick in.
I hear you. Credit is going to be tight. You are not going to make money in investing for a while, but is it really going to affect your quality of life? Does it keep you from the essentials? If you are fairly affluent, I think you are going to stay that way right? I'm not even sure how much it affects the poor. There is still credit yes.com ads on the radio who say "we will sell you a car no matter how bad your credit is, guaranteed!" There is even mortgage companies still claiming to sell a house to anyone regardless of credit! Life seems to be going on like nothing has changed, except unregulated credit card companies, banks, and insurance companies are jacking up fees and interest rates. No political party has ever seriously been willing to take on the banking industry, and if our new President does that in a serious way, I'll become a democrat!