My pen name, Bita Bullet, was taken from a famous speech made in the 1970’s by President Gerald Ford, who at that time was very concerned about job loss, inflation, OPEC oil prices, Iran, and the many

other problems associated with a recession or a depression. He was worried about the high price of gasoline which was almost $1 a gallon and rising. He asked the nation “to bite the bullet”

Look at President Ford’s problems and just change the price of gasoline, and you have the same problems that are with us today. Did we not learn?

As many of my new readers at The Opelika Observer have surmised, my name does come from the bite the bullet phrase, which has a number of different meanings. For Bita it is the meaning from President Ford’s speech: to be tough, to endure pain and sacrifice, and in an economic situation such as the present, it means to be frugal and to make the most of what you have.

Bita’s columns are written on the economy, which simply means they can be on anything because you will be hard pressed to think of any situation that does not have some effect on it. Therefore, these columns will be diverse, but always with an underlying theme of trying to help us get our financial ducks in a row.

Many of the columns will be straight-out helpful hints on how to save money and the readers are invited to send in hints they have found to be helpful during this recessionary period. A bonus from these money- saving techniques is that usually they also help save the environment. Save gas, save money, save the environment.

Officially the recession is over, (Wells Fargo says it isn’t), but many people find that hard to believe in that their personal financial situation hasn’t improved and may have worsened.

Until you really have your financial ducks in a row and such things as a substantial emergency fund, sufficient retirement funds, your children’s (and your) education paid for, no mortgages or other loans, you are debt free and living well within your means and saving from every paycheck, you need to stay on your toes financially.

Our area has been spared the most drastic impacts of the recession. Our two largest employers, East Alabama Medical Center and Auburn University, give us an advantage over many cities where citizens have seen closings and massive job layoffs. This is not to say that we don’t have problems in Opelika, because we do. If you doubt this statement, just check with Miss Martha at the Food Bank.

Prior to 2007, when the possibility of a recession was beginning to be talked about and we watched the economy go from bad to worse, many Americans had never given their financial situation much thought. Then they were forced to face reality, which was that they had been living well above their means and were now in trouble. The same was true with our government.

During the World War II-Depression period, the advice was ‘Use it up, wear it out, make it do’. This has been replaced by the more modern ‘Reduce, reuse, recycle’, but the advice is as good now as it was then.

It is not enough now to know how to make money; you must know how to handle it and that takes discipline, which is more important than the training of how to make it.

They haven’t made enough money that you can’t flitter it away. You see examples of that every day. You may be an example.

Your comments, suggestions and helpful hints will be greatly appreciated. I look forward to talking with you every week for a long time. Thanks and have a happy week.

Bita Bullet is the pen name of a local anonymous writer for the Opelika Observer and can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .