I don't know how bad the economy is outside of the US, but it royally sucks here in California.
When I was in Vancouver a few months ago, I didn't see anything change. Granted.. I was only in the metro areas.. but the demographic was insane. They were all young professionals like me and they were actually enjoying life. Clubs were pretty decent.
Crap really hit the fan, when the housing bubble collapsed. I'm kind of sad that I never pro-actively invested some time and work into mortgages while it was going well. I think it had to do with ethics and actually having a conscience. I knew all about what ARM's were and I couldn't believe people would actually opt into doing ARM's or having Interest only to purchase homes. I was actually surprised it lasted this long.
Friends were making money hand over fist. Easily profitting $10,000.00-$50,000.00 a month. Granted my friends weren't exactly saavy with investing or saving for a rainy day. They bought their typical $100,000.00 car. They bought two homes. One where they worked and one for "playing". They were usually off going on trips to God knows where and they enjoyed it to the fullest.
I guess.. what I'm realizing is that I'm a big fat pussy. I always second guess myself when it comes to making decisions. Half of my friends just have this mentality of.. "F*ck it." and they just blow up successfully. The lose their jobs, they lose all of their money.. but within six months they're back on their feet.. making decent money (around 80k) and actually settling down.
I know it's going to take some time, but I'm going to just go for things instead of taking these "calculated risks."