Wednesday, May 5, 2010

A New Frugality?

I loved this article on MSNBC, and I wanted to share it with you all. The main point of the article is that while the economy has showed signs of improving (adding jobs, rising stock market, and increased consumer confidence), many people are still not spending money the way they used to. And economists think this "new frugality" might stick long after the Great Recession is over. The bad part about that? Since the U.S. market is so dependent on consumer spending, the recovery could take longer than other recoveries. But I like to look at the positive side of things - what it says to me is people are putting themselves and their families first and saving instead of spending to keep up with the Joneses.

I do think the recession started a change in my life and in the lives of my friends. For me, obviously it hit home quick - Frugal Femme and I started this blog shortly after my husband was laid off last year and I needed to figure out quick how to make things work with significantly less income. It was nice to be a part of a community who made saving a priority. For my friends, I've noticed less gatherings at restaurants and fewer shopping dates - more of the home gatherings, happy hours and spending quality time together. I definitely think it's made me closer to my friends rather than spending a lot of money at a bar to barely hear what they say.

How about you? Have you taken a new approach to life since the recession hit? Do you think your new habits will stick with you long into the recovery?


  1. For me I know that I put a lot more thought into how much we're saving, how we're saving, where we put our money and what we NEED vs. want.

    I do think that this was a bit of a wake up call to our country, and hope that people have learned a valuable lesson about saving their money!

  2. I think some frugality is here to stay for a while -- then the crazy spending will come back a la 2005. It's all cyclical.

  3. At the end of 2008, the company I worked for was hit hard by the recession, and I had to take a pay cut. I found myself with the same bills and a much smaller paycheck, so I had to change my spending habits. I think most of them have stuck with me-- especially just being a smarter consumer overall, and recognizing the importance of having an emergency fund.

  4. Mrs. Buck - good call on distinguishing between wants and needs. Too many people get them confused and it makes for some messy finances...

    Newlywed - I do agree that this is cyclical. Hopefully enough Americans got the point that saving should be a priority though. I don't care if people spend money, I just care if they spend more than they have.

    Meghan - it's definitely scary when we're forced to change our lifestyle...we had that happen, too. But I think it will make us better in the long run, you know? :)