Monday, October 3, 2011

Old-Fashioned Yankee Thrift

Last week I came across an on-line Time article proclaiming that "old-fashioned Yankee thrift" or frugality has become the new norm. On a scale of 1 - 10, with 1 being not frugal, the average American now puts themselves at 7.3 on the frugality spectrum. The article mentions all sorts of ways we are more frugal these days: cutting coupons, home haircuts, etc. One jumped off the page at me:

Consumers have also been spending more on auto repairs in order to keep older vehicles on the road longer, rather than dropping more money to buy new cars.
And I have first hand knowledge that this is true. My brother owns an auto repair shop in Dane, Wisconsin. His focus is on structural repairs as opposed to mechanical. We spoke last weekend, and he said business has shot up....a big change. I've also hear that buying a used car is much harder these days because there is so much demand for them.

I am surprised that the author thinks this frugal trend is the new norm. A change in our Nation's spending habits will be tested only when the economy takes off once again. Will we be frugal in boom years? The fact that credit care spending has crept up (according to the article) eats away at how drastic a change Americans may have undergone.

How about you? When the Dow breaks new highs and unemployment drops, as it eventually will, will you still be frugal? I will. I've been frugal too long to let it go, it is simply part of who I am.

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