June 5, 2009

You can flaunt or be ashamed of either profligate spending or frugality.

So why not feel good about whatever it is you're doing? Why not make a fun game out of all of our problems?

15 comments:

Stephanie Carnes said...

This article hit home to me: couponing is huge right now in my circle of mom-friends. I think it's a high that replaces the excitement excessive shopping used to provide. I get a rush when I leave Publix having paid $20 for $50 worth of groceries!

There's no shame in saving money anymore: what a strange thing to say.

Bissage said...

Poor is the new rich?

I’ve got to admit, I didn’t see that one coming.

Still, it’s a comfort to know that some things never change.

Link.

Richard Dolan said...

This caught my eye: "'Something very deep has changed in the American psyche,' said Dan Ariely, a professor of behavioral economics at Duke. 'The recession basically woke us up.'"

He has a point but the way he makes it is foolish. When times are tough, people cut back. Duh. What is it about professors that makes them want to turn 'duh' into 'deep change in the American psyche'? Can't they see the difference?

Yes, I know, it's a gross projection from a single instance, etc. But who else besides an academic would ever speak or write like that? A professor of behavioural economics (behavioural anything) should know better. Ariely undoubtedly does, but is intentionally reaching for an effect. But I think the effect he achieves is different from what he was aiming at.

Pogo said...

"Something very deep has changed in the American psyche," said Dan Ariely, a professor of behavioral economics at Duke."

I agree with Richard.

What has changed is the chimera of 'very deep' pockets.

Some of this New Frugality is just following the latest fad, replacing yesterday's profligacy with today's miserliness.

Some is borne of necessity.
Some from fear.

Some knew all along, silently hoping there really was a 'new economy' that allowed people to live far beyond their means.

Some were fools.
Some were just greedy.

Some have read the tea leaves and had a change of heart, some have had the change thrust upon them.

Some have been living this way all along, and are bemused that the methods of living cheaply are discussed as if new discoveries.

We are entering difficult times. Whether it will be a Great Depression or Great Recession, I know not.
But it will not be easy.
I actually fear for my children.

TMink said...

Richard wrote: "When times are tough, people cut back. Duh. (snip)
But who else besides an academic would ever speak or write like that?"

A politician maybe? Seriously, if the government acted with common sense like many Americans do, how much of this economic fiasco would be happening?

Times are tight, spend less. Times are good, save more! It goes back to at least Old Testament times.

Trey

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I love it when the "elites" discover the rest American life as if they just made some huge discovery, like finding the headwaters of the Nile and celebrate the people who just "discovered" that you can't have everything as an achievement comparable to landing on the moon.

Oooooh ahhhhh. You cut back on your limo rides. You can't get your nails done or your hair colored frequently. Hamburger is cheaper than steak? Who knew? Clothing on sale or even from a consignment shop can cover your body? Be still my beating heart.

Selling crock pot recipes?!? Get out of here. How about talking to your Grandmother. I bet she would give some advice....and it might not just include crock pots.

What a crock, and I don't mean an electric crock pot with a chicken in it either. Hey....elites....welcome to the rest of America.

bearbee said...

We've had recessions before. It's not the recession that woke up people, it is the popping of the housing bubble, rapid stock market decline and seeing their paper wealth dissipate. Then there has been some shocks along the way such as high energy costs in 2008 beginning to rear its head again.

People sense this is not just an ordinary economic downturn but something fundamentally different

Penny said...

So fundamentally different, if only because Obama is the first President in my adult lifetime to strongly suggest that Americans need to save more.

I've been waiting to hear this message from the top for a long time. Let's hope it isn't too little, too late.

rhhardin said...

Forget coupons. Just buy the store brand.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I've been waiting to hear this message from the top for a long time



You couldn't figure this out all by yourself? You need to have the President or someone official tell you to save money and not spend more than you have?

/facepalm

bearbee said...

When hyper-inflation sets in all those paper dollars you saved ........well, does Weimar Germany ring a bell?

Henry said...

I'm flaunting bemusement these days and I feel good about it.

traditionalguy said...

The best guilt antidote for overspenders is to buy stock in the retail stores you shop. The next best thing is to only shop where they mark it up 200% before they apply the price reductions and 60% off clearances. Then you can brag with the sweet smile of an olympic champion as you show how much you bought at such low prices.Try Joseph Banks men's clothing store.

Penny said...

DBQ, I figured this out for myself a long, long time ago. I was talking about the abysmal savings rate history this country has had for decades. Well before this latest recession, it was evident that this HUGE group of baby boomers were heading toward retirement with little to no savings. This alone would cause a significant downturn in our economy. I think when you see such worrisome patterns forming that have longer term impact to alot of people, it is not only the President's responsibility to talk about it, it's his duty.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Well before this latest recession, it was evident that this HUGE group of baby boomers were heading toward retirement with little to no savings.

The biggest problem is the sense of entitlement. Yes, they have no savings but why worry....the government will provide. Previously, before the Socialism of the New Deal people were frugal, lived within their means and relied upon their own savings and families. Now....who cares....just tax strangers for more money.

We reap what we sow.