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Is the Frugal wave over?

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  • Is the Frugal wave over?

    With everything that's going on right now, is the Frugal wave over? I feel like the amount of media focused on the frugal wave has really died down.

  • #2
    The depression lasted more than 10 years. During that time, the economy had spirts and spudders, yet the majority of people back then remained frugal.

    Between excessive unemployment, welfare and food stamps, todays american is somewhat sheltered from the concequences of excessive debt. This will result in an heavy burden to the future, but as time goes on, the pressure will build. So, it is likely that frugality will have its moments for quite some time.

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    • #3
      During the 1st quarter 2010, the average household debt in USA dropped for the 1st time since 1945. Interest rates will be rising which can increase debt without any additional purchases

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      • #4
        Household debt went down because defaults and write-offs increased. Very few are really paying off debt.

        Lots of people have cut back because it is fashionable to do so, or they are afraid. Lavish spending is just out of step. Not to say that many, many people have been forced to cut back because of their personal situations due to the economy.

        But, like in all recessions, people get sick of the belt-tightening. Eventually there is pent up demand for certain items and just a return of a desire for certain goods.

        My opinion is that there is going to be a split demographic - the well-off will get sick of the frugality and return to their reckless spending - when it seems OK to do so. The not-so-well off will be largely left behind in the "new" economy and will have to remain frugal just to survive. This group is growing and will continue to grow.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by wincrasher View Post
          My opinion is that there is going to be a split demographic - the well-off will get sick of the frugality and return to their reckless spending - when it seems OK to do so.
          I don't exactly agree with this, particularly the "reckless spending" part of the quote. It isn't reckless to spend money that you can afford to spend, even if you are spending it on frivolous things. If all of your financial needs are being attended to and you want a gold-plated, jewel-encrusted toothbrush, go for it. Many people who haven't been particularly affected by the recession have cut back on conspicuous consumption because of public perception. However, that actually makes the economy worse since these are folks who spend millions on luxuries, fancy cars, dining out, exotic travel, etc., all things that keep the economy humming along. We need the rich to keep spending.
          Steve

          * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
          * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
          * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

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          • #6
            I think one of the main reasons frugality is out of the news is the lack of new news....while there are a 1000 different ways to save, They really all boil down to half a dozen basic concepts...so it gets boring.

            Personally I have seen a couple folk really embrace the responsible routine, and others who just can't get it even thought they are out of work.

            My husband was talking to someone the other day, someone who can't quite figure out how we are not going into debt - because the budget is based on what we get from UI...anyway after 20 or 40 ideas suggestions and hints (over the course of months), it turns out the fellow is doing ONE thing to improve his finances!

            Hey that one thing is far better than nothing, so the media might not see frugality as newsworthy, but I kinda think we need to be constantly reminded of it.

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            • #7
              I think it depends on one's mindset. I've been frugal and will continue to look for ways to save money because that's what makes me comfortable. However, I have friends who still are not frugal and continue to spend even though they are deeply in debt...they feel they deserve to buy things.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by PrincessPerky View Post
                I think one of the main reasons frugality is out of the news is the lack of new news....while there are a 1000 different ways to save, They really all boil down to half a dozen basic concepts...so it gets boring.
                I think this really hits the nail on the head. I think people can only take so much of hearing about cutting back, being frugal, etc. when every other media portal is pushing the American Dream of having everything now.

                As Rob62521 said, I find it astounding that people think they "deserve" things despite being in debt over their head. This really speaks to the lack of financial education in the US.

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                • #9
                  I don't think there was ever really a frugal wave. Rather, I think people were trying to figure out how to hold onto their toys. People are willing to go to great lengths to attain and maintain status symbols, even if it means eating ramen 5 nights a week to keep a jet boat in the marina. It makes no sense, but that's our culture. To me, frugality is a choice, and people now are being forced into cutting back, so it's not really a wave.

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                  • #10
                    Here's what I think - I think the age of reckless spending is over, when speaking generally, but not frugality per se.

                    I think "value" is what's going to rule purchasing decisions. . .whether that's something as important as a house, to as pedestrian as what's for lunch.

                    Every purchase decision to be made is going to be decided upon, "What value does this offer me?" Does it save time? Increase my productivity? Help me relax.

                    I think the days of impulse buying are coming to a close, although I don't think an occasional impulse buy can ever be totally eliminated, like my other thread - being unemployed and getting a beach house rental.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Scanner View Post
                      I think the days of impulse buying are coming to a close
                      While I wish that were true, I don't think it is. Advertisers and marketers are experts at separating shoppers from their money to the point that many people don't even realize they've been conned into buying something they didn't want or need. I don't see that stopping any time soon. People will always be attracted to what is new or shiny or different or "better" than what they have now.

                      During a recession when jobs are shaky, investment account balances are down and every news story is about how things keep getting worse, people feel poorer, whether they actually are or not. As a result, they trim back their spending. Once that turns around, which it is starting to do, people will start to feel richer again and they will loosen up on the pursestrings and the money will start flowing once more.
                      Steve

                      * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
                      * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
                      * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

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                      • #12
                        I don't think impulse buying will ever totally go out of vogue. Heck, even I am suseptible to it. Everyone is.

                        I just think marketing nowadays (beyond advertising) is aimed at establishing value more vs. capitalizing on the impulse (well, good marketing does both).

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Scanner View Post
                          I just think marketing nowadays (beyond advertising) is aimed at establishing value more vs. capitalizing on the impulse (well, good marketing does both).
                          I have definitely noticed a difference in marketing messages, but ultimately it is just a different way to sell the same old crap. The end result is the same - consumer buys product.
                          Steve

                          * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
                          * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
                          * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Yeah lately it seems like the frugal wave is over. I've been seeing people buy more extravagant things now more than ever!

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by disneysteve View Post
                              I have definitely noticed a difference in marketing messages, but ultimately it is just a different way to sell the same old crap. The end result is the same - consumer buys product.
                              This was really the basis for my question. It really seems like the frugal messaging has tapered off and perhaps been replaced by ads for 3d televisions. (I'll never watch tv in my house with 3d glasses on!) Since we've been through the tech boom and now the subprime mortgage bubble, I wonder what will drive people back to frugality in the future.

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