A recent Time magazine cover story, Thrift Nation, demonstrates “The New Frugality” of Americans. Nearly everyone will recognize someone familiar, be it an ER doctor, a blackjack dealer, an autoworker, restaurant owner, or the unemployed; each is profiled in this thought-provoking piece that attempts to demonstrate how truly broad the impact is of our current recession.
Here are some of the statistics from the story I found most interesting:
Although people are spending 27% less on health clubs, they are spending 29% more time exercising.
Could it be that unemployed people workout more? Let’s hope that’s only one part of the equation. I know that the more I have to do, the more I get done and have often found the opposite to be true.
Less than 40% of Americans think the economy will start to recover within one year.
That’s uncharacteristically negative for the typically overly optimistic (financially-speaking) American. I love to play the contrarian, so I might be more aggressive simply in response to this survey. Clearly, no one knows when this ship will turn around. That includes me and the 60% who say more than one year. Still, if I were a betting man, I’d say we’ll at least see the beginning of a turnaround before another year is out. Heck, the WSJ reported that Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke last Tuesday said that the U.S. recession appears to be losing steam, with growth likely to resume later this year on the back of firmer household spending, a bottoming housing market and an end to inventory liquidation.
36% of people are spending less on newspapers and magazines.
Okay, c’mon. As shocking of a statistic as that is, how much of it is due to the economy vs. what’s going on in that industry due to the enormous technological shift in the way we receive media (i.e., free via the web)?
What do you think of the new frugality? Is it real in your life? Is it temporary or will it be long-lasting?