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are you spending less for no particular reason?

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Really, my life hasn’t been materially affected by this credit crunch / recession / whatever so far. I’ve got a new job, but that was because I made a career shift. My house is worth more than I owe on it (probably) but my mortgage is only 21% of my take home pay, so I’m not struggling to make the payments. I have as much money (if not more) in savings as I did this time two years ago. My investments are down, but I’m in it for the long haul, so that has no real impact.

And yet, I feel like I’m matching the overall mood. I’m not so inclined to go out drinking, I haven’t eaten out nearly as frequently as I used to, I haven’t been to the cinema in months, and I am much less interested in international travel than I would normally be.

Some of this is because I feel the need to improve my house (to both increase it’s value and to improve it’s functionality as a home). I’m saving up for things like new bathrooms and boring fixes to the fabric of the place. I’m also trying to bump up my emergency fund - I never seem to get past the mythical £6k figure. (Around 4-6 months expenses depending on how frugal I could be.) And some of this might just be me settling down a bit as I approach my 30th birthday.

I’m thinking that on a personal note, it’s not so much of a bad thing if I’m spending less and saving (and investing) more. For the economy, as a whole, it’s not so brilliant - although the investing is good - but we’re in a bit of a prisoners’ dilemma. In any case, I’m not really cutting back deliberately, I’m cutting back because intuitively it feels the comfortable thing to do, and I can’t think of a logical or objective reason to spend more.

Is anyone else spending less in the recession for no particular reason? Or have you felt the effects more directly and are adapting? I guess it’s sort of consumer sentiment thing, but there must be a name for this sort of phenomenon. Let me know what you think in the comments.

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39 comments for “are you spending less for no particular reason?”

  1. Not sure about recession but now a days sure people spending very less….

    Posted by Title Insurance Florida | October 6, 2009, 8:15 am
  2. It sounds as if we’re on a similar path, Plonkee. Although I am on the path to getting myself out of a mountain of debt once and for all (less than 2 months to go!), I was spending less even before that decision.

    It’s no bad thing for an individual. It may not do the country a great deal of good, but The Power of One in the economy is zilch. Ergo, I’ll pay myself before anyone else!


    Posted by Lee | October 6, 2009, 2:38 pm
  3. I’m with you-we haven’t really felt the crunch, so to speak. My husband and I are lucky to both have kept our good jobs.

    I’m spending less to increase our security (i.e., bump up the emergency fund), to allow ourselves to take opportunities as they arise (i.e., invest in our own business that will make DH happier), to invest more for retirement, and donate more to charity. There are things to save for, like house repairs/upgrades, vacations, Christmas etc. There’s always more goals than money to fulfill them, but in time, if we stay on this track, we can do it “all”. So that’s why I’m spending less.

    Posted by psychsarah | October 6, 2009, 2:56 pm
  4. I have ALWAYS been frugal, I am just releived that the pressure is off to spend like crazy (crazy being the operative word).

    Debt is a place I have never enjoyed being… so thrifty and patient is what I have to be happy doing. Now everyone is trying it, and I love that!

    I am very sorry that the shopping “lockdown” has adversly affected so many jobs, but it was such a false thing inflated by debt for most people… it was not sustainable (obviously).

    Personally, I have not felt the crunch within these walls too much. Sure my contracts are down a bit, but nothing to panic about. Husband is pretty solid in his career (knock on wood). Our home is worth four times what we owe on it in todays market, so we are solid there. And frugality has always been good to us, so we stick to it happily come fair weather or rain….

    Posted by *pol | October 31, 2009, 2:22 am
  5. i am definitely spending less but the reason is that i am at a temporary cash crunch that i am hoping to God passes soon because i really dont live living frugally out of necessity.

    Posted by kenyantykoon | November 2, 2009, 5:16 pm
  6. We are going the opposite path, funnily enough, spending a lot more last month and we’re predicting the same for this month. But that’s because we have had quite a number of friends and family visitng from overseas so we’ve been bringing them out and buying them dinners and what nots.

    Apart from that, we have been trying to live more frugally and save what we can to put towards our goals ie. travel, house etc.

    Posted by rubee | November 3, 2009, 10:18 am
  7. I’m definitely making an effort to spend less than usual - ironically we’ve done quite well out of the recession, in that our mortgage repayments are currently a fraction of our income (about 5%, but will go up when interest rates are back to normal), so we’ve been able to save a great deal.

    But that’s because I’m also coming up to the big 3-0 and plan to move to a bigger house etc.

    Posted by Ally S | November 3, 2009, 1:06 pm
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  10. I am currently also spending less for no particular reason simply because I’d rather be saving my money in case of an emergency that may come up later on. Personally, it’s always a good idea to save just to have money on hand in case you ever need it.

    Posted by CD Rates | November 6, 2009, 4:53 pm
  11. If anything, I’ve found that I am actually spending more now that the recession is “ending”. Although I wasn’t particularily badly hit when it was full blown, I was cutting back then but now with the GDP’s growing and the unemployment rate slowing it’s spiral down, I’m find that I spend more liberally.

    Btw not a post in a month, you still there?

    Posted by Brandon | November 9, 2009, 9:32 pm
  12. Totally agree…we are spending less as a a family and there is an old saying that goes something like knowing the difference between cost and value and we most definately appreciate the value of every single thing we buy now.

    Posted by alex harrison | November 9, 2009, 10:36 pm
  13. We just became homeowners and we are trying to spend less because mortgage is much more than what we paid for rent. We knew it would be tight but it’s tighter than we expected.

    Posted by Ken | November 10, 2009, 7:12 pm
  14. Hi Plonkee, you’re pretty astute with your comment of how the individual need to save conflicts with the needs of the wider economy for us to spend is like the prisoner’s dilemma.

    In fact it is called “The Paradox of Thrift” if I remember correctly.

    Posted by Monevator | November 12, 2009, 9:59 am
  15. There is nothing wrong in spending less if you are spending enough. There may be difference in need and the reason behind saving.

    Posted by battery | November 24, 2009, 11:50 am
  16. Not now it is almost Christmas… I am spending more than ever!!

    Posted by oneadvice | December 4, 2009, 1:49 pm
  17. Christmas is ok…. but what about the new year?

    Posted by chip-tuner | January 5, 2010, 6:06 am
  18. Im spending less it seems, but my overdraft is getting bigger and bigger…!

    Whats going on!

    Posted by Scott W | January 19, 2010, 4:39 pm
  19. There’s always more goals than money to fulfill them, but in time, if we stay on this track, we can do it “all”. So that’s why I’m spending less.



    Posted by Mark | January 27, 2010, 1:27 pm
  20. yeah, i spend way less. I mean i still buy food the way i used, but i spend less on cloth and other things that i don’t NEED

    Posted by Microsoft Points | January 28, 2010, 10:57 pm
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  22. I’ve spent about the same; however, I am getting better deals because everywhere you go there are deals in light of the recession.

    Posted by Free Microsoft Points | February 7, 2010, 10:38 pm
  23. I am not spending less, it might be because recession did not effect me much.
    I am in the new job almost earning same as past and things are going as it was going in past.
    The phenomenon you are going through is something related to that age ‘30′. I have seen other friends of mine going through a similar kind of phase.

    Posted by Cash Genie | February 11, 2010, 5:27 am
  24. I’m spending less, maybe because its my nature being frugal. Recession or not, we have to be wise and practical on spending money.

    Posted by Jamel Rose | February 13, 2010, 5:54 am
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  38. For me personally its a case of adaptation, spending within your means etc. Most of us have to do this consciously or subconsciously.

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  39. I am spending less since I got some things that needs my attention to get into. But knowing your tips here I guess I could overspend a little.

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