Saving More?

February 26, 2009

People are cutting back these days--everything from big ticket plans to remodel to the cup of coffee out.‚  Money Magazine has an interesting article about just how much we were spending before the recession.‚  "There's been much wringing of hands lately about the conspicuous overconsumption of the 1990s and early 2000s. Many people feel that we're simply being punished for buying all those flat-screen TVs. Maybe we could appease the angry money gods with a bonfire of surplus Prada bags. But guess what. Most Americans really weren't unusually self-indulgent. At the height of the boom, Elizabeth Warren, a Harvard Law School expert on bankruptcy and consumer debt, crunched the numbers. In 2005 the median-income family was spending substantially less of its income on clothing, appliances and food - even after including meals out - than families did in 1972. If it seems as though your closets have filled up with trinkets and baubles, that's partly because that stuff got a lot cheaper relative to incomes. Where the spending really grew was in the big fixed costs, including mortgages, health care, child care and college tuition." ‚