Monday, July 27, 2009
Is America finally coming down from it's decades-long materialistic binge?
I have always thought that Americans are simply crazy about consuming. As a country, we buy so much crap that we don't need. I have been rallying about this for decades but no one really paid attention until the last two years and our collective national belt-tightening began. Now it seems my country has a ray of hope! We are finally saving our money again! Granted we'll still have a long way to go until we reach Japanese levels of personal saving but at least it's not a negative rate any more!!! This paragraph is from a mortgage broker blog that I read for my home buyers and it makes me smile.
Are big price cuts "artificially" bumping up Retail Sales? Studies have shown that consumers are shopping at second-hand stores in growing numbers, cutting back on luxuries and putting money in the bank - resulting in the highest saving rate in 16 years. We appear to be putting off visits to the doctor, not grooming our pets, choosing store brands over big-name brands and turning to do-it-yourself manicures and pedicures. And we are shedding the things we've accumulated over the years: garage-sale listings on Craigslist shot up 60% in the last year, either because we're less materialistic or we need the money.
Hopefully option A! I tell everyone who asks me if they can buy that they'll need at least $20000 for a down payment and closing costs and it's shocking to see who has that amount and who does not. This goes into "Millionaire Next Door" Territory, so I'll save that for another blog. In conclusion, it's good to see us pinching pennies like everyone else in the world has to do!