Will We Return to Our Old Spending Habits

From CNN Money:

In-your-face consumption is so 2007

There is a lot of debate in this area. One side says we will return to our normal spending ways after this recession ends. The other side says there has been a fundamental shift in our spending habits and values.

What do you think? Do  you plan to spend as you did before this recession started?


54 Responses to “Will We Return to Our Old Spending Habits”

  1. 1 el Bouzkouri Youssef April 7, 2009 at 9:46 AM

    I agree with this argument , that we will eventually come back to our old ways of consuming like crazy, and the reason why nobody is consuming as much as before is because everyone around us is scared to spend money, therefore, we get influenced and we influence other to spend less! the more people around us will start spending , the more we will spend too!

  2. 2 Heidi11 April 8, 2009 at 11:29 AM

    I think that though it will take time, eventually Americans will return to their old spending habits. Even once the economy makes a decided turn for the better, I believe people will initially be fearful to spend exactly as they had in the past, but spending will increase gradually. Eventually, people will feel secure enough to spend money more freely, and the economy will stabilize, in part because of the increased spending brought on by increased consumer confidence. The relationship between the economy and consumer confidence is inextricable; if one is down, the other will be too, and if one is up, the other will follow close behind.

  3. 3 Monica Cooper April 8, 2009 at 6:32 PM

    Our economy cannot fall indefinitely. At some point it will rebound and when that happens consumption will make a huge comeback. We love out stuff too much for something small like a recession to cure us of our over spending habits. Individual financial responsibility is a virtue Americans are rather unfamiliar with. Yes, we have stopped spending for the time being. But I think our habits have been temporarily curbed rather than permanently changed. Unfortunately we often identify what we posses materially with who we are as human beings. Our fancy cars, our designer clothes, our $5 lattes, this is who we are, not just what we own. I have a feeling after the recession ends, it will be out of sight, out of mind.

    Perhaps the worst part about this is that our greed and over consumptive habits may lead us down the same road in the future.

  4. 4 lalves April 11, 2009 at 7:09 PM

    I enjoyed reading this blog and will have to agree that Americans will go back to their old spending habits because in order to get out of a recession Americans must spend their way out of it. The reason being is that most Americans are materialistic and have to have the coolest toys and latest gadgets in order to feel important. So once people start to realize that the recession is over and they don’t have to worry about money as much, they will spend more. I personally don’t really have a lot of money to spend, but I know my parents have started saving a lot more because of the recession. I believe that in the future they will not be afraid to spend money, but will do it responsibly. People need to spend money to make the economy go round, but must do it responsibly to avoid another recession.

  5. 5 AlexBryant/Econ101 April 13, 2009 at 10:47 AM

    I think we will all return to our old spending habits, no one changed there spending habits, they just slowed them selves down a bit. I know that’s what I did, I didn’t chage my spending habits, I just spend less, sort of… I found out that video game sales have gone up, like in 1930 when movie viewing went up.

  6. 6 jordan April 13, 2009 at 4:06 PM

    I do agree that we will eventually go back to our old spending ways. I think it will take a while for people to fully feel comfortable with the idea of being less frugal, but will let their guard down as they remember what they missed about the way they used to shop, or the way they used to spend money in general. I also feel like there are still people who are in the position to keep spending the same way that almost feel like it is their “civil responsibility” to keep contributing to the smaller businesses who ultimately struggle more, by continuing to spend money there. By having more people shop local, and consider their spending choices, flaunting designer shopping bags is definitely not the “in” thing to do.

  7. 7 Lucas Tirelli April 13, 2009 at 7:50 PM

    I don’t think there would be a major change in consumers’ spending habits. People will still consume the way they did before when the economy will be back to normal, thinking that a recession will not be likely for a long period of time. However, the small change could be that people would hesitate a little longer before buying goods and services, the recession still being fresh in their minds.

  8. 8 Nancy Moussa April 13, 2009 at 8:49 PM

    I think that people will be a little smarter with their spending habbits. No one wants another recession, so they will think twice about purchasing useless things. Hopefully we are smart enough to never let our economey reach this level again.

  9. 9 Rafael Barrera April 13, 2009 at 10:08 PM

    I think we will go back to our old spending habits eventually. We have become to much of a materialistic society anyway. I don’t think that will change much. we might be cutting back but I don;t think that will hold us back.

    People don’t resist change. They resist being changed. ~ Peter Senge

  10. 10 Andrea Nemeth April 15, 2009 at 11:29 AM

    I dont think people will ever learn their lessons. once this is all over i think the vast majority will go right back to spending their money like it is free. im sure their will be a speical few that will actually learn from their mistakes and take more interest in saving and being smart with their money. Most people only think for the day at present and will forget the hardships of today.

  11. 11 Kelli C April 20, 2009 at 10:20 PM

    It is interesting to think that what people consume is a trend that most people conform to. I never thought about how much people are influenced by what the people around them are consuming. If you are a big spender, you won’t feel as guilty spending a lot if others are spending just as much. And vise versa, if you like to save, you feel better doing it when others are too. And for now, the article says that the trend is to save rather than consume, so for those that enjoy saving as much as possible, it will be easier for them to fit in, since that is what they do normally. But, for those that like to spend big, these times may be difficult for them to conform to what everyone eles is doing. So for the sub-title of this article being “In your face spending is so 2007” it really fits because like other things, consumption is also just a trend.

  12. 12 Noe Pate April 21, 2009 at 1:36 AM

    I think that there will be a shift and a reverance for the memory of thousands of people losing their jobs. I think people will remember the conversations they had, whether they were telling or being told, about what family had to adjust to now that they breadwinner didn’t have a job. Just in the way my great-grandfather still keeps money hidden I think we will remain wary. At least the wise will.

  13. 13 Tim Honeycutt April 21, 2009 at 6:50 PM

    Something has got to give. We either change our habits or get back into the same problem again. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. I think we will change our spending habits, but slowly creep back to the way they were. I don’t see this government being smart enough to change it’s main problems.

  14. 14 Hannibal April 21, 2009 at 10:21 PM

    It’s so hard to tell because right now we want to say no. We value every little thing we have right now because it’s penny for penny. However, it is so natural for people to spend more money when they’re making more money. This really should be a wake up call but in the end, there is just too much greed out there.

  15. 15 Melissa Schmitt April 22, 2009 at 11:03 AM

    for the most part people will continue to spend the way they use to before the recession. Their confidence level will go up and some people have not even changed their spending habits throughout the recession. I do believe that some people will be cautious at the beginning of the end of the recession but as long as people remain confident and comfortable with the economy people will want to spend. It is essential to our economy that household consumption is high and around 70% so that we do not fall back into this bad os a recession

  16. 16 NicoleMB April 22, 2009 at 12:14 PM

    I don’t like to think that most people would return to their old spending habits. And a lot of people I’ve talked to don’t plan on it and they don’t think that other people will either. But in the back of my mind I feel like slowly but surely people will start getting into some of the old habits. We’ve made changes to accommodate the state of the economy at the moment but I think some of those are just short run changes and people will find it difficult to make long run changes if it’s not forced. I’m torn – maybe it won’t be all people but some people. The scenario that first comes to mind is gas prices. Gas prices went up so maybe people started using public transportation or bikes or some other means of getting around. Gas goes down, perhaps they start using the car again. Maybe their choices didn’t have a permanent solution in mind. But then again there are other people who might have taken it one step further and bought an energy efficient vehicle, obviously they won’t get rid of that car to start using their old not-so-efficient vehicle. So, I think that SOME people will return to SOME of their old habits. Hopefully everyone can just be conscious enough to work towards a long run solution to these fluctuating problems.

  17. 17 Arnulfo Solorio April 22, 2009 at 5:19 PM

    Hi all,
    all of your comments are great and very interesting. I agree with all because in my own opinion there will be people that will learn from this experience and there will be others that will not learn. I can see both ways as soon as the economy turns around and most people get a job then we will start by celebrating. Some of us will say that we need to spend so economy gets better or how else would it help ? Others will take a little longer and some probably will have learn from this one. In my opinion this example is like when you just got divorse or getting divorse. You promise and tell everyone that you will never get in a relationship so you would not get hurt again. Well, the result is that you end up doing it again and again. Right now some of us are divorse and others are getting there so we are all saying never again.

  18. 18 Michael DeBoer St. Mary's April 22, 2009 at 11:31 PM

    Yes i do plan to spend/invest as much as i did before. As long as I have a job (which i do) I plan to spend no more and no less. If more people spent their money and put more money back into the economy, sooner or later the economy will become stable again. I believe it is better for indivduals to invest their money in upcoming industries such as green products. this will be the start of the new economy and the sooner people do this the sooner the economy will get back on track.

  19. 19 Leonardo Rios Econ 101 April 23, 2009 at 7:48 AM

    I will spends almost like before, but it is good to save for hard times like this ones. bad habit of spending is how we got to this point so we need to learn how to save a little to and not to get so under bubget. also if your spending it should be in thing that you will make profit out of so you would have some investment.

  20. 20 LEONARDO SANCHEZ ECON 101 April 23, 2009 at 2:01 PM

    To Spend $ Or Not to Spend $


    i agress that the economy will go up and do cart wheels After this roller coaster of ur economy stops going down-ward. We will one day spend like the maniac people we once were. Never the

    less it is a chain reaction becasue people dont spend as much as they used so everyone follows that person and they too stop spending as they use too. It is part od what the economy is

    going through. i cant imagine when they finally say the recession is finally over! Will we the next day spend $1000 dollars in stores? No, we probably wont but atleast we know that

    we will have survival skills to save money and spend some of it like crazy.

  21. 21 Andrew Curry April 23, 2009 at 4:54 PM

    I havent really changed my spending habits. I mean maybe a little bit here and there but overall im trying not to change to much. Im hoping things will get better soon but things arent looking good. I will continue to keep my old spending habits up and hope for the best.

  22. 22 Luis Orozco 101 April 24, 2009 at 7:18 PM

    i think that our spending is based on how much money we have. we always spend more when we have more money!

  23. 23 Luis Orozco 101 April 24, 2009 at 7:22 PM

    obiously companies will keep laying off people as long as they dont make the profits they expect!

  24. 24 Linda Villasenor April 25, 2009 at 11:53 AM

    I think that I will make sure to keep track how much money I spend and what I spend it on because before I wouldn’t even now what I spent my money on. Knowing where you money goes and how much money I have left to spend will make me take better decisions on what I want to buy vs. what I need to buy. However, I haven’t gotten into debt because I like buying what I can buy at the moment, meaning that I have the money to to pay. So I hope I can stay debtless.

  25. 25 mrrodenas April 27, 2009 at 7:41 PM

    I must say, I really, really enjoyed reading all your comments…and it is hard to disagree with the overwhelming consensus that we will go back eventually to our “regular”, that is, overspending habbits..but, wait! Wait a second!!

    I can, I actually could disagree with the general consensus and go against the current, and maybe even believe it, so I can actually change my own attitude towards spending and the way I live my life. You too can make that difference, it is all about you and your perception of the world, living the way you believe your life should be lived. I did not believe Obama could win either, but see how small changes, how personal decisions can start a wave of change. Dear readers and writers, please do not underestimate your power and influence as individuals in this society, this is how we messed up in the first place!

    So, in brief, if you have discovered that living with less is more, remind yourself everyday, I bet that will help others remember.

  26. 26 Genine Lobo April 27, 2009 at 11:18 PM

    I do plan on spending as much as I did before this recession mainly because of social pressures. As the article says, “you’re especially susceptible to social influences when it comes to making buying decisions. That’s because on top of the social pressures, the store and the manufacturer are working together to break down your discipline.” There will be a lot of social pressure to go out and spend money because of the stores large signs telling about there discounts, and even though I would like to save my money, it will be hard to after the final recession.

  27. 27 Ally S. April 29, 2009 at 12:11 AM

    It’s hard to say wither or not people will return to their old spending habits after this recession ends. I can speak for myself, however. I know that this recession has taught me to personally spend less and save more. I think that when this great recession finally comes to an end, I will be able to maintain these habits that I have now. Like myself, there will people out there that will continue to keep their new habits and save instead of spend. On the other hand, however, there also will be those who will return to their old habits and values. Often time’s higher incomes and social pressures make some believe that they can do so without much difficultly.

  28. 28 Marilyn Monroe April 29, 2009 at 8:29 AM

    Once the economy gets back to normal people are going to drastically increase their spending habits. Right now people have decreased their spending habits because they are influenced to save money due to the economic situation. Well that will change when the recession ends because people will go back to their old spending habits. When the recession ends people will be encouraged to spend more money.

  29. 29 wordtown May 4, 2009 at 10:46 AM

    The only thing I did change in my spending habit is spending money on fast food. Other things pretty much stayed the same. I just don’t eat out as much as I used to. I think it just depends on how much money people have to spend. If you have the money and don’t really care if you waist it, then of course they’ll spend it. Others might want to save a little. But I do think people will start spending more as soon as jobs get better.

  30. 30 Emily Bonzi May 4, 2009 at 8:53 PM

    My parents recently filed bankruptcy right around the time that everyone began talking about the economic recession. Spending was frivolous in my house and the bankruptcy served as a wake up call to the family. In the future, my family will be much more aware of their spending habits because for the past two years now each penny spent has been scrutinized. I cannot speak for the whole of America, but I know that once my family climbs out of this economic hole their spending habits will be altered for the better.

  31. 31 Luis A. May 5, 2009 at 5:09 PM

    i agree with this article. its is true, when a friend gets something, you tend to look for something like that. Other people want to show off their wealth and but expensive clothing and a new BMW sitting next to a big house. That is the American dream! for some. It is a natural for some people to be greedy and want more, when they really don’t need it. Of course we will return to our normal spending habits, but we will return again into our spending habits. its a vicious cycle.

  32. 32 Kelsey Ryan May 6, 2009 at 11:59 AM

    I think that americans will return to our old ways of spending when the recession is over. We are known as one of the biggest consuming nations in the world. It will be just a matter of time before we go back to purchasing things that we really don’t need. It’s sad, but true.

  33. 33 Jay Surface May 9, 2009 at 3:42 PM

    Spending for most people is based on income. If you have the money, most people are going to spend it. There is always going to be that extreme case of the person who worries (the classic grandma who doesn’t believe in banks and hides her money under the couch), but most people like to enjoy life. When unemplyment sinks back down is when spending will increase again. I fortuantely, am well off right now so I will continue to spend until I feel a pinch.

  34. 34 phanh May 11, 2009 at 11:05 AM

    i also agree people will go back to their old spending habits because it’s just way people are the economy make people what to be part of the economy so people think to be in and they have to be spenders

  35. 35 Audrey Hepburn May 11, 2009 at 3:45 PM

    I feel like after a while we will return to our old spending habits. It will not happen right away but it will happen. People will be very cautious to only buy necessities but after the economy stabilizes, people will think its ok to spend a lot again and will do as they used. Most people will change and not return to old ways but it is too hard for every one to change. People are so used to one way and that’s all they know. Eventually, people will go back to their old spending ways.

  36. 36 Tracy Thomas May 12, 2009 at 12:07 PM

    I think that smart American realise that you cannot live beyond your means without paying the price in the end. I personally feel the fundamental shift myself. Before the recession I was stuck in the credit card era and managed to form quite a dept. Since we’ve gone into recession I’ve had my first priority be to pay off my dept. I do not want to spend on things that i don’t have the money for. Interest and bills adds to stress and once all my credit card are paid off i refuse to ever use them again !!!!!!

  37. 37 Andrew May 12, 2009 at 3:17 PM

    Tracy has probably realized something that many Americans are realizing, using credit cards is nice, but not necessarily practical. A change in our everyday lifestyle would be nice especially considering how so ‘borrowing money’ to buy stuff is what got us into our housing problem at the moment. I think Americans should be taught basic economics or how to be fiscally conservative in high school

  38. 38 Rachel Sturm May 12, 2009 at 9:58 PM

    One thing about recessions is that they throw an economic situation in your face. You cannot help but learn from the impact that a recession has on you. I believe that the US will be wiser in spending IF and only IF we dont forget that things can get this bad. If we chose to build up the use of credit and to push the idea of living beyond ones means, then we will end up in this same situation a decade from now. Looking at our past economic history, it seems likely that we will follow this pattern, but I chose to be hopeful of the new administration and the education of the American people to make us less stupid in the spending of our money.

  39. 39 Gabriel Mayora (Macro-Theory SMC) May 13, 2009 at 8:48 PM

    I would have to say that society will return to their old spending habits. Americans love to shop and spend money. The fact is society is saving waiting at home eagerly until this recession end so they can spend money. Humans are creatures of habits and Americans have made it enough of a habit to purchase not only necessities, but things they desire. We will spend money once again.

  40. 40 Nirbhik Trehan May 13, 2009 at 10:46 PM

    i think people will eventually start spending money the normal way they used to before. because they can not stay the way the economy wants them to stay. they have to find a way to solve the problem and for me the only way we can solve the problem is by spending more and more and increasing demand and eventually reducing supply.

  41. 41 Jim Castilone May 14, 2009 at 2:44 PM

    America will definitely return back to its old spending habits. We are so easily pacified by what the media says. When the news and magazines start reporting that we are out of the recession or the economy is looking better, people will start spending again. I think that America has a hard time learning from its mistakes.

  42. 42 Kevin Clark St marys May 16, 2009 at 1:08 AM

    I see no reason why the entire world wont return to their natural spending habits. I think that the world consumers are a bit more educated on how to be more efficient buyers, but once the job market becomes more stable peoples income levels will raise and so will their spending habits. For myself personally i know my spending will be increasing as rhe economy rises as well.

  43. 43 Cole Scharton May 17, 2009 at 12:12 PM

    I personally only alter my spending based on my own finances. I save as much as possible, and am currently paying off student loans. I try not to spend unnecessarily, occasionally it happens, but never out of my ability to pay it off. I don’t think this has really made a lasting impact on anyone. I think it would need to be much more drastic to alter lifestyles permanently. My grandma who lived through the great depression was life long altered (she saves everything, and spends nothing). We have not been impacted enough for this type of change, and frankly, it may be a good thing. Her intense saving would be difficult on our economy if everyone saved as she does. Now retail is down .4%, if everyone changed more drastically, it would easily be down 40%, causing higher unemployment, and certainly a depression. Frivolous spending is fine, but stupid spending needs to end.

  44. 44 Walter Munill May 17, 2009 at 1:55 PM

    I think eventually everything will return to the way things once were. It comes and goes in cycles similar to business cycles that occur. Once the economy turns around people will still by cautious about their money and how they spend it, but inevitably people will regain their trust in the economy and everything will almost return to the way things once were.

  45. 45 mike furlong May 17, 2009 at 3:27 PM

    The recession has temporary altered our idea of saving and spending. Will our spending habits return to what they were before? It depends. Those who were hit particular hard by the recession, hit brankruptcy or was one of the prime candidates of the morgage crisis, would generally have a new perception about thier finicial situation. However, this particular recession is not going to alter our spending habits overall. Consumerism is a large part of our economy (and culture) and early signs of improvement will lead to a high increase in spending.

  46. 46 Britany Linton May 17, 2009 at 7:20 PM

    I agree with this article like most of the posts. I feel the stronger our economy gets and the less debt we are in, the more confident people will feel that they don’t have to save their money. Little by little our economy will be strong and people will start spending like crazy again. History repeats itself.

  47. 47 Simon Kudus May 17, 2009 at 7:48 PM

    I agree eventually will return to our old spending habits. But it won’t be for a while because how long the effects of the recession will last can not be predicted. Mainly because we don’t know how long the recession going to last. Only time will tell.

  48. 48 Robert LaVoy May 17, 2009 at 11:37 PM

    Personally i’ll probably be spending more money because i’ll have a job that allows me to do so. But as for the rest of America, i think that the people who are financially smart will always be ok, but the ones who are not will probably spend the same.

  49. 49 Santi Orona May 18, 2009 at 10:03 PM

    I think people will fall back into the same vicious cycle. Right now everyone is being thrifty because of our economic situation. However, once the economy starts improving, I think people will begin to spend more money. History is bound to repeat itself, but people will probably figure “history” will come later. Hopefully, there has been a true shift in opinion.

  50. 50 Stephen Cassinelli May 19, 2009 at 2:11 PM

    I do think that when this recession is over we will return to our old and consistent methods of spending money. Yes, the recession has scared many people into spending money but why when our economy gets back to normal would we continue to keep saving and not spend. I do think that baby steps are needed to get people to stimulate the economy, but with a little reassurance from the government and the media, people will get back in the habit of going out and wanting to spend money.

  51. 51 Mva89 May 20, 2009 at 7:58 PM

    I somewhat agree with this statement. However, I believe it is going to take a long time before it starts going back to normal. I think the recession gave everyone a good scare and maybe taught people how to think and behave more economically. It might even have changed some peoples ways of living, simply because living the way they used to is not affordable during a time like this. I think people are going to be more aware of their spending, but eventually I believe we will come closer to our old spending habits, although probably not fully.

  52. 52 Carl Hernandez May 20, 2009 at 8:44 PM

    I dont believe we will return to our old spending habits because people are in too much debt. People borrowed too much money already and are going to have problems paying it back because unemployment is rising. People are going to have to save more money to pay off their debt. so until we do this i dont think we will learn to manage our debt.

  53. 53 Jessica Schimke August 6, 2009 at 3:51 AM

    I think there will definitely be some people who take lessons from the latest recession and are more thoughtful with their money from here on out. Whether they get completely canceled out by the people who go on a binge after all this is over is another thing. I think as a whole we’ll probably end up around where we were before.

  54. 54 Anna Chkhikvishvili December 6, 2009 at 8:23 PM

    Majority of the population will return to their spending habits. Once a spender, always a spender. It is what it is, nothing more to say.

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