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Blogging for Change Blogging For Change
by sitecore\kmcgrigg on February 02, 2011

The January poll hosted on the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) website, queried consumers regarding their attitude toward “frugal fatigue,” the weariness associated with long-term restricted spending.

It is not surprising that the majority of respondents, 66 percent, indicated they were tired of pinching pennies, but would have to continue that lifestyle. Even though the recession is technically over, that textbook definition isn’t being felt in American households. The interesting finding is that more than 20 percent of those weighing in said they had implemented financial lifestyle changes that they found to be positive and intended to keep them in place.

The recession introduced many Americans to a financial lifestyle they had not previously known, one that included tracking spending, creating a budget that was in line with income, and saving for the inevitable rainy day. Even though these positive actions may have been forced upon consumers out of necessity, anytime a person takes control of his or her financial well-being, it’s a step in the right direction.

When one in five people makes a decision to permanently alter their financial habits, presumably spending less and saving more, it potentially impacts the economy as a whole. This could be worrisome to some who encourage increased spending as a necessary component to the country’s recovery. Nonetheless, it can be argued that a financially stable household is critical to a financially stable America.

We support financially responsible behavior and congratulate those who have embraced it as their new lifestyle. The 66 percent of Americans who are reluctantly remaining in the restricted spending mode should examine their current financial habits to see if some of the elements are worth implementing permanently.

How about you?  Do you have "frugal fatigue?"


The actual poll question and results are as follows:

Do you have “frugal fatigue?”

A. Yes, I am tired of pinching pennies, but will have to continue that lifestyle = 66%
B. Yes, I am tired of pinching pennies, and have decided to begin spending more = 5%
C. No, I've not made any spending changes in recent years = 8%
D. No, I have made lifestyle changes, but they are positive and I intend to keep them = 21%

Posted in:  Frugality, Economy

Comment(s)

Andrea says:
February 07, 2011

I was brought up pinching pennies so I'm used to it. I got laid off two years ago and thank goodness for Washington state, didn't starve in those two years. I knew my unemployment would run out in January and I made up a budget through the end of 2011. I'm using my savings and got some government aid for school. Still looking for a part-time job. I buy my jeans at Goodwill. I spent $10 in an antique shop on something I love and was thrilled to get it. I cook a lot. My only extravangance is my horse and I'm not giving him up.



Cecil Sparks says:
February 03, 2011

My comment: I see this situation routinely discussing budgets with families we counselor. Many, perhaps most, have been pinching pennies and yes tried of doing so and hasn’t solved their concerns. Another way of saying is they have been juggling thing … I often empathically tell them ( after they have describe their actions of depleting savings and / or increasing their debt balance ) that isn’t juggling .. rather digging a trench deeper. And that ‘maybe’ juggling would be a known short term budget squeeze ( short term loss of income and / or exceptional expense ) and in that case using savings / credit then as soon as the short term budget squeeze passes repay their savings / credit ASAP. Now the real comment here ( KEY ) is forget about pinching pennies … that will just wear you down with one day hoping and next day worrying and repeating that cycle. Instead 1) Commit to Their Priories. Such as Perhaps; A) Housing B) Transportation C) Basic Living Expense D) Debt Obligations E) Discretionary Expenses. 2) Set-up a CREDITABLE Budget. A MUST That they accept as sufficiently Complete and Accurate =Creditable 3) Balance the Budget to have No deficiency, with a goal of surplus. This Must include pro-rated periodic expenses. 4) Now on their long road trip they have a great Google map ( i.e. CREDITABLE Budget ) and headlights and windshield wipers ( They will LOOK at and see their situation … because they are Responsible people and now have their CREDITABLE Budget ). 5) Now no longer ‘pinching pennies’ … Rather a Real plan with Realistic light at the end of the Tunnel … and the longer they work Their plan they gain confidence in Their Success and Their Future. That is my comment … Opinion : )



Deborah says:
February 03, 2011

I do not think I have frugal fatigue--and I do not think my spending has changed because of the recession--but I find that it has been changed for me: rent increases; gasoline price increases; food expense increases, etc. given all this, fatigue will set in if anything happens to unbalance my current income/life needs ratio, i.e.,major health problem, job loss, etc. Thanks for your ever informative columns. I look forward to them.



Joel Garrido says:
February 04, 2011

Yes, I am tired but will have to continue and use this as a permanent way to a stable recovery and cannot waste any more time. So we have to make this a habit change in lifestyle and live frugally within the means with lots of margins for savings and for rainy days. With this journey may have to increase my donations to church and help those folks that are struggling like we did. Live and lead by example. Our kids are learning from what they see and experience. Cooking at home with healthy meals is a lot better than buying fast food. So we plan our trips with preparing for meals and budgeting and tracking expenses. Placing it on a spreadsheet and updating it to reflect actual expenses and sticking by it will be the name of the game. These payments to creditors will eventually our savings for ourselves as incentives for healthy minds due to less stress.



Nancy Mathews says:
February 03, 2011

Yes, I agree with the 66%. I have frugal fatigue but will have to continue that lifestyle. I also do not agree the recession is over. If so, why are so many people still losing their homes & people without jobs. Someone in Washington or New York is out of touch.



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