Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Forbes takes on "America's New Frugality"

There an interesting article on Forbes.com this morning about how changes in consumer spending might alter the investment picture. (Hint: Amazon.com is doing well, but may not be a great investment, as opposed to savings and loan institutions.) Right in the middle is a list of trade-offs consumers are likely to make as they reduce their use of credit and live more frugally:

  • Playing sports rather than attending sporting events;
  • Discount retailers rather than high-end retailers;
  • Lower- and mid-priced restaurants instead of high-end restaurants;
  • Eating at home instead of eating out;
  • Going on a picnic instead of eating out;
  • Watching movies at home instead of going to the movies;
  • Reading a book instead of going to the movies;;
  • Fixing my car instead of buying a new one;
  • Fixing up my house instead of moving;
  • Playing games or watching TV instead of going out;
  • Clipping coupons when I shop;
  • Shopping more for sale items;
  • Buying generic or store brands instead of name brands;
  • Buying used stuff instead of new stuff;
  • Selling stuff I no longer need;
  • Drinking water instead of soda;
  • Negotiated rates on hotel and travel, vs. full price,
  • Free online news and information instead of magazines, newspapers, etc.
I am struck by how many of these choices are not only better for the pocketbook, but also potentially greener and healthier as well.

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