Families express financial optimism, practice frugality


If the economic collapse has done one thing, it has made the average consumer much more careful with spending habits. Against that backdrop, a new study from Weber Shandwick with KRC Research finds that seven of 10 households are optimistic about the future, and 81% are more responsible with their money.
46% go farther then the responsible 81%, saying they are much more responsible than they were prior to the Fall of 2008.

The researchers added some color to their findings, reporting, “Many indicated they’ve changed their financial habits, including buying items on sale (80%), becoming more concerned about saving money (78%) and learning how to budget better (68%). In fact, Americans say they are more likely today to be ‘saving as much as possible’ than before the financial downturn (42% vs. 33%, respectively).  Moreover, six in 10 report they are likely to continue the savings and spending patterns they started when the downturn began as soon as the economy recovers.”

Weber Shandwick’s Barbara Iverson commented, “On the second anniversary of the financial collapse, Americans have a mostly positive outlook on their financial futures although many report not feeling in control just yet. Interestingly, few have turned to professional resources for help. This begs the question of what can be done differently by financial institutions, advisors and others to effectively promote the resources available to empower Americans.”

RBR-TVBR observation: Tales of consumers filling savings accounts isn’t what companies looking to sell goods and services want to hear. While it’s good that people are taking the lessons of the last two years to heart and looking after their own financial well-being, it will take a spending surge to get the economy back into high gear. Perhaps we will need to wait for the majority of Americans to save themselves into a comfort zone that will in turn unleash a surge in spending.