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BizReport : Ecommerce : November 09, 2009

How Americans are saving money in 2009

A recent Harris Poll shed light on exactly what American's are doing to save money and stay afloat in the still-struggling economy. The good news? Most Americans seem to have truly changed spending habits to become more frugal and realistic. The bad news? This means retailers, auto-makers, brick-and-mortar stores and ecommerce hubs are now struggling - and fighting - to find the consumers who are spending money.

by Kristina Knight

thplogo.jpgJust how are many consumers cutting back? About 40% are brown-bagging lunches at work rather than eating out with friends, nearly one-third are drinking tap water rather than expensive bottled brands. They are also purchasing 'generics' (64%), making fewer 'vanity' (hairdresser/barber/manicurist) appointments, cancelling magazine subscriptions and cable television services.

One interesting factor is that younger consumers (aged 18-34) are more likely to be found brown-bagging, cutting out cable or cancelling landline phones than their Mature (aged 64+) counterparts. This is most interesting because these Mature consumers actually remember personally or have heard their parents' stories about the Great Depression and yet they are still spending more money than their younger counterparts, most of whom will remember the heavy spending days of the 1980s.

Other interesting findings include:

• Baby Boomers and Matures are most likely to buy generic brands
• Baby Boomers and Matures are least likely to cancel subscriptions or cut down dry-cleaning
• Matures are also least likely to begin car pooling or canceling landline phones

"This is a good news/bad news story depending on your point of view. These reduced spending patterns reflect a big increase in savings, and economists have been telling us for years that we need to increase savings. They also show that most people are taking prudent actions to protect themselves in bad economic times. On the other hand all of these savings mean less money going to the people who produce and sell these products and services, and fewer jobs," was written in the report.

Tags: advertising, consumer purchasing, economics, Harris Poll, online spending, spending

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