Did The Recession Make Us A Nation of Tightwads?

Expert Reveals How the New Economy Is Spawning a New Frugality

TAMPA, FL--(Marketwire - June 29, 2010) -  We don't spend as much as we used to, and we are keeping an eye on our debt.

That's what a new Associated Press study says about the spending habits of U.S. consumers in the wake of the recession that pummeled the economy in 2009. The new AP Economy Survey asked 44 leading economists whether the recession created a "new frugality" among consumers that will outlive the recession. Two-thirds said yes.

This is good news for Donna Every, an MBA who is also a former Ernst & Young chartered accountant and author of the financial advice book What Do You Have in Your House? (www.donnaevery.com).

"The recession blindsided us and forced us to take stock of all of our assets because we were at risk for losing them all," Every said. "In the aftermath of the recession, we are still taking stock of our assets, but this time it's because we are beginning to realize we can be content with what we already have."

Many blame the financial markets and unscrupulous brokers who sold subprime loans and offered credit to unqualified customers for the crisis, but Every thinks consumers are coming to their senses about their role in the recession.

"Sure, brokers were giving insane amounts of credit to families that should never have qualified for it, but it was the consumers who were signing up for those loans and credit cards in record numbers," she said. "Just because the offers were out there did not obligate Americans to take advantage of those offers. About 90 percent of the task of getting out of debt comes out of making a conscious decision that you're going to make it a priority. The other 10 percent is coming up with a plan to eliminate it and sticking to it. It's within our grasp, but we have to plan to work for it, and then work the plan."

About Donna Every

Donna Every has a degree in Mathematics from the University of the West Indies and is a Chartered Accountant and an MBA. She worked with Ernst & Young Barbados as an auditor and then as a consultant for ten years before starting her own business in 1998.

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Rachel Friedman