Study Says We're Done Being Stingy & It's Time For A Crazy Nationwide Spending Spree

Have your fingers unfurled from their tight grasp on those pennies you’ve been pinching? A new report seems to indicate as much, finding that we’re all plain sick of being stingy after years of recession scrimping and dollar-watching behavior. The research says we’re done avoiding restaurants, driving around used clunkers and staying put where we live.

The Los Angeles Times cites research group IBISWorld, which says that even though the economy isn’t particularly racing forward, the unemployment rate was dropped enough from 2009 to inspire us to spend again. We’ve also seen rises in consumer sentiment and disposable income in the five years since the recession hit. What better to do when you see the world as your oyster and have the money to burn like indulge in a night on the town instead of eating microwave popcorn for dinner yet again? Or hey, I hear some people eat cereal for multiple meals a day.

When we collectively started watching our wallets, it was the big items that were the first to take a financial hit. The new car industry, home builders and sit down restaurants all struggled while we were busy being frugal. That’s going to change soon, say researchers.

As revenue for new homes bounce back, so will other businesses like furniture and appliance makers. Meanwhile, 12.4 million new vehicles will be driven home by consumers this year as we turn in our old cars in favor of upgrades with less maintenance costs and restaurants will enjoy 2.7% annual growth on average through 2017, said IBISWorld.

These are all just forecasts and numbers, however. Which leads to the question that we’ve got to ask you, our real, living and breathing human readers:


Spending spree forecast for homes, cars and restaurant meals [L.A. Times]

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  1. TheMansfieldMauler says:

    The Los Angeles Times cites research group IBISWorld, which says that even though the economy isn’t particularly racing forward, the unemployment rate was dropped enough from 2009 to inspire us to spend again.

    Then they do not understand the significance of the unemployment rate or how it is measured and calculated.

    Hint: Just because someone is no longer counted as unemployed doesn’t mean they got a job.

  2. wombats lives in [redacted] says:

    *waving a bill with Nixon on it*

    One art please.

  3. Applekid says:

    “What better to do when you see the world as your oyster and have the money to burn like indulge in a night on the town instead of eating microwave popcorn for dinner yet again? Or hey, I hear some people eat cereal for multiple meals a day.”

    Has someone been watching me through my windows lately?

  4. lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

    My pennies are still screaming in agony as I clutch them tightly in my fist. I’m not spending anything unless it’s for an absolute necessity, like food, shelter, or gasoline to get back and forth to work.

  5. lonestarbl says:

    What smells like porpoise hork?

  6. dangermike says:

    I’ve been on a bit of spending spree lately, but it’s not over pent up demand. I have been continuously employed for over 5 years, have given up on the expectation of finding any semblance of sanity in the Californian housing market, and have recently hit a major savings milestone that has warranted a little bit of self-indulgence. Next up, vacations to cities in other states where I think I might want to move.

  7. Worstdaysinceyesterday says:

    We are in re-acquisition mode. Several moves (necessitated) by economic turmoil and other factors had us selling and giving away our household items. We have just about replaced it all now, with some upgrades in fact. So, while I would not say that I am glad I went through THAT to get to THIS…things are better now and we have some more good stuff to look forward to.

    Although I get salty at the high food prices; I can’t imagine how parents feed their kids these days!

  8. dicobalt says:

    Isn’t that called Christmas?

  9. HogwartsProfessor says:

    No. I still don’t have a job.

    I did spend a tiny bit of money on my trip to Hollywood, but mostly for food. I brought stuff to eat for breakfast in the hotel and didn’t buy but two tiny souvenirs. All that money came out of my *now closed* savings account.

    When I get a decent job, I will still not spend anything unless it’s on clothing for work and household repairs, and try to build my savings back up.

  10. donjumpsuit says:

    All my money is on lockdown to pay off old credit card debts, student loans, and car payments. Doing quite better at this than in 2006 I must admit. Also trying to get a downpayment for a house in the process, so I guess that could be considered a splurge, but a wise investment if done right.
    I suggest if they want me to spend again, they can start dropping my APR’s to a normal level that is reflective of the current Federal rate (as they raised them ridiculously during the crash).

  11. macemoneta says:

    When my property tax drops below 25% of my gross (pre-tax) income, I might consider it.

  12. axolotl says:

    Ugh. I’m living in the Bay Area and have a 12-week-old in the house, so.. no. Not a lot of discretionary income at the moment.
    What’s really annoying is that between my wife and I, we are making more than we ever have in our lives, yet it feels like it’s all just flying out the window, mostly on necessities (rent/gas/food/etc..). We spent over $500 last month on groceries alone, and now, starting this month… DAYCARE! Which will cost almost as much as we pay in rent! Hooray!
    :(

    • Jane_Gage says:

      A species that lays 1,000 eggs living in the Bay Area. The mind boggles.

    • Thnaggle Tooph says:

      Wow, $500 in one month on groceries, man that blows me away. I hope you had diapers or some incidentals in there. I don’t think I could store $500 worth of groceries, lol. I should mention that I live on a farm so I seldom go into town for food. I can acquire almost anything I need here or on a neighboring farm. And there’s not really anything to spend money on out here. Obviously I could net shop. It’s very difficult to go away on vacation, it’s useless to have a luxury car. I guess we buy land when a good parcel is available. Believe it or not, it’s becoming more difficult to purchase land in field size sections. Everything is getting subdivided into smaller and smaller parcels. It’s sad really. If the economy keeps going this way, when we have to sell, we’ll probably have to divide up our farm so people can afford the land. I guess the child will have to make that call. Maybe she’ll keep it, who knows.

  13. oldwiz65 says:

    Mostly holding tightly onto money. I live partly on Social Security, after paying SS taxes for 45 years, and now the super rich politicians are talking about cutting me off? Bah. Not to mention the cost of Medicare, which the again super rich politicians are likely to eliminate. One cannot afford to get sick anymore.

  14. SilverBlade2k says:

    I thought going on a spending spree is what lead to the economic crash in the first place??

  15. triana says:

    I’m making significantly less than I did before I lost my job in 2010. Going out to eat still means ordering fast food at the counter, and buying new clothes still means two or three things a year off the clearance rack at TJ Maxx. Sadly, I see no signs of that changing any time soon.

    Everyone I know is struggling, or making ends meet but with little left over. Are people really doing better than they were a year or two ago?

    • SpeakR40Dead says:

      A precious few of us had been lucky enough to have been squirreling away money BEFORE the economy tanked. I finally saved up enough for the 20% down payment and bought a house (first time) when the housing market was on the floor and the fed pushed interest rates to record lows—making it almost half the cost of renting.

      Maybe this “surge” of spending is just all of us tight-wads have finally saved up enough to buy that ‘item we’ve been wanting for years’.

  16. TheSpatulaOfLove says:

    We’re still hunkered down and likely will be until there isn’t the constant quarterly layoff threat at my company. I’m so tired of seeing constant layoffs and backstabbing.

    :(

  17. BorkBorkBork says:

    I’ll start spending when my salary starts keeping up with the quickly rising costs of…well, everything.

  18. kanenas says:

    Hah… we’re already spending more money. The price of food and energy keeps going up.

  19. Vegetius says:

    I’d LOVE to spend more money, if only I had any.

  20. RandomHookup says:

    I bought a little frivolity recently. Still waiting for that rash to clear up.

  21. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    We bought a house. Then we started renovating and decorating the house. That’s enough money leaving my pocket as it is.

  22. Delicious Spam is delicious says:

    wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!

    Step 2: bankruptcy court

  23. kranky says:

    We’ve always been pretty frugal so although we aren’t spending a lot, it’s not because of the economy or because we have throttled back on purchases. Financially, we’re focusing on saving for retirement.

  24. Fishnoise says:

    The last few years have been a roller coaster, but I’ve been back to work in my field making a grown-up salary for about eleven months now. Any celebrations have been small: I’ve been concentrating on paying down debt, paying the bills associated with raising three kids, and fixing/replacing things that broke (laptop, front tooth) during the fourteen months I was out of work.

    The experience has made me cautious. I haven’t bought any new suits, but make due with new slacks to go with the blazer I keep behind my office door. I won’t add any book to my Amazon “save-for-later” cart without checking my library’s online catalog first. For me, a really big splurge would be browsing at my Half Price Book store and buying a basketful for about $60 to $80, then dropping by McDonald’s for a large iced coffee on the way home.

    My rattletrap 2005 minivan has about 170,000 miles and will likely need to be replaced or augmented soon. For years I’ve wanted a basic used convertible with a stick shift. My job is going quite well, the payments for what I have in mind are reasonable and would be within my budget, and I really feel that I deserve it, but my stomach tightens at the thought of taking on any unnecessary debt after what I’ve been through.

    Anybody else still feel too spooked to spend on fun things?

    • SpeakR40Dead says:

      Luckily i went through unemployment before the economy tanked. I’ve been a tight-wad ever since. I am not spooked about buying fun things, however, I just have to save up a LOT longer before I can actually get them.

  25. Lyn Torden says:

    I’m waiting to see the results of the coming election. I can’t make any decision until I know which imbecile will blamed for what Congress does next.

  26. SoCalGNX says:

    My household income is now 1/3 of what it was in 2008. My spending habits have changed accordingly. A big splurge will be at the new dollar store.

  27. mulch says:

    I just lost my health insurance. Screw cereal, I’ll be scoping out the good garbage cans near the pizza places soon.

  28. akronharry says:

    Perhaps I will spend 10 % of the money I earn this year and buy my wife another diamond ring because that is what the Diamond Counsel of America suggests because otherwise you are cheap.
    Remember that crap a decade or so ago about engagement rings?

  29. quail20 says:

    Er, let’s start with the big multinational companies that are raking in record profits but are still not hiring. Let’s free up that money first and then those on the lower rungs of the ladder might free up some of their cash.

    Seems that the trickle down theory kind of stops at about the low end of the upper echelon.

  30. Cor Aquilonis says:

    I just went hog-wild this month, buying two more classes toward my MBA (like a spendthrift idiot) and buying a mattress to replace my (wait for it…) 40 year old mattress. It’s nice, waking up and not cracking every ligament in my shoulder, hips, and upper spine.

  31. eetonaee says:

    Attention businesses in Detroit, Seattle/Bellingham, Plattsburgh and other northern cities –

    Do you want a spending spree?

    Ask your government to hire more border guards and speed up the lines at the border so we Canadians can spend our overvalued dollars in your stores and restaurants.

    We’ll do our best to be polite.

  32. Shorebreak says:

    When Ben Bernake quits with his ridiculous quantitative easing and lets savers and senior citizens receive a decent return on their deposit accounts then the spending will begin. The lower that Bernanke takes interest rates the more people are socking away their money. It’s a down hill slide into a deflationary nightmare.

  33. Obtruder says:

    My question is if that is expected to rise based on real, actual money, or more endless credit that got us all in this mess in the first damn place.

    Spending money you dont have wont make things better, only create another bubble to burst like it already did before.

  34. Caddyshack says:

    Well this is my suggestion for research group IBISWorld, they can begin this spending spree that they recommend. I’ll keep my money in the bank.