Newly Frugal Behavior Is Permanent, Say Some Consumers

Newly Frugal Behavior Is Permanent, Say Some Consumers

A new study says that 26% of US consumers “have no plans to return to their free-spending ways,” which probably doesn’t sound like good news to retailers. Even worse (for retailers), about a third say they’ve become less loyal.

Layaway Making A Comeback

Layaway Making A Comeback

Sears and Toys R Us are among retailers who have brought back layaway programs to help boost sales, reports Eve Mitchell at the San Jose Mercury News. Not all stores think it’s worth the effort, so you won’t find it at JCPenney, Target, or Walmart. However, if you want to use layaway at retailers that don’t offer it, there are now websites that can help.

Gas Prices Have Jumped $0.20 In The Past Two Weeks

Gas Prices Have Jumped $0.20 In The Past Two Weeks

Gas prices have spiked in the last two weeks, reaching levels last seen during the peak of the summer driving season, says the AP. The increase in gas prices has retailers worried that consumers who are putting more money in their gas tanks will buy fewer gifts during the upcoming holiday season.

Christmas This Year Will Be Less Tacky

Christmas This Year Will Be Less Tacky

Because retailers plan their Christmas offerings so far in advance, most were too far along with trendy or ostentatious Christmas merchandise to change course last year, reports the Associated Press. This year they’re prepared to pursue the fiscally conservative consumer, which means everyone is selling the holiday decor equivalent of comfort food.

Financial Advice For College Students

Financial Advice For College Students

The San Jose Mercury News has compiled a list of financial tips for people just entering college. These are the sorts of things that will help you avoid racking up huge debts or wasting money you don’t have on fees and penalties—and of course they can apply to pretty much anyone, not just college students.

How The Average Consumer Spends His Paycheck

How The Average Consumer Spends His Paycheck

You already have a budget, you just probably haven’t seen it turned into a colorful graphic before. Here’s one that illustrates where all the money goes. Sadly, we spend about three times as much on tobacco as on reading, and yet almost nothing on strippers! (Unless that falls under “entertainment.”)

Everyone Still Shocked That High Unemployment Leads To Low Consumer Confidence

Everyone Still Shocked That High Unemployment Leads To Low Consumer Confidence

Consumer Confidence is down again. For example, the new score is 46.6. NPR says, “It would take a reading above 90 to signal that the economy is on solid footing.”

Consumers Are Scared To Lose Their Jobs, Still Saving For Their Inevitable Unemployment

Consumers Are Scared To Lose Their Jobs, Still Saving For Their Inevitable Unemployment

The deepest “employment slump of any recession in the last eight decades” has consumers convinced they’re about to lose their jobs — and that’s affecting consumer confidence, says Bloomberg.

Parents May Not Skimp As Much On School Supplies This Year — But They'll Still Skimp

Parents May Not Skimp As Much On School Supplies This Year — But They'll Still Skimp

Eiither the economy is improving somewhat or more parents are sacrificing to get their kids geared up for school this year, a survey by Deloitte & Touche LLP says.

Which Parts Of The Country Are Carrying The Most Credit Card Debt?

Which Parts Of The Country Are Carrying The Most Credit Card Debt?

Forbes wanted to know which states had the highest average balances per household in May, so they took the total amount of debt in 50 major metropolitan areas, divided that by the number of households, then divided that by the median household income for that area for May. Here are some of their results.

Ready To Make A Budget? Here's How To Prepare

Ready To Make A Budget? Here's How To Prepare

So you want to write a budget, but you’re not sure where to start? No Credit Needed has a list of ten simple but necessary steps to take before drafting your first spending plan. Most consumers will already have knocked off the basics like putting their checking and savings accounts in order, but everyone can take advantage of tips like tracking your spending for a full month and making sure you have a detailed list of your irregular expenses. Once you’ve done your homework, check out our guide to writing a beginner’s budget and start mapping out your financial future.

New Credit Card Rules Won't Stop You From Making Bad Decisions

New Credit Card Rules Won't Stop You From Making Bad Decisions

Barbara Kiviat in Time takes a look at the one aspect of credit card debt that no amount of government reform is going to fix: the human brain’s tendency to fail miserably when it comes to making decisions about spending.

20 Unnecessary Fees You Can Stop Paying Today

20 Unnecessary Fees You Can Stop Paying Today

Via U.S. PIRG, we came across this AP article on the enormous fees that businesses are charging consumers. After noting how much Americans pay in unnecessary fees (e.g., $14.6 billion in credit card fees last year), the author lists twenty easily trimmed fees. Our favorites, inside.

Now Is A Good Time To Haggle Over A TV

Now Is A Good Time To Haggle Over A TV

Between weak holiday sales and the pending arrival of new models, this an excellent time to haggle with your local electronics store over the price of a new TV. In a normal year, prices dip before the holidays and again before the Super Bowl. This year, with the recession clamping down on bank accounts, nobody’s buying. With new models arriving soon, retailers just want to clear out their showroom space, meaning you can walk in and save a few hundred dollars on that dream set you’ve always wanted.

High Credit Limits Encourage Consumers To Spend More

High Credit Limits Encourage Consumers To Spend More

The more credulous you are, either because you’re new to the whole line-of-credit experience or because you’re uneducated, the more likely you are to mistake a high line of credit for an indication of your future earnings potential. You can see how this can lead to bad things, as noted by the researchers who studied this unfortunate problem earlier this decade. Luckily, the savvier you get about credit cards, the less influence your credit limit has on you, which is yet another great reason to make financial literacy education mandatory.

Three Tips To Keep The Recession From Depressing Your Relationship

Three Tips To Keep The Recession From Depressing Your Relationship

Money can ruin relationships, but by talking honestly about finances with your significant other, you just might emerge from this depressing recession as a couple. Even if your finances are deteriorating, there are a few ways to keep your money problems from rotting your relationship.

Your Piggy Bank Is Happy: Savings Rate At 14-Year High

Your Piggy Bank Is Happy: Savings Rate At 14-Year High

Americans took their cost of living raises and stuck them in their piggy banks, says the Commerce Department, pushing the savings rate to a 14-year high. Not long ago we had a savings rate of 0.1% — now it has skyrocketed to 5%.

Five Things Worth Paying For In A Recession

Five Things Worth Paying For In A Recession

Just because the economy is imploding doesn’t mean you should entirely freeze your spending. The Wall Street Journal brings us a list of five things that are well worth their price, even in a recession.