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Personally, I don't think that frugality is here to stay. I think that the basic nature of most people is to exceed their income, as they grew up in a disposable, live in the moment, it's all about me society.

Now, I DO think that there are people that have learned from this, and won't return to their previous behavior, but I think the vast majority of people will not have learned their lesson.

Sorry to be the morning downer!

I like watching my spending and for me, it is here to stay.
I have to agree with 'GLM' I think folks will return to past behaviours, short term memories and then watch out!

Well, I have to disagree somewhat with the others: with the economy as rough as it is, I know a lot of people -- including myself -- who are cutting back on expenses and starting to really keep an eye out for savings wherever and whenever they can find a good deal. Luckily, there seems to be a new wave of free online resources that help people be smart with their money. Billshrink (http://www.billshrink.com/) found me savings of $1200 on my cell phone and credit card bills! I heard about it from a TMobile commercial recently and it's quite useful.

I also must agree that there are a lot of people that will go back to their old spending habits. I have to guess that the people who have always been smart with their money in the first place are experiencing considerably less hardship in this recession than those who are just now cutting back. At least that is what I'm seeing.
My family and I are not over spenders to begin with, but I have found more ways to reduce grocery bills and cut other corners. When the economy recovers, I will continue with these new spending habits.

I was frugal even before the economy downturn. Why Americans abuse their credit and savings is beyond me. People need to get over the "I am American and I should be able to spend as much as I want, drive a big SUV/car, use as much oil as I want, etc." Traveling abroad opened my eyes to this American attitude. I found it to be less than becoming.

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