Friday AM November 13th, 2009

Texans have made some fundamental changes in the way they spend and save. Ed Mayberry reports.


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labeled piggy bankA Citibank survey reveals that 57 per cent of Texans are postponing the purchase of major items such as cars.  Thirty-eight per cent are taking money out of savings or investments to help pay expenses.  And 34 per cent are working longer hours to make ends meet.  Citibank’s Kathleen Gibson says Americans may be settling into low-spending habits.

“In terms of how consumers are feeling, it’s interesting in terms of how things have changed.  People are doing things differently and it seems to be a new way of saving.  It seems to be a new way of spending.  We’re learning it looks like, you know, that is one of the new normal ‘how do you manage your finances in a much more prudent way?’ sorts of good things that may come out of this recession.” 

Gibson says the new financial behavior of Texans seems very prudent and optimistic, and that encourages recovery.

“From the dipping into savings and dipping into investments in terms of watching spending at a very basic level, in terms of postponing big-ticket purchases, you know, those new normals look to be somewhat lasting and somewhat changed.”

Ed: “It’s almost like a return to the way maybe our parents or perhaps grandparents approached things.”

“I think it is, Ed.  It’s, there’s a lot about potential prolonged behavior here.”

Americans spent about the same amount in October as they did in August and September, according to SpendingPulse, a service of Mastercard Advisors.  Ed Mayberry, KUHF-Houston Public Radio News.  

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