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Frugal is the new black - The Debt Diva
Jun '08
As the fashion industry recycles silhouettes and colors from past generations, Clarky Davis, The Debt Diva, says revisiting another style trend can help consumers ease the pinch of the troubled U.S. economy.

But this style isn't about shoulder pads, wide lapels or hem length, it's about taking a page from your grandparents' or great-grandparents' notebook and saving more than you spend. That's right. Frugal is the new black.

“For the last 25 years, Americans have been on a spending spree,” Davis says. “Historic trends show consumption has grown faster than income. The average American household has more than $9,000 in credit card debt. We assume debt is part of our lifestyle. It's time to make a big change in how we live.”

Davis points out that our grandparents' generation lived through or was raised in the years of the Great Depression, which heightened their tendency towards frugality. The last two generations of Americans who've been on a non-stop spending spree saw that frugality as old-fashioned, uptight or uncool. But the state of the economy has many former spenders trying to change their habits.

How else would you explain the fact that consumers reversed a 16-year slump in coupon use? According to Coupon Info Now (www.couponinfonow.com), shoppers redeemed 2.6 billion coupons last year. Compare that to the 7.2 billion coupons used during the 1992 recession.

“Don't let the word frugal create a mental picture of your grandmother who re-used tissues that she saved in the sleeves of her sweater,” Davis says. “Instead it's time to make frugal fabulous. Living stylishly within your means doesn't mean banning fun. Instead, make it a challenge to find the resourceful way to spend your hard-earned dollars. Doing it with spirit and adventure makes you look wise, and your bank account and paid-down credit card debt will cushion you from bad economic times.”

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