Another Day, Another Dollar

How our wallets have wavered in the past four years

Remember 2007? Six months before the official beginning of the Great Recession, unemployment stood at 4.6%, and Americans were saving less than 2% of their disposable income. Today's slightly more cautious consumers are squirreling away 5.4% in the face of a doubled unemployment rate. Not surprisingly, our spending habits have adjusted to the new economic reality. A comparison of pre- and postrecession U.S. spending patterns reveals a nation that is, on the whole, thriftier in some ways (who needs a fuel-guzzling yacht when a bicycle will get you around?) yet a little more indulgent in others (we're scrounging up more money...

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