June 28, 2011

YESTERDAY’S POST ABOUT REDUCED CONSUMER SPENDING produced numerous emails like this one from reader Robin Lyons:

Instead of spending, I have been taking all my disposable income and paying off debt. I have a good job and have disposable income every month. But I have decided that I am not buying anything not absolutely necessary in protest of the Obama economy. Not that my single participation makes any difference, but who knows how many of me there are out there?

Well, put together with the not entirely different class of Antoinette Auberts, quite a few it seems.

UPDATE: Reader Michael Hayden writes:

I’ve actually increased my consumer spending this year. I already paid off all of my debt last year, and my usual savings and investments are returning less than the real rate of inflation, so I see only two other options: invest in a bubble like gold and pray that I cash out before it pops, or spend my money while it’s still worth something. Guess which one I chose.

I’ve been spending several hundred dollars each month on replacing old, “good enough for a poor bachelor” stuff with newer, nicer, “grown-up” stuff. A new office chair, new towels and bed linens, neglected car repairs, hobby equipment, getting my wisdom teeth extracted, assembling a proper bug-out bag, and so on. I’m sure all thirtysomethings go through this phase as they become more secure and settled in their lives, but for me it’s been a deliberate reaction to our current economic conditions.

Indeed. For that matter, I suppose if you really expect runaway inflation, it makes sense to buy stuff that will hold some value even in preference to paying off debts.