Sign of the Times

A recent Time magazine cover story touted “10 Ideas That Are Changing the World.” Number 8 was “The New Austerity.” The magazine explained that there have been many times throughout history when the demise of the American consumer was predicted. But now we may be witnessing the real deal, with people resorting to such radical practices as living within their means and paying down debt.

It’s a powerful indicator of what a consumption-driven culture we live in that spending less than we make would be seen as a sign of austerity, which, by definition, is “an act of self denial.” But it also makes me curious: how have your spending habits changed in an era of high gas prices, falling home values, and a shaky stock market? Please let me know.

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