Cheapskate Wisdom … on Why It’s So Hard to Be a Cheapskate

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“Stores are open all the time, parking is easy and a lot of people treat shopping as a sort of recreational activity, and stuff is amazingly cheap. It’s the same problem we have with fast food. Fast food is so cheap, it’s just tempting to eat a lot of it.”

A quote from George Loewenstein, professor of economics and psychology at Carnegie Mellon University, in an Arizona Republic story about whether the “new frugality” is here to stay.

Also from the story, another argument that in the grand scheme of things, the “recession effect” will be limited, and consumers will soon return to their free-spending ways:

John Lastovicka, an Arizona State University marketing professor who also has studied frugality, said his research found no correlation between frugality and generations or religion. He thinks that is because frugality is inconvenient…

Lastovicka said he has recently started to study evolutionary psychology and to wonder if the tendency to spend might stem from a natural human tendency to pay more attention to the short term than the long term.

“The only ancestors that made it were those that ran fast when the wooly mammoth or saber-tooth tiger was coming after us,” he said. “Those ancestors who were more philosophical – who scratched their chins and said, ‘What do we do here?’ – they were lunch.”

Read more Cheapskate Wisdom.