The February 2009 edition of Money Magazine shares the results of an interesting reader poll recently conducted. The poll asked readers, “what won’t you sacrifice” in a tough economy?
I touched on this subject briefly when I recently wrote about not giving up my gym membership, even though it could save me about $30 a month, or $360 in 2009. To me, the benefits of exercising (stress reduction, weight loss, improved health, etc.) far outweigh the annual costs. Apparently, I am not alone, as the poll revealed gym memberships were the top response for things people were not willing to part with. Here are the full details of the reader poll:
Not Willing To Give Up
48% Gym Membership
41% Eating Out
35% Extra Car
30% Premium Cable
20% Fine Wine and Spirits
Willing to Give Up
89% New Gadget
87% Sporting Event
83% Big Vacation
80% Expensive Clothes
78% Cultural Events
Source: Money Magazine, February 2009
For me, the amusing thing about this list was that the items people were “willing to give up” are things we gave up a long time ago. We don’t buy expensive clothes; we only have basic cable; we haven’t been on vacation in two years, much less an “expensive” vacation; we don’t attend professional sporting events because the ticket prices are outrageous; we have bought no new gadgets, except for my beloved BlackBerry, which I use at least half the time to manage emails and perform admin tasks for blogging on the road.
Maybe that’s why times feel less tough for frugal people - we already made these sacrifices when times were good. That is not to say even frugal types are not feeling a strain in this economy, but I would venture to say the strain is a little less on us compared to the person with a house full of goodies and two new cars in the driveway.
What are you not willing to give up in a recession?