Don’t worry, this trend didn’t last long (why should we have to exercise restraint? Don’t they know who we are?). It was certainly rocky for a while, but by late 2009 we were getting back on track (we all felt it; even Britney fell off the train and had to get back on again). By “back on track” I mean spending more each month on retail purchases than we were the month before. Certainly some of this had to do with natural price increases. And certainly (much to our dismay) we have exercised some restraint and began saving more (we are now saving 5% of our income compared with the 2% average for most of the 2000’s).
Data released yesterday should let you continue to sigh your sigh of relief. We can even say with a high level of confidence that the “real” (albeit mostly divorced) Housewives of Bravo network will have something to do tomorrow – shop and go tanning of course (now we can sleep soundly). In April our spending on retail items increased at an annual rate of 7.6% (over the year before), and April retail spending was up 0.5% of March. In fact, April is the 17th consecutive month that we have spent more money year over year ("retail expenditures" has increased). In other words, we are back in the driver's seat, watch out.
So what did we spend more money on in April? Mostly gasoline for our cars (see previous post). Other than gas, we enjoyed more food and drinks (good choice). We also spent more money over the internet (working hard, are we?). Hard as it is to believe, we also spent less money last month on a few items: electronics (saving up for the iPad2, nice) and on “books” (whatever those are).
When is enough spending enough? Never (trick question)! Even the Black Eyed Peas know we just can’t get enough. And now so do you.