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Bernard M -- Taipei English Tutor

Bernard M - English Conversation / TOEFL / IELTS 一對一英文會話

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

A Penny Saved is a Penny Spent

As talk of recession and belt-tightening makes headlines, I wonder where and how I lost my grandfather's sense of thrift. Like many young professionals (I'm 36), I embraced the lessons of my seniors about hard work. Yet my generation racks up debt the way our grandparents used to squirrel away pennies. A study by the Journal of Consumer Research to be released next month, titled "Tightwads and Spendthrifts," finds that people ages 18 to 40 are most likely to say they're spending beyond their comfort range. While my grandfather refused to take out a mortgage, I bought my first two-bedroom condo (in a marginal neighborhood) for $450,000 two years ago with 5 percent down and an interest-only loan for the next seven years (note to boss: please don't ever fire me). Though mired in debt, I still manage to sleep most nights. "Your generation has a completely different attitude about going into debt," says George Loewenstein, professor of economics and psychology at Carnegie Mellon, who says the availability of cheaper goods, as well as Internet shopping and longer store hours, make it far easier to waste money. "It used to be that the simple opening and closing of store doors exerted some control on spending. That's all gone now," he says.

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