Do you have ‘Frugal Fatigue’?

Minority Found Lifestyle Changes to be Positive

Are you weary of pinching your pennies? You may have frugal fatigue.

The January poll hosted on the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) website,, queried consumers regarding their attitude toward “frugal fatigue,” the weariness associated with long-term restricted spending. (The Village Family Service Center, a local nonprofit credit counseling agency, is a member of the NFCC.)

“It is not surprising that the majority of respondents, 66 percent, indicated they were tired of pinching pennies, but would have to continue that lifestyle,” said Gail Cunningham, spokesperson for the NFCC.  “Even though the recession is technically over, that textbook definition isn’t being felt in American households.  The interesting finding is that more than 20 percent of those weighing in said they had implemented financial lifestyle changes that they found to be positive and intended to keep them in place.”

 The recession introduced many Americans to a financial lifestyle they had not previously known, one that included tracking spending, creating a budget that was in line with income, and saving for the inevitable rainy day. “Even though these positive actions may have been forced upon consumers out of necessity, any time a person takes control of his or her financial well-being, it’s a step in the right direction,” continued Cunningham.

When one in five people makes a decision to permanently alter their financial habits, presumably spending less and saving more, it potentially impacts the economy as a whole. This could be worrisome to some who encourage increased spending as a necessary component to the country’s recovery.  Nonetheless, it can be argued that a financially stable household is critical to a financially stable America.

The NFCC supports financially responsible behavior, and congratulates those who have embraced it as their new lifestyle. Further, the NFCC encourages the 66 percent of Americans who are reluctantly remaining in the restricted spending mode to examine their current financial habits to see if some of the elements are worth implementing permanently. 

The actual poll question and results are as follows:

Do you have “frugal fatigue?”

A.  Yes, I am tired of pinching pennies, but will have to continue that lifestyle = 66%
B.  Yes, I am tired of pinching pennies, and have decided to begin spending more = 5%
C.  No, I’ve not made any spending changes in recent years = 8%
D.  No, I have made lifestyle changes, but they are positive and I intend to keep them = 21%

If you need help dealing with frugal fatigue, contact The Village Family Service Center at 701-235-3328, 1-800-450-4019 or Certified financial counselors at The Village see clients throughout North Dakota and Minnesota.

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