I came across this very interesting article about consumer spending and how it has been affected by the recent recession. The story, reported by Furniture Today, comes from Decitica Marketing Strategy and Research. Without going into the entire study, I will just say that I thought their categories of consumers and their post-recession buying habits are unique and thoughtful.

The study divides consumers into four distinct categories:

Steadfast Frugalists (20 percent of the population),

Involuntary Penny-Pinchers (29 percent),

Pragmatic Spenders (29 percent) and

Apathetic Materialists (22 percent), with the names giving a quick hint at what each is like.”

Here’s the pie chart:


Perhaps the biggest change in all these categories is that people don’t intend to change their newly acquired spending (or non-spending) habits once the economy improves, regardless of their income.

All groups are getting less pleasure from buying things, and all groups do less impulse buying. Brand names are not as important, especially to the steadfast frugalists.

The apathetic materialists, with the highest income, are the least affected psychologically, while the involuntary penny-pinchers are the most affected this way.

I urge you to go to the report. Scroll down through it to get a sense of the state of the economy as seen by consumers…and the challenges ahead for retailers and manufacturers.

What do YOU think? Have your spending habits changed and do you think they will “remain changed” even as the economy improves?