While consumer spending has stumbled in recent months, due in large part to weak employment conditions, Americans fortunate enough to have a steady job are growing more fiscally responsible, and they may have the recession to thank for it.
A new CareerBuilder survey finds both the number of workers who are living paycheck-to-paycheck and who have missed bill payments has decreased over the past year. Additionally, nearly three-quarters of survey respondents claimed they are more responsible with their finances since the recession hit.
Even so, the commodities and services deemed vital among consumers are beginning to change, as more than half of workers - 56 percent - pointed to the internet as an expense they are not willing to give up, regardless of their financial circumstances. That's more than driving, which was cited by 46 percent of respondents, and mobile phones (42 percent).
"A better employment picture in the U.S. has brought more steady incomes into households and workers are paying much closer attention to spending decisions and savings," said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder.
Consumer spending accounts for more than three-quarters of the U.S. economy, and although job creation is often cited as needed to boost activity in the sector, frugality now seems to be the name of the game.