Leave it to Moms to give researchers a spoonful of reality. A poll of online mothers conducted by Allen & Gerritsen on the economic challenges facing the US found that 80 percent thought Americans had been encouraged by the culture to overextend themselves and that 58 percent believed the average American is too greedy.
The researchers recognized that moms “teach and enforce family values” – and manage family pocketbooks – and believe that these findings may predict more saving and less spending. That seems confirmed by figures for retail sales for October, released this morning, which showed a 2.8 percent decline from the previous month. That’s the biggest drop the Commerce Department has recorded since measures began in 1993.
Maybe that isn’t so good for Coach and Gucci but it certainly will be for the culture at large. And this way Mom won’t have to ask Junior to support her down the road.
A&G surveyed moms to get a pulse on how the economy will affect their purchasing behavior. The report didn't make distinctions between divorced or married moms but I would bet the single moms have already been on a fiscal diet for some time and are quite good at it.
According to the report, 65 percent of the mothers said they were eliminating purchases that are not absolutely necessary, and 52 percent were cutting back in general. Some 71 percent say they have made more sacrifices this year than last. Only 49 percent say that the economic situation may improve within the next year, but perhaps President Obama can alter that view.
However, the poll found that certain purchases won’t be compromised. Women give childcare and medical needs a high priority, which is why nurses are always needed, since nursing care falls into the category of necessity. But, isn’t this just like us, 94 percent of us say it is more important to seek regular medical care for our families than for ourselves.
Who’s to blame for this financial mess? Most of the moms blame the previous administration for not enough oversight or regulation. But one can expect moms to see clearly and have stronger oversight over all purchases in the coming year. The holidays may see less overspending, but we’ll all survive that. The current state of the economy has been a wake-up call for everyone.
And Mothers intend to be the foot soldiers in the march toward responsible spending.