8 Times in Life That We Put the Brakes on Spending

PUT BRAKE SPENDINGIt should come as no surprise that a shaky economy often causes people to pull back on their spending.

“The Great Depression, for example, created a generation of anxious under-spenders who deprived themselves of even the most modest indulgences,” says Brad Klontz, Psy.D., a certified financial planner™ and the author of "Mind Over Money: Overcoming the Money Disorders That Threaten Our Financial Health."

And the phenomenon happened again during the recent recession. Based on figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, between 2007 and 2010, average annual consumer spending in the U.S. dropped by about 3%.

In fact, according to a recent survey conducted by LearnVest, almost 40% of respondents reported that the recession had "hindered their ability to get ahead."

But there was also a sunny side to the study's findings: 53% also believe that the United States still offers the most opportunities to "get ahead."

But beyond hearing about bad economic news—the type that gets blared across newspapers, magazines, TV, radio and the internet 24/7—what else inspires people to rein in how often they pull out their wallets? And how else are emotions tied to our spending behaviors?

LearnVest chatted with five experts in the worlds of both finance and psychology to figure out what else might influence us to be more mindful about how we use our hard-earned cash.

To see the slides in one long list, click into the slideshow and select "list view."

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  • Brett Bakanec

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