Money Matters

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Today on money matters, buying patterns during a recession often change.
So here's a look at what's in and out for consumers in a tight economy.

Cable & satellite dismay.
Surveys show more people are turning away from cable and satellite tv services. Forty percent of those surveyed said they would consider canceling their cable or sat t-v . Instead they're watching programming on free sites like you tube, hulu, and netflix.

Cut the cord.
The first boom in cell phone ownership happened during a recession. In 2000 only 35% of american households reported having one. By 2002 it was 54%. At the same time land line phone ownership began to decline. By 2008 ... One in six families was wireless only.

Cash is king, Again.
More people are ditching their credit cards having learned the debt lesson. More than 80% of consumers surveyed say they think it's a smart idea to pay for everything with cash, debit cards or checks.

Computers going mobile.
In the third quarter of 2008 notebook pc's outsold desktop pc's for the first time. And last year inexpensive and ultra portable netbooks gained traction. Desktop computers are starting to go the way of corded landline phones.

Fast food boon.
Fewer people are dining out at high end restaurants but the number of people going the fast food route is up. In 1981 20% of consumers said they cut dining costs by going to less expensive restaurants. By 1991 that figure had climbed to 25%. February sales of McDonalds stores open for more than a year rose 7%.

Bulk buying is back.
Costco and Sam's are cashing in as americans try to save money. Wal Mart sales rose 5.1% in February, double the increase analysts expected.

It's all part of stretching the consumer dollar.


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