The newspaper headlines may scream about how we’re not saving any money, we’ll never be able to retire, and everything is more expensive than ever! But the truth is, as a society, we’ve become a lot more frugal. Here are some of the money-saving trends that the economists are seeing:
First: We’re sick of cable TV. And by eliminating premium packages, and just having basic cable, you can save about $50-dollars a month. Get rid of cable completely and you could save $120-dollars a month. 5 million households currently have no cable services, and are considered "Zero TV" households. That’s double the amount from 5-years ago. But just because your house is “Zero-TV” doesn’t mean you have to miss out on your favorite shows. Almost everything is now available online or on apps like Hulu and Netflix, which cost about $10-dollars a month for streaming service.
Another way we’re saving money: We’re not buying as many new cars. First of all, we’re keeping our cars longer, the average car on the road is 11-years old, whereas, in the past, people used to buy a new car every 5 years. But not anymore, which means the average person will now have four fewer cars in their lifetime. Also, more people are working and socializing from home over high-speed internet connections, and taking advantage of ride-sharing and car-sharing services like Zipcar. So, they don’t feel the need to buy a new car.
One final money-saving trend: We’re eating at home more often. A recent poll found that over 70-percent of us are cooking at home more often. So let’s do a little math: The average restaurant meal costs twice as much as a home-cooked meal. And we eat out about 5 times a week. So if we only gave up eating out half the time, we’d save over a-thousand dollars a year, per person. And we’d still get to enjoy a restaurant meal twice a week.