Fashioning new spending habits

From (Lower Hudson Valley, NY)

Like a number of well-to-do Americans, Hederer lately has been reappraising her fashion spending habits. Her feelings are sometimes conflicted.

On the one hand, Hederer said, some economists are urging those with jobs and incomes to help the economy by firing up their credit cards. On the other hand, she thinks the affluent should show some solidarity with the rest of society by cutting back in tough times…..

But a number of social scientists, behavioral experts and sustainable-living or “voluntary simplicity” advocates say holding to such resolve and self-imposed moratoriums isn’t likely to be simple. It’s an attempt to alter, in a relatively short time, attitudes and routines acquired over years, if not decades. Peer pressure, class expectations and self-perception can make it all the more daunting. And the task is likely to get even tougher once the recession lifts…..

Tim Kasser, an authority on issues related to consumption and values who teaches at Knox College in Galesburg, Ill., says although the current economic crisis could spur new ways of living, he doubts long-lasting change will result.