Friday, February 06, 2009

zdnet: offers close-to-home peek at economy’s impact

"There are some forms of number-crunching I hate - which reminds me that it’s time to start gathering up receipts for my tax accountant. And then there are “fun” types of number-crunching. Take, for example, the guest post on TechCrunch this morning by’s CEO and founder Aaron Patzer., the online personal finance program, is one of my favorites. (The iPhone/iPod Touch app rocks!) I have been using it faithfully since I made a money-management resolution for the new year and love how it breaks down my financial situation from so many different angles.

Clearly, knows what’s happening in my life - how much money I bring in every month. how much credit card debt I have, how much I spend on groceries and how badly my 401(k) tanked and what’s happened to my savings account. And since has signed up nearly 1 million subscribers (actually, 900,000 is more like it), it also has a sampling of data that’s better (and likely more reliable) than any other survey-taker out there.

So what do they know? Well, we know that somewhere around the summer months, consumer spending tanked to the tune of about $400 per month and that it took another dip just before the holidays, decreasing by about another $200."

"Looking across spending as a whole in 2008, we can see a phase change beginning in the summer. After a bump in the May/June time frame from tax refunds and credits, we see spending declined by $400 / month / household. Spending eroded even further (a $200 drop) in November along with consumer confidence, bouncing back only slightly for the holidays."

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