In this economy, we are all saving as much as we can, paying down debt and becoming more frugal. That's a theme we hear regularly as we talk about the economy in Minnesota. As economic watchers wait and worry about Tuesday's retail sales report, here's more evidence that Americans are rethinking the way they do business.
According to an Associated Press-GfK poll:
54 percent getting a refund say they planned to pay off credit card, utility, housing and other bills, up from 35 percent a year ago, according to an AP story on the poll.
Citizens from our Public Insight Network are telling us regularly that they are pulling back on purchases, are saving what they can and otherwise wary about extending themselves with any kind of spending.
In most circumstances this is a good thing. But experts keep telling us that we'll mess up the economy even more if we don't start spending our dough. What's the right thing to do?
You can add your voice and help MPR News get a better perspective on what's what happening by taking your own economic pulse.
We started asking people last week to tell us a story about the economy around them, just as a new way to look at and report on the economy.
We're getting some pretty interesting stories already and we'll be sharing them daily here. First up, Dave Schaenzer from Minneapolis sent us a story headlined: "Canada College Cost 30% discount."
As someone with five years to go before sending a kid to college (and wishing I had eight years), I was instantly interested. Schaenzer wrote:
My daughter has been accepted into college in Canada for next year. The exchange rate is about $1.25 Canadian for each $1 US. This means college cost for tuition and housing is 25% cheaper. She was offered $2.5K scholarship. So we expect to save about $5K by going to Canada instead of UW Madison or the UM Twin Cities.
I'm not sure I've seen that reported anywhere. But it turns out that the government of Canada is making it easy to explore this option. If anyone has a similar story or is contemplating send their kids to college in Canada, please tell us. I'm hoping Schaenzer will tell us a little more about the decision.
Tell us how you're doing. What's the economy like in their part of Minnesota. Click here and tell us. The plan is to build a portrait of Minnesota's economy based on the stories of (I hope) thousands of other Minnesotans. We plan to take those insights and map them here at MinnEcon.