A new PARADE survey shows just how dramatically Americans’ dreams and relationships have been transformed by the current economic crisis:
Nearly four out of five respondents (79%) say that they’ve felt the impact of the financial downturn, with one-third saying that the turmoil has had a big impact on their lives. Most respondents haven’t had to turn on the TV to appreciate the scope of the declining economy—they’ve registered its toll in their own faces or those of friends, family members, and neighbors. Sixty-nine percent have lost a job, suffered a reduction in pay, or know someone who has experienced one of these. Close to half have had difficulty making their mortgage or rent payments or know someone who has.
As a result, many Americans have made significant financial adjustments in their daily lives. Eighty percent say that they’ve been “forced to do more with less,” 73% have had to make unexpected changes, and 19% have sought some form of government assistance. Necessity has led 27% of respondents to pursue extra work.
Most people have also cut back on their families’ spending. Common money-saving measures include delaying or canceling vacations (42%), putting off major appliance purchases (34%), postponing or forgoing home renovations (29%), and choosing not to buy a new car this year (28%)…
[article continues at PARADE]