Infographic: Consumers cutting back -- but also spending more

We say we'll pinch pennies as we move buy big-ticket items

Consumers are pinching pennies when it comes to dry cleaning and fancy water, while opening their wallets for vacations and new wheels, according to July 2013 research from Harris Interactive.

The online survey, which polled 2,210 adults between June 12-17, followed up on results gathered in November 2012. Compared with November, an increasing percentage said they'd likely be making big purchases such as vacations, homes and new vehicles in the next six months.

This increased willingness to spend more on expensive things was coupled with increased frugality in smaller, everyday purchases. The survey tracked a rise in a variety of maneuvers that would save a few dollars, from refilling water bottles to cutting back on cellphone and cable TV service.

Researchers concluded that consumers can only postpone large purchases for so long, and that cutting back on daily expenses may be how they're rationalizing ultimately bigger outlays. The chart below shows the increase in big-ticket spending -- and the increase in cost-cutting -- from November 2012 and June 2013.

Spending more while spending less

See related: Trying to cut back on spending? Go BIG!, More infographics

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Updated: 03-26-2019