Best of Spend Matters: Consumer Spending (Part 1)

We all do it: spend our little hearts out. Here at Spend Matters, we (or I, anyway) like to get into the heart of how and why we choose the things we do to wear, eat, or put in our homes. A big point we've made this year is to pay attention to where these things come from (AHEM hopefully they're not tainted with melamine or cadmium AHEM). From coffee pots to our own charitable giving, here are several posts on one of my favorite pastimes: spending money.

Friday Rant: Why Must Charitable Giving Correlate with Religiosity? -- To say that recent times have been fraught with economic uncertainty is probably one of the biggest understatements of the past two years. Yet despite dramatically reduced consumer spending, Americans continue to be generous when it comes to donating dollars to charitable causes. According to the Chronicle of Philanthropy, cited in today's WSJ , "charities report an 11% drop in contributions in the past year ... [with] one big exception: Charitable contributions to religious groups dropped by only 0.1% from 2007 to 2009."

From the In-House Coffee-Related Decision Maker: How We Brew at Spend Matters -- When it comes to coffee, I'm the resident office addict. Starting in at the ripe old age of twelve, when my relentless begging caused my mother to give in and buy me a Frappuccino at Starbucks, my habit has only escalated over the years. The garbage can at my desk is a caffeine graveyard, full of dead paper cups that I ritually pick up every morning on my walk to work.

Friday Rant: The Road to Recovery Is Obvious – To Spend or Not to Spend On Job Creation -- The monthly jobs report has become akin to stepping onto the bathroom scale on New Year's Day. We know what we have and haven't eaten over the previous month, how our clothes fit and how we feel, but many of us still wince when the digits appear. Similarly, it's no surprise that overall unemployment for September remained steady at 9.6%. The U.S. economy will rebound as full-time employment increases and consumer spending follows – big yawn, I know. But how shall we get there?

Sheena Moore

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