Editor’s Note: The following column, titled “‘Frugal Fatigue’ Drives Dreams of RV Ownership” was written by Tim O’Brien, chairman of the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA), and appears in the January issue of RV Executive Today.
‘Frugal fatigue’ is a fairly new term to describe the mental exhaustion caused by constant frugality during hard economic times. While it is not an officially recognized disorder, it does reasonably describe the feelings many people are experiencing as they cope with long term cost cutting and constant monitoring of budgets and spending both at work and home.
At the outset of the recession, it was necessary for those who were laid off to cut costs; for others, reductions in their investments, pay checks and benefits, plus concern for accumulated debt, led to frugal habits. The economic and employment uncertainty caused many to postpone or dismiss dreams of purchasing an RV. However, living in such austere conditions over an extended period of time can wear you down and, let’s face it, old spending habits are hard to resist forever.
The evidence of frugal fatigue is that consumer spending is increasing, and I just read that Americans’ total spending on goods and services (not including automobiles) has returned to pre-crisis levels. Upper income confidence is rising. Luxury automobile and upscale retailers reported sharp gains in October.
We experienced the beginning of our recovery in 2010, and as frugal fatigue grows, I believe the dream of owning an RV will become more powerful than ever. It’s our responsibility to make those dreams come true. RVDA has many programs and services to assist you as you finalize your preparations for 2011. I encourage every dealer to sign up as a Go RVing dealer and take advantage of the new Leads-Plus program for 2011!
Happy New Year and Good Selling!