Throughout the recession and the slow, meek recovery that has followed, there has been much discussion about a "new normal." After the financial collapse, there was a widespread shift among consumers, a tendency to scale back on unnecessary expenses—as some observers put it, to replace the mindless accumulation of the past with more "mindful spending." Many wondered, however, whether consumers would soon return to the spendthrift habits of the past.
Based on the new TIME/Money American's Financial Values Survey, the new normal ushered in by the recession has become the norm. Americans today are even more likely than they were a couple years ago to say that saving more, being more frugal and cost-conscious, and, interestingly enough, spending more time with their families, were priorities in their lives.