Hitting Our Spirits as Well as Our Wallets

Along with the changes it has wrought on consumers’ finances, the tough economy has affected their basic outlook on life, according to StrategyOne polling fielded last month. The chart gives a sampling of largely negative effects. A particularly dramatic one lies in a number not shown in the chart: Among female respondents age 18-34, 27 percent said they’ve decided to delay having a baby. Eighteen percent of single Americans said the economic downturn has led them to delay getting married or engaged. But it has also kept some marriages afloat: 9 percent of married respondents have put off getting a divorce.