Americans Spending Less on Food, More on Technology

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The new tech consumer

Oct. 7, 201402:15

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Nearly half of Americans have cut back on spending, including for travel, food and health care, to afford technology. The CNBC All-America Economic Survey found that 49 percent of the 805 respondents economize to afford technology. The nationwide survey, with margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percent, found the top way to save for technology, chosen by about a third, is to cut back on traditional entertainment such as movies and restaurants. But 20 percent report cutting back on clothing, 11 percent purchase less food and 10 percent have reduced spending on health care.

Two groups that stood out as skimping the most to keep up with the Tech Joneses: women between the age of 18 and 49 and people with incomes between $50,000 and $75,000. Nearly 60 percent of respondents in both of these groups have reduced spending to afford technology. When it comes to which technology is the most important, Americans clearly choose the cellphone. Asked which bills they definitely would pay if they ran into hard times, 39 percent said they would make sure to get a check in the mail for their cellphones, compared with 28 percent for Internet services and 20 percent for pay television, such as satellite or cable.


-- Steve Liesman, CNBC