February 04, 2010

Cozi Family Outlook 2010: The Year of the Family

Will 2010 bring better times for families? According to a Cozi family survey, the answer depends on what you mean by better. While families aren’t planning for a financial recovery in 2010, there is a silver lining for families learning to live on less.

Cozi conducted their yearly family survey1 to find out how families plan to adjust spending and activities as they enter 2010. Over 1300 families across the country were surveyed, asking questions about how the economy has affected everything from grocery shopping to family entertainment.

One thing is certain, families are banking on spending less. Fifty-four percent of survey respondents plan to cut back even more in 2010 than they did in 2009. Only 15 percent see more spending in the coming year.

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The New Family Schedule

So where is that silver lining? With fewer “distractions” that require money and time away from home, families can spend more time together enjoying simpler – wallet-friendly – activities. Family schedules filled with dinners out, spendy family events and big vacations look to be replaced with eating at home, family movie nights cuddled up on the couch, and free activities in the community.

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The Year of Eating In

A whopping 92 percent of respondents are planning to prepare more home-cooked meals in 2010. It makes good sense. Eating in has a triple advantage for families. Cooking at home and eating in were mentioned as a means to save money, eat healthier, and spend more time together as a family. (Find out if your grocery bill is too high.)

Food takes a big bite out of the family budget, especially as the number (and size!) of kids grow. Shrinking the family grocery bill is a big part of the family saving plan for 2010. Families will use coupons, shop sales, make shopping lists and plan ahead for the week, and stick to a budget.

Family Fun for Free

Spending more nights in is the plan for most families in 2010. But that doesn’t have to translate into sitting around watching the tube. The great thing about families is that the best fun often comes on the cheap, without elaborate planning, and when you least expect it. We hear that families are choosing game nights instead of season game tickets, fondue parties instead of dinner reservations, nerf battles at the park instead of ski lessons, and evenings reminiscing over the big box of memories in the closet instead of planning the next big vacation.

Family Optimism for 2010

Despite the financial struggles, the consensus is that families will spend more time together. And the majority of families refuse to see the glass as half empty. When asked to rank their level of optimism for the economy in 2010, more families came out on the up side:

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1Respondents were 93 percent female, 67 percent between the ages 25-44, and 79 percent married.

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