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shopping_spend_money(MCT)—In the wake of the Great Recession and now five years removed from the financial industry meltdown, have Americans changed their spending habits?

Experts claimed the recession was so severe that it would alter how consumers spent their money. Perhaps they would be more purposeful, even frugal.

Wendy Philleo says she sees some evidence of that. As executive director of the Center for a New American Dream, she’s always talking about redefining what the American Dream is, along with our notion of success “so we’re not constantly trying to keep up with the Joneses.”

A recent survey found the economic recovery has been uneven. About a quarter of consumers have experienced an improvement in their financial health over the last several years, but 1 in 5 have suffered a decline, according to a study sponsored by Chase Blueprint and completed by Aite Group. It also found evidence that Americans are more disciplined about managing finances and are more financially literate.

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