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Abstract

The economy has been in downward movement in the past few years in the United States as well as different parts of the world. Consumers’ financial situations have been found to influence their purchase behaviors. While some personal finance experts blame consumers’ (lack of) spending plans for their financial situations, others suggest that consumers’ perception of their financial standing influences their purchase plans. Using two nationwide large scale survey studies, we investigated how the consumer’s financial well-being affects planned and unplanned purchasing decisions from two competing perspectives. Supporting our notion of financial well-being as a status, the results revealed consumers with high financial well-being are more likely to make planned purchases and less likely to make unplanned purchases. We also examined the value of applying economic indicators as proxy measure of financial well-being. Instead of income or debts, wealth was found to be the most important economic indicator of financial well-being.

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