A long history of sparse employment and hardships of all stripes has built a culture of frugality that leaves Maine perfectly suited to the current recession, the Boston Globe reports. “Everybody now is into shopping thrift shops, but in most of Maine, people never stopped,” a banker says. “It’s ingrained in people here to plan for tough times.” For example: Though Mainers have the second-lowest income in New England, the state also boasts the second-lowest foreclosure rate.
The culture of thrift elevates the simpler pleasures. “The only time I might go a little overboard is the time of the month when we get our Social Security checks,’’ a 71-year-old Mainer says. “Then I might buy extra paper products.’’ The people of the Pine Tree State also take some well-earned pride in being prepared for a crisis. “They said you should stock up,’’ one shopper boasts. “I was already stocked up.’’