From Budgeting to Buying: Canadian Consumerism in the Post War Era

Bettina Liverant


From the late 1940s to the early 1960s Canadians shifted from a predilection for careful budgeting and "making do" to consumers in training, and later, full-fledged participants in the buy now, pay later mode of North American consumption prevalent from the sixties to the present. Using three "typical" Canadian families featured by Chatelaine Magazine in 1949, 1954 and 1962 as the hub of analysis, this article examines the transformation in attitudes toward domestic spending, the use of credit, and the manner in which new patterns of spending and consumption were simultaneously reflected in and authorized by the magazine.

Full Text: