Monday, April 4, 2011

What Luxuries Would You Give Up?

MSNBC's Life Inc. blog recently posted the result of a survey showing a list of "luxury" items or services that are deemed untouchable by Americans. So which luxury item/service can most of us not do without? The internet, of course! 81% of people surveyed indicated that internet services are untouchable followed by 61% for basic cable and 42% for haircuts and coloring. I must agree with the internet category. If it weren't for the internet services I receive at home, it'd be much harder for me to maintain this blog! But I'd consider a lower speed option in order to save money.

I looked at the survey data a bit closer to compare the answers for people between 18 and 34 years of age (Gen Y and some Gen X) to the rest of the age groups. When asked whether they've made any cuts in the spending categories listed, the least amount of 18 to 34-year-olds answered yes. Furthermore, the highest percentage of people in this age group indicated "untouchable" for 26 out of the 36 expenditures listed.

As part of this age group it makes me wonder why this is. I hope it's because we're cutting back on other things not listed here, or maybe we're savvy enough to find much lower priced options. But I also have a sneaky suspicion that younger people are less flexible because it's harder for us to see the big picture. It's more difficult to cut out the luxuries now in order to have a more secure financial future 40 years down the road.

It'll be interesting to see the change in trends with regard to spending categories as the economy continues to improve (hopefully!). So is this newfound frugality here to stay?


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