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PostHeaderIcon Frugality In Practice: Needs Vs. Wants

Article Source: Online Shopping Store

What do you consider to be necessities in your life these day? For me, Cable TV is a want. Flat screen TV is also a want. Ice cream maker? Tough call this summer. But what I found interesting is that according to the Pew Research Center, things that we use to view as a necessity three years ago is now changing. Here are some of the biggest changes:


  • Cable or Satellite TV – 23% of Americans now consider this a necessity. Down big time from 55% in 2006.
  • Flat Screen TV – Now only 8% of folks think a cool TV in the living room is a necessity. Down 25% from 3 years ago.
  • Air Conditioning– 3 years ago 70% of people considered A/C a necessity. Now only 50% of Americans consider cool air in your home a necessity. This one depends on where you live. In my neck of the woods, I would consider A/C a necessity as a 110 degree day is a common occurrence in July and August.
  • Microwave Oven – Used to be 70% of people thought the nuker was a necessity, now only 44% think that. Not sure I understand this one. Microwave ovens are pretty darn cheap these days. Maybe it has to do with the fattening of our society as people have less leftovers to heat up the next day!

But what I found the most interesting had to do with services people are getting rid of. Americans are starting to do things for themselves and are shopping smarter. Here are a few of the biggest changes:

  • Discount Stores – No sense paying more for name brands if you don’t have to. Almost 66% of Americans are now shopping at discount stores. Up 20% from 3 years ago. Walmart, for example, is absolutely thriving during this recession.
  • Veggie Garden – Now 1 in 5 are growing a veggie garden. Up significantly from years past. The cool thing about this is you only need a few square feet in the backyard to grow some tomatoes or other veggies. Plus it is a lot of fun and a great activity to do with your kids.
  • Luxury Services – Americans are starting to mow their own lawns, take care of their own pools, and are changing the oil in their automobiles. Smart. Smart. Smart. Very easy ways to save money. Plus, you will get some exercise in the process.

How has the recession changed the way you spend money? Looking forward to your response.

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