Thursday, January 30, 2014

Luxuries and Necessities

It's hard to imagine life before home computers, before cars, before air conditioning. What's interesting is how many of the items we take for granted as necessities used to be luxuries. And how the list has grown.

At one time we washed clothes down in the river, or by carrying water up from the spring. Clothes were dried on sunny days out on the line.

A Pew Research Study did a comparison of luxuries and necessities from 1996 to 2006. The list of things Americans "can't live without" has been growing, and in 2006 flat screen TVs and iPods were necessities for the first time in some homes. Undoubtedly smartphones will be on that list in the next study.

Do you nuke your food? Only 68% of Americans called their microwave oven a necessity, but that number is up by 36% from 1996 when 68% considered it a luxury. No one had cell phones listed as a necessity in 1996, but anyone who has worked a major trade show would be hard pressed to live without one.

One stat of special interest was that cars were the only item on the list that actually shrank slightly, to 91%. As urban communities grow, public transportation and bicycling are experiencing a resurgence. Nevertheless, for most of us the automobile or truck we drive is an essential part of our lives. Because this is so, it's necessary to take care of it. Check your fluid levels on a regular basis, maintain tire pressure, and make sure your air filter is clean. If you need help and want some reminders as to when you need to change your oil or take care of other maintenance matters, park your information at MyAMSOILGarage. Taking car of your car will help save you money so you can have a little extra cash for the next big thing we can't live without... How about that that trip around the moon you always wanted to take?

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