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What do you think of as luxuries?

(111 Posts)
MamaCaz Tue 29-Oct-19 18:47:47

Yesterday, there was disagreement on another thread about whether a car is a luxury in modern life.

It got me thinking, and I thought it would be interesting to see what things were generally considered luxuries when you were younger, and whether you still think of them as luxuries, or if you now see them as necessities, or at least in some cases, depending on individual circumstances.

For instance, as well as cars, do you still think of central heating, washing machines, a phone in the home, a TV set and vacuum cleaners as luxuries, and why (not)? Feel free to add to that list - it's just to set the ball rolling.

And what sort of things do you now think of as luxuries that might not even have existed when you were younger?

MawB Tue 29-Oct-19 18:50:35

Fresh sheets every day (with somebody else responsible for ironing them and changing the bed )would be my idea of heaven.

GabriellaG54 Tue 29-Oct-19 18:53:37

LIFE...yes, in capital letters. Wonderful. 🥰😁

Scentia Tue 29-Oct-19 18:54:47

When I was young, fresh fruit was a luxury as was a tea that didn’t include meat, 2 veg and gravy!
I remember a special tea would be a triple sandwich with a burger in and salad and cheese, or a round of bread and butter a banana, dairy Lea triangle and some crisps!

Now they are all everyday food.

GrannyGravy13 Tue 29-Oct-19 18:59:57

I’m with MawB fresh clean & ironed sheets every day with someone else facilitating the deed.

Business/first class travel.

cornishclio Tue 29-Oct-19 19:02:03

I think a car is a necessity in some locations if you work, have kids to get to school and public transport is not good. I also think for an older person who is housebound a TV is a lifeline and not a luxury so it all depends on circumstances.

I would not call central heating or a phone (either landline or mobile) a luxury for anyone and they are both necessities now whereas I suppose years ago many people didn't have central heating or phones so they would then have been luxuries.

If we were living at subsistence level the only things I would call necessities would be food, a roof over our head, a bed and a means of cooking food. I could do without TV, phone, car, washing machine but life would not be very pleasant.

My only gripe with some is that many say a holiday is a necessity but I firmly believe it is a luxury. Same goes for cable TV and whilst I like my laptop and mobile phone they are luxuries and not necessities.

Marilla Tue 29-Oct-19 19:05:59

A rather nice car with a chauffeur who would drive me all over the UK when I fancied a trip.

Marilla Tue 29-Oct-19 19:07:36

I think I may have misread the thread! 😀

Scribbles Tue 29-Oct-19 19:12:25

Someone else to clean my house
A taxi home instead of the bus
Putting on the CH instead of an extra cardigan
A shower or bath every day; twice if I want to
Spending as long as I want to chatting on the phone and a landline extension in every room - no more hasty conversations in a draughty hall
Buying a new coat because I saw it and liked it, not because I need it and it's the only one I can afford

MamaCaz Tue 29-Oct-19 19:14:32

We've only had central heating for ten years, cornishclio, and the house was so cold in winter before that that I still almost consider it a luxury - the crazy thing is that heating the whole house with central heating costs us less than heating just a small part of it did before it was installed!

Whitewavemark2 Tue 29-Oct-19 19:14:40

I’m with maw on the sheets.

I change mine weekly, in fact tonight they are clean, crisp and fresh - bliss

The other luxury would be lots of lovely fresh flowers - native to the U.K. if I could get them, not hot house but with a lovely scent. Changed as frequently as necessary.

Grandma70s Tue 29-Oct-19 19:25:55

I don’t see a car as a necessity, but it depends where you live. Holidays are definitely a luxury - holidays away from home, I mean. A break from work is a necessity.

When I was a child (1940s/50s) we had a car and a phone, but I was 18 before we got central heating, and then only downstairs. We survived, so central heating is a luxury - though one I would not care to be without now.

I agree about clean sheets.

Missfoodlove Tue 29-Oct-19 19:30:18

I can remember our first dishwasher, I considered it a real luxury.
They are now standard even in student accommodation apparently!
Having cupboards full of wine/alcohol not just buying it for special occasions.
Diptique candles and bath oil.
Having a choice of outfits for special occasions.
My cleaning lady.
Lots of weekends away and 3/4 holidays a year.
I consider myself so lucky.
Our early years of marriage were tough financially but we are now more than okay.
I used to only have a weeks worth of food in the house, I budgeted well.
Wine was for birthdays, Christmas etc and the phone bill was always dreaded😩.

petra Tue 29-Oct-19 19:30:43

My own Lear jet. Parked 15 mins away at Southend airport.

BBbevan Tue 29-Oct-19 19:51:01

A cruise every year and a round the world one one day .

MawB Tue 29-Oct-19 19:51:26

Didn’t LIFE exist before then GabriellaG ? confused

Daisymae Tue 29-Oct-19 20:32:56

Have always had a car in house, washing machine central heating and a phone. To me they are essentials.

GagaJo Tue 29-Oct-19 20:39:41

Hmmm. Although I DO have a mobile phone (somewhere - grandson has lost it), I do see them as a luxury although I know most don't, as is my iPad.

Car is necessity to get to work. Although I once managed for 6 months without one, because I lived in a village with a train station. And it was nice doing without the expense of a car.

Peace and quiet is a luxury to me these days. Although seeing my grandson everyday is luxurious too, even though he's the one I need peace and quiet to recover from!

A gym membership would be a nice luxury. I can't afford the one I used to go have and miss it.

Fresh flowers are a luxury. Not necessarily those I could buy for myself, but bought FOR me.

A cleaner. Had one for a couple of years and coming home to a clean and tidy house twice a week was BLISS.

SueDonim Tue 29-Oct-19 20:45:06

The closest bus stop is 3.5 miles away so a car is a necessity for us. Having said which, I have a very nice car which is definitely a luxury when a smaller, cheaper model would do the same job.

I give thanks every day of winter for CH, having grown up in an icebox of a house and having not had CH in other houses since.

A bar of good quality soap is still a luxury to me, I always appreciate gifts of same!

One thing which is no longer a luxury is having chicken to eat. I remember my mum only buying a chicken as a special treat. They were too expensive for every day eating. Same with tomatoes, which we take for granted now.

sodapop Tue 29-Oct-19 21:12:18

I would like all the bedding changed &laundered by someone else too.
Also to be able to help grandchildren get a foot on the property ladder.

Grammaretto Tue 29-Oct-19 21:21:12

I love clean sheets too. Some things are borderline luxuries (or is that cheating?)
It seems a shame to me that things we once considered luxuries are now taken completely for granted: holidays, a daily shower, meat every day, TV and car.

Then there are other things which we used to take for granted where now our youngsters do not have such freedom. I am thinking of the visas to enter certain countries, all the admin and redtape before you go anywhere and how they have to take out loans to attend university when we had grants.

And just now I was told the price to hire a graduation gown - £40 for one day. The girl thinks she won't attend. Is that a luxury?

GrannyGravy13 Tue 29-Oct-19 21:46:37

Petra happy to share the jet, but now Ryanair are flying out of “our local airport” it is not so exclusive 🤣

GrandmaMoira Tue 29-Oct-19 21:50:14

I never passed my driving test so haven't had a car since my DH died so a car is a luxury to me. I do miss it.
We got Washing machine, central heating and phone when I was early teens but lots of people did not have them then so were a luxury but now they are normal.
A cleaner would be a luxury. Holidays are still a luxury to me though not for most people.

lemongrove Tue 29-Oct-19 21:59:42

A car isn’t really considered as a luxury these days ( although a brand new car may be.)
Ditto CH and washing machines and a phone.
Ice cream was considered a luxury in our house when growing up.Had to be bought from the shop, rushed back to the house before the block melted.Chocolate digestives were a luxury back then too, as were all the things mentioned at the start of this post.
I think of holidays in five star hotels as luxuries ( and appreciate them when I can get them.)😊
Clean sheets? Nope, I could have them every day ( as could most of us) if I was prepared to do that every day, bu as it is, I change them about every five days.
very expensive clothes would also be a luxury.

Witzend Tue 29-Oct-19 22:22:43

Business or first class flights - esp. long haul night flights with flat beds.
I wouldn't consider a car or a dishwasher a luxury nowadays. Nor central heating, though it certainly seemed like a massive luxury when we had it installed when I was maybe 14.

An automatic washing machine would have been a great luxury to my mother when I was a child in the 50s/early 60s.

A granny (who had 5 children) once told me that she'd asked her own mother (10 children) how on earth she'd managed without a pram.
'I used my arms.'
I dare say a pram would have been a luxury to her, never mind any sort of washing machine.
Different times...