Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Necessities vs. Luxuries

It’s kind of a coincidence that today is the day we get our Tempur-pedic mattress delivered (somewhat of a luxury, but that too is debatable) and that on MSN there was a slide show debating Necessity vs. Luxury of several common household items. Here’s how I weigh in on each:

1) new car – I have yet to buy new, though my husband has a Toyota Prius that’s only a couple years old. I’m not too bothered to buy new if I can get more extras on a used car (like the sun roof on my Ford Focus).

2) dryer – we didn’t have one for the 6 years we lived in England, so I can definitely do without, and most of the time I didn’t miss it. However, when it comes to hanging up lots of socks and underwear, that’s when I definitely prefer a dryer! Also, for softness, you can’t beat the dryer. It’s night and day difference when it comes to things like wash cloths and socks.

3) air conditioning – nice to have on at night time, though a ceiling fan on high usually suffices (but you have to put up with the vibration noise).

4) microwave – a luxury, but something I would definitely miss if I didn’t have it. The only thing I have gone back to stove top cooking is hotdogs (they don’t tend to explode in hot water).

5) television/flat screen TV – a definite luxury. We bought one (a flat screen) last year which is high definition, pretty typical these days. As I don’t watch much TV, I was quite happy with our old one. The nicest thing is ease of moving (not something you do too often though).

6) cable/satellite TV – for how few channels we actually tune into, I wouldn’t miss it that much. Plus, quite a lot of things eventually come out on DVD, so we can always rent those later.

7) personal computer/ high speed internet access – As I use a computer all day at work, I don’t tend to use my laptop at home much, and almost never over the weekend. However, I would miss it if I didn’t have it. Also, a laptop/notebook computer is a luxury, but I much prefer it to a big old clunky PC.

It’s only in the last few years that we’ve switched to broadband and high speed access, and it’s a definite luxury. It’s nice to be able to access e-mail and upload things to the internet without having too much delay (though even that is inevitable).

8) dishwasher – it’s only in the last four or so years my husband and I have had one, and we definitely like it, though realize it’s a luxury. Obviously I can live without it, but would definitely miss it!

9) cell phone – I’ve only had one for about four or so years and only miss it if I don’t have it when I’m out shopping and need to call someone and ask their opinion about something (usually my husband, but sometimes my sister). It’s nice to have in case of an emergency, but I still hate how much people are so fixated on them. I would say they’re almost a necessity, but you don’t need all the bells and whistles they come with these days (like a camera and MP3 player).

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