Tuesday, May 26, 2009

What's necessary now?

The current recession has many families making decisions about what is necessary and what isn't.

Pew Research Center took a look at this and its findings are revealing about the way we live now.

With the caveat that they were looking exclusively at the U.S., here's what they discovered:

Dishwashers, clothes dryers, microwave ovens, and air conditioners are now considered much less necessary than in 2006. In fact, just 21% said a dishwasher is a necessity, down from 35% just three years ago. You wash, I'll dry.

I found it a bit surprising that TV is now seen as a must-have by only 52%, but perhaps this is explained by the increasing importance of the internet, an essential of life for 31% of respondents.

No surprise that cars are essential for 88%, or that almost half would freak without their cell phones.

Many are changing their behaviour, with 57% buying less expensive brands or shopping more at discount stores. Spending on booze and smokes is down. Vegetable gardens and DIY home repairs are in.

It remains to be seen how much of this sticks when good times return.

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