Luxury vs. Necessity- laptop and DVD player luxury, mobile necessity

21st November, 2012 in Lifestyle, Technology

A mobile phone, teabags and a digital camera are considered ‘necessities’ in modern life  – while cinema trips, nights out, takeaways and even laptops are still considered ‘luxuries’, research has revealed. A detailed study carried out among 2,000 adults ranked everyday items, and revealed a large percentage still have a firm hold on the purse strings.

The list of necessities also includes a car and a mobile phone while an annual holiday, DVD player and bicycle are now deemed ‘luxuries’.

Simon Healy, Managing Director of Savings for new British bank Aldermore, which commissioned the study, said:

”Technology has advanced so much in recent years that we now consider internet access and mobile phones as a necessity for day to day modern life.”

”Whilst it’s true that it would certainly be a struggle to manage without some of them, it’s a far stretch of the imagination to class them as a matter of life and death.

”There is also a ‘keeping up with the Jones” element to many of the things on the ‘luxury’ list, and it’s always dangerous territory to get in to a position where you are buying things purely because people you know have them.

”It’s staggering that technology has just become so interwoven in to our everyday lives, that it’s automatically seen as a necessity when you consider, a mobile phone contract at say £35 per month, that’s just under £500 for a year which, in fact, is a large outlay.

”But it’s not our given right to have all of these things – especially if we are stretching ourselves financially in order to achieve a certain lifestyle.”

The study, which was split 50/50 between male and female respondents, also found more than eight out of ten class a weekly night out as a luxury, with only 13% describing it as a necessity.

Worryingly, almost four out of ten said a credit card was a necessity, while six out of ten said it was a luxury.

More than half believe a laptop is a luxury while 42% said it was a necessity.

It also emerged around four out of ten adults described a car as a luxury, while a similar number said a watch was also a luxury.

Broken down by gender, almost one in ten women said fake tan was a necessity.

The top ten of the luxuries list was comprised of things like a night out at the cinema and getting taxis.

Four in ten of those polled said that a credit card was a necessity in the 21st Century and 15% claim Sat Nav is also an item you cannot live without.

With social networking being such a huge part of modern life, it comes as no surprise that over a quarter of British adults said Facebook and Twitter were essential to their day to day life.

One in four said they genuinely couldn’t manage without the internet.

The study also found three quarters of people said that they realise that material items are not exactly a matter of life and death but they still regard them as a necessity.

However 72% said the line between what constitutes a luxury and a necessity is blurred- while a huge 69% of of Brits felt that some people have their priorities all wrong.

In fact, 71% said the younger generation of today had no idea what it’s like to be down to the bare necessities.

Simon Healy continued:

“69% of respondents might think that other people have got their priorities wrong but whatever you consider to be a luxury, there’s no arguing that you can have more of them simply by taking a few minutes to ensure you’ve got the best account for your savings.”


Mobile phone
Hot water
Reading glasses
A digital camera


Sky TV
Hair straightners
A girly night out
UGG boots
Annual holiday
Weekly take-away
Credit Card
Monthly cinema trip
Season ticket to football club
Sat Nav
DVD player
George Foreman grill
Internet banking
Fake tan
A designer handbag
Regular weekends away
Haircut every six weeks
Air conditioning
Boys night out



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