While visiting my mom during the holidays she shared a story about a winter road trip where she barely made it to her grandmother’s funeral. I questioned why she drove instead of flying. She replied “it was too expensive then”.
Her response really made me think. What do I take for granted in my daily life that was prohibitively expensive a short time ago? I came up with this list.
Growing up we went to restaurants infrequently. My parents did indulge their kids in fast food, but not more often than once a month. The lack of dining out wasn’t because my working mom wouldn’t have liked to have a night off in the kitchen.
It was too expensive to take out a family of six frequently. I think there is a wider range of restaurant price points today plus more opportunities to save with coupons, daily deal sites and promotions. Plus most families are smaller today which lowers the costs for many budget categories (food, clothing, medical, etc.).
Making Long Distance Calls
Although many blame the demise of letter-writing on email, cheaper long distance rates are also responsible. Twenty years ago if we wanted to communicate with anyone out of the local calling, it meant writing a letter or sending a post card.
Even as a young mother, I went weeks in between calls home due to the high cost. Now, there’s no limit to the amount of time I can chat with family long distance – as long as we use the same cell phone carrier.
I didn’t know anyone who had been on a cruise until my 30’s. Until then it was a vacation for the retired or rich. Or at least that was my perception.
There were far fewer cruise ships making the price higher due to scarcity. There are dozens of cruise ships and you can easily find a cruise for less than $100 per person per night; sometimes half that! We spend less on cruises than on land vacations.
Mom is right; air travel used to be more expensive. Even though fares seem to be increasing right now due to higher fuel costs they are still a bargain.
I remember taking my kids to mom’s for Thanksgiving 20 years ago for $15 more per ticket than the price today. You know there’s been inflation so effectively it’s much cheaper.
Although prices go up, sometimes the true cost goes down. What can you afford now that was too expensive previously?