Luxuries Don’t Have To Be Expensive

Isaac Mostovicz writes that small luxuries are as important as big luxuries...

An interesting report by the research group Mintel came out this week on how British people are living and spending money during the economic downturn. While many people are cutting costs, people are continuing to spend on small luxuries, particularly on alcohol (£622 per person annually); on smoothies, coffee and soft drinks (£230 per person annually); on personal beauty and grooming (£216 per person annually); and on clothing and accessories (£750 per person annually).

One would think that these would be the sorts of things that people could cut back on, and I imagine some have, but that the figures have remained so high shows how these very personal items represent luxuries in people’s lives. The way that one person interprets luxury could be completely different from the way someone else interprets luxury. A woman might continue to get a weekly manicure because of the way it makes her feel. She might be better off financially not doing it, but her weekly manicure gives her some quiet time to be pampered, and this relatively small expense makes her better able to tackle the challenges in her life. These small luxuries are worth it when they make people feel better about themselves.

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