This study from the Pew Research Center is about the items that we buy that we view as luxuries or necessities. They’ve asked this question about various things since 1973 (shortly after I was born) and then show on a graph how our perception of needs verses wants has changed over the following 3 decades. Included in the survey are the home air conditioner (I would NOT be living in Texas without it – though I know I could if I had to, I did it during the Peace Corps, I just choose not to), TV set, microwave, dishwasher (don’t have one of those other than my husband) and of course, the electric clothes dryer.
What is interesting in looking at the chart is that of those items included, only one machine is ranked lower today than it was in 1973 – the TV set. And only one other machine has decreased to close to where it started – the clothes dryer. All of the rest have had a marked decline since the recession (they surveyed in 2006 and 2009) but not coming even close to previous lows.
I personally don’t feel like my dryer is absolutely needed, but it is nice to have when it’s raining cats and dogs outside… What do you think? Could you live without your dryer. Do you view it as a luxury item or a necessity?