13 Everyday Items Now Considered Luxuries That Weren’t 20–30 Years Ago

Krystal Smith

Certain things that were once commonplace in society have now become luxuries. Decades have brought changes that have transformed our perceptions of what is expected. We found the top items that gained luxury status in the past 30 years.

Real Wood Furniture

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New furniture made from natural wood was once standard and less expensive than most people thought it was. However, with synthetic materials and mass-produced furniture, natural wood craftsmanship has become a luxury reserved for those who appreciate its beauty and durability.

Farmers’ Markets

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Farmers markets were the ideal place to find affordable, fresh products. However, they have seen a shift, and their prices often exceed those of grocery stores. This transformation has turned them from a budget-friendly shopping experience into a luxury few can afford.

Home Ownership

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Mortgages are complex for younger generations as house prices have reached their highest levels, and first-time buyers need help making deposits. Some young people cannot afford high rents in some states, and multigenerational households are rare as children save up to leave home. 

Single Income Dreams

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Decades ago, families could easily rely on one income. Many families depended on more traditional roles, with a father working and a mother staying home to care for the home and children. Due to housing costs and low wages, the ability to purchase a house and live off of a single income has become an exclusive privilege.


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Skiing with your family was cheap in the ’50s and ’60s. It was a lower-middle-class holiday. The resorts were always expensive, but there used to be smaller and cheaper local places. Most have been shut down, bought up, and made into luxury resorts since they’re way more profitable. 

Fast Food

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Fast food was a comfort for low-wage workers, as they could get a meal for a dollar. But in the last decade, the price of a burger has tripled, and the average consumer cooks at home for a cheaper meal.

Airplane Fancies

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Airplanes have always been expensive, but you have full service. When you book a ticket now, you need to pay the total amount for the ticket and extra for essential services such as food, legroom, luggage, and kilos. 


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People used to go on vacations with their families multiple times a year, but now they struggle to even go on a road trip. The prices of tickets, accommodations, and expenses have increased, and wages are lower than in the last thirty years.

House Products

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Simple things such as a fridge or kettle used to be cheap for low-income families to buy the best quality products. However, they have since increased in size and sold items that are basic needs for every house close to a monthly wage.

Concert Tickets

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Since the 60s, concerts have been a cheap and exciting experience for hippies, low-income people, and youth. Even without having any income, you could enjoy a concert. Still, now you need hundreds of dollars to watch your favorite artist and have a seat at a point where you can’t even watch the artist.


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Going out for a drink with your friends used to be a cheap and enjoyable day. Beer used to be the cheap drink that everyone from the lowest income groups could afford to have as many beers as they wanted. To buy a drink costs as much as a day’s wage.

Being Unreachable

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Gone are the days when you could come home from work, kick your shoes off, and speak to someone when you head back out to work the next day. Now, you are at the end of a cell phone, social media, or email, and people can even watch you via video call, so there is no escape when people want to reach you. 


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For many people, retirement is not an option, or at least they can only look forward to returning later than expected. With the cost of living increasing and pensions not as good as they used to be, people are working longer than ever, which is sad. That said, some people enjoy working longer as it keeps them active and allows them to interact with others daily, especially if they live alone. 

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