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What luxuries do you have that your parents wouldn't have?

(191 Posts)
GrabtharsHammer Tue 29-Nov-16 08:06:04

Following on from my thread about the reasons younger people can't buy houses due to iPhones and sky telly?

We have Sky Q and iPhones etc but I'm really thinking of things that would have been available in the 70s/80s but were real luxuries.

Mine would never have had a second car. We went out the the Harvester on special occasions, always the early bird menu and only about twice a year. Holidays were camping although we went to France twice to stay in a friend's house.

Day trips to Chessington etc were very rare, once every couple of years. We had piano lessons but that was our only 'extra', we wanted to ride horses so had to wait until we were old enough to work on a yard (12/13) and earn lessons.

I don't think we ever had a takeaway, the closest was a family bucket from KFC once in a blue moon.

Having said that, my dad smoked sixty a day until we were in our teens, and my mum always had a bottle of sherry a week.

What else? Black and white telly until we were about seven or eight (so 86/87). We had a video recorder but it was a huge luxury.

My dad had a computer but he was the only person we knew with one.

Once a fortnight we'd rent a video.

We had one pair of school shoes, one pair of trainers and wellies. I remember being bought a pair of red patent shoes for a party and thinking all my Christmases had come at once. Mum made most of our clothes.

How different is your experience of modern life to your parents? And so you think things are much cheaper or that priorities are so different?

myfavouritecolourispurple Tue 29-Nov-16 08:22:51

Funnily enough we did have a second car and were about the only family around who had one (and in lots of cases, where the mum could drive).

Yet we as a family have only had one car for years, we only got a second car a few weeks ago and are trialling keeping the old one until the insurance runs out in Feb and then we'll decide if it's worth having two. I work from home and my husband commutes by train so it is a bit of a luxury but the old car is now nearly 10 years old so it worth very little and we may as well drive it until it gives up the ghost.

We got a microwave ahead of most families but were behind with a VCR which we only got in 1989.

My only extra-curricular activities were Brownies at primary school and piano lessons at secondary (plus swimming lessons).

However we had a bigger house than I have now (for a few years and then my dad downsized when I was 16).

JaceLancs Tue 29-Nov-16 08:27:40

Brought up in the 60s and 70s
Carpets were a luxury (only in front room)
No tv till I was at high school and it was black and white
No landline until after I left home
Holidays were always camping and/or staying with relatives
No freezer
No central heating
No mains gas
Chicken was a luxury maybe at Easter
No takeaways

olivesnutsandcheese Tue 29-Nov-16 08:28:02

We used to have a 1litre carton of Del Monte orange juice once a week on Sundays. It was a real treat.

2cats2many Tue 29-Nov-16 08:28:09

-'Posh' fruit like grapes and raspberries all year round instead of just at Christmas.
- Holidays abroad
- Regular restaurant trips
- Paid for extra curricular activities for the kids
- New clothes and shoes whenever we want them.

Loads of things really. We're really fortunate and materially very rich when I take the time to look at it.

soyvanillalatte Tue 29-Nov-16 08:29:30

None. My parents had way more luxuries than we do.

Scooby20 Tue 29-Nov-16 08:29:53

For a long while we didn't have car. Mum and dad have only got a secure data car recently. We have always had 2.

When we got a pc, we were one of the first families we knew. Now we have 2 laptop, a pc and a tablet.

We also go out more often. Days put, eating out etc

soyvanillalatte Tue 29-Nov-16 08:31:16

except Amazon.

I love Amazon

Lifeisontheup2 Tue 29-Nov-16 08:35:30

I was bought up in 60s and 70s. No TV until I got one when I left home, obviously no microwave/computer as they hadn't been invented.
One pair of shoes, one pair of sandals and one pair of wellies, Mum cooked all our food from scratch and made bread, always brown. At primary school she made most of our clothes apart from school uniform.
Holidays in a friends caravan, no central heating until I was 8, ditto land line.
Yogurts were a huge treat, I remember the Ski ones in a wine glass shaped pot.

We are hugely fortunate now but it was a very happy, cosy childhood.

GreySealWhiteWater Tue 29-Nov-16 08:37:47

We had loads.

Regular trips to Alton Towers, and other attractions. Loads of holidays, at least two and sometimes three or four a year. Parents stopped smoking in the late 80s but drank a lot.

Prawnofthepatriarchy Tue 29-Nov-16 08:38:07

My parents had more than I do now, but that's largely because I was widowed when my DC were still at primary school and both have had major health problems. With my DH alive I could have focused on earning a good living while he cared for the DC. As it was, our income has suffered. My DP are still far better off than me, and generously help out with various things.

HearTheThunderRoar Tue 29-Nov-16 08:39:42

I was also brought up in the 60s/70s.

Rarely any takeaways, sometimes fish and chips.

No after school activities other than swimming.

Yy to camping holidays, I didn't go abroad until I met DH.

We weren't allowed a bike until were 9.

There are loads more, my mother was a no frills sort of person hmm

MouseholeCat Tue 29-Nov-16 08:44:47

None. At my age (26) my parents owned a house in the Cotswolds with a huge garden (took a year to save for with a low deposit) and could afford foreign holidays. They had 2 cars, one a classic.

Average incomes, neither had degrees or worked in a professional role.

Henrysmycat Tue 29-Nov-16 08:45:25

I grew up very very modestly. Everything was a luxury. I never felt it in my childhood as everything was fun. We couldn't afford pizza so she do pizza using stale bread, scraps of cheese and tomato sauce. I didn't know better, so I was happy and content.
They saved every penny and I have to admit most of their savings were spend on our university education (our living costs as we were not eligible for grants) It was an excellent bet on their behalf.

I have a huge better house, in a very expensive area, regular overseas holidays, second and third holiday homes, private education for my kid, good food and expensive clothes, etc.
I just wished they would like to enjoy some of it with me. They are too proud and they "don't want my money" but everything I am I owe it to them.

TheProblemOfSusan Tue 29-Nov-16 08:46:16

The common sense to turn the fricking heating on. (We weren't poor. There was no need to be so freezing cold all the time.)

puglife15 Tue 29-Nov-16 08:47:29

We / my parents didn't take us on holidays outside of Europe, but then I doubt we will now we have kids, certainly not regularly.

We had fewer clothes, but better quality I should think.

Trips out were rare but I did have swimming, piano and dance lessons.

Probably an expensive wedding is a modern luxury, if that's allowed - apparently the average now is £22k which I find astonishing, my parents' wedding was registry office then back home for a cup of tea.

passingthrough1 Tue 29-Nov-16 08:48:15

A cleaner - I feel major guilt paying someone to clean up after me because my parents wouldn't dream of it

Sky - neighbours got sky and I was very jealous and used to babysit in order to marvel at all the channels

Also this might be a weird one? Nice food. I'm much much more aware that I try to find a medium between interesting, healthy and enjoyable and probably eat quite an odd combination of meals. I remember our food shopping just being very boring and we had a similar thing to eat every week (Mondays were x, Tuesdays y...) and there was never any mention that people might have a favourite vegetable or reallly hate broccoli etc. We just ate the same things round and round

We actually have one car and my parents always had two.

GrabtharsHammer Tue 29-Nov-16 08:48:37

Oh god the heating. It was never allowed to go above 16, and never during the day.

Mines on 21 all day at the moment (tbf my house is pretty magic and well insulated so costs are low).

honkinghaddock Tue 29-Nov-16 08:48:55

2 cars (parents didn't have one)
Holidays
New clothes
Central heating (fires in living rooms, no heating upstairs)
Days out
Colour television (black and white rented)
Visits to cafes and occasionally restaurants (never did this during childhood)
Being able to buy something if it will help disabled ds (parents would have struggled with this)

splendide Tue 29-Nov-16 08:49:42

Interesting question. I was born in 1979.

Clothes and toys seem to be cheaper now (relatively) so I have the luxury of buying more or saving the money. My mum remembers buying me a winter coat for about £50 when I was about 2 using my dad's christmas bonus. I can buy DS a coat for about that now.

Holidays we did loads more of growing up than I will afford for my family because they got free flights through my dad's job so that's an outlier.

Cars - about the same. We had one small shit car growing up until my dad got a company car. DH and I share a small shit car now!

I would imagine my parents' standard of living in retirement (now) is wildly beyond what I'll have. Although I earn (inflation adjusted) probably a fairly similar amount to my dad at this age (and we both were/ are supporting a SAHP) he has an amazing final salary pension whereas mine is awful.

I worry more about the future than they did I think. My mum was amazed/ appalled by the amount I put away for DS. I am assuming I'll need to help out massively well into his 20s and beyond. It's partly why I am sticking at one child while they had 4.

splendide Tue 29-Nov-16 08:50:56

Oh nice food is a good shout! My experience very similar to passingthrough

claraschu Tue 29-Nov-16 08:51:24

My parents were well off, but were real depression/ wartime people.

We never wasted anything-
Plastic bags reused for packed lunches
Matches reused if one gas burner was already lighted
Never, ever buy food or drinks on a trip, always pack food (I still remember sharing a cup of pea soup at a motorway rest stop on a long trip, because it was SUCH an unusual treat)
No extra food in the house, so no snacks (but good home cooked meals)
No extra clothes or shoes
Very few toys or games, no "plastic tat" ever

In spite of this, my parents were very generous if they believed something was important, for instance, they payed full tuition for all of our expensive American universities, without ever mentioning it. When I asked my father if I should apply for funding for my master's degree, and he told me not to apply because that money was for students whose parents couldn't or wouldn't help them.

Gasp0deTheW0nderD0g Tue 29-Nov-16 08:54:55

I was brought up in the 60s/70s too. No central heating till mid 70s until my parents were earning enough to get the mortgage increased to pay for it. No colour TV till around then too (and it had been available for a few years by then, it was purely the cost that prevented us from having it before).

Holidays - we never went abroad. Cheap self-catering holidays in static caravans or chalets every other year. The rest of the time we stayed with family.

We had very few clothes. They were a lot more expensive then because they were made to last.

Washing machine - my mum had a twin tub (I think that's what it was). It only partially automated the process. There was an awful lot of messing about with hoses and moving the wet clothes from one tub to the other. It was a great day when the modern washing machine arrived, probably also well into the 70s.

Extra curricular activities that cost money - minimal. My brother was in the Cubs. I could have been in the Brownies/Guides but I didn't fancy it. I would have loved ballet lessons and/or piano lessons but we couldn't afford them.

NapQueen Tue 29-Nov-16 08:56:11

The milkman delivered a bottle of fresh orange on a Saturday morning. No one was allowed the first or the last glass - that was dad's.

Takeaways were once every 6 months.

We have fresh oj any time we like and weekly Takeaways.

Overrunwithlego Tue 29-Nov-16 08:59:01

To me one the major differences is eating out. That was such a treat, whereas nowadays it's so much more common. I suspect my 5 year old has eaten out more than I did for the first 18 years of my life. And orange juice was a starter. Can you imagine the look on the dc's faces now if you gave them a small glass of OJ as a starter!!!

Holidays are also different - I remember some trips to Devon or Cornwall but I didn't go abroad with my parents (to France) until I was 17. Mine spent the summer in Vietnam this year. My dad still can't get his head round why we'd want to go, so maybe that's an attitude thing.

We did have after school activities but probably not so many. But soft play! What in gods name did our parents do with us when there was no soft play!!

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