Things that were affordable to middle-class average families a couple of decades ago are not the same anymore.
The older generation and even millennials can remember that there was a time when a lot of products and services in their childhoods were pretty affordable. Taking a vacation at a resort was achievable and frequently eating out at fast food joints was inexpensive. Certain edibles consumed by the poor folks of society are now considered luxury delicacies. Similarly, whether it is about any item, service or opportunity, everything has become expensive over the last few decades in tandem with the changing economy. u/boss-sea-mgm asked the Reddit community to list some of the things and services that were commonplace 20-30 years ago and have now evolved into a luxury. Here are all the things whose price has escalated dramatically over the past few years.
My dad and grandpa used to go to their local hill for dirt cheap in the '50s and '60s. They were lower middle-class, blue-collar people. Skiing in the US began as a grassroots movement with no frills or luxury. Sure, the resorts were always expensive, but there used to be way more small local hills that were cheap. These days, most of them have been either shut down or bought up and made into luxury resorts since they're way more profitable. There are still some local hills though I go to one nearby that's $50/day compared to $200/day at the high-end resorts in the same area. - u/ejfrodo
There's only so much land within feasible commuting distance of cities. We decided that most of that should be reserved exclusively for single-family homes inhabited by people who drive everywhere, which takes up a *lot* of space. Freeways post WW2 meant more land was within an hour's commute, but nothing's changed since. Travel speed isn't any faster than in 1970. We've just filled up the land with low-density suburbia and are running out of it. So now there's a housing shortage, which pushes the prices up. - u/fixed_grin
The other stuff on here I can live without, but when McDonald's costs as much as a homecooked filet mignon/potatoes/beans meal (I've called out buying from Costco and it's very comparable when everyone gets their own 'meal deal'), something is very wrong. And a bar with a $15 hamburger, $8 beer and silly tip (maybe that isn't a problem at a true "pub" is worse yet. It's sad and another significant reason I sit at home for 95% of my life (given that 'work at home' never ended for me). - u/wpotman
I think more than anything on this list, privacy. Even 20-30 years ago, we had problematic issues with top-level states already engaging in active spying, but now, it's so ubiquitous among corporations that people don't even pretend to expect privacy. The result is the advent of privacy services like Incogni, etc., to actively go out and scrub your data online. Privacy today is now a luxury. - u/thx1138-
Many fish species in 30 years have gone from being cheap everyday food to becoming something that's just occasionally served and often at fine dining restaurants. Atlantic Cod is one such fish, just to name one example out of many. Used to be seen as very basic and cheap, but it is now rare and expensive due to overfishing and population collapse. The scary thing is that the vast majority of the world's commercial fishing waters, pretty much regardless of species, are depleting and near collapse. The entire world's oceanic ecosystems are threatened, primarily due to overfishing. - u/Randomswedishdude
Honestly, things like fixture and appliance repair. There are so many times when something has been designed to not be repaired or is so expensive to repair that you might as well buy a new one. Plus, getting parts easily is a pain. So many times, I've been shot down for buying parts since I'm not a contractor (and contractors have massive markups) or I have to order the part through some shady website with no confidence that it's the right thing in the bag or that it'll arrive anytime soon. I feel like I'm being punished for being capable of replacing the simple part myself. - u/Bike_Mechanic_Man
I also went to a lot of shows/concerts in the early to late 2000s. The most I ever spent was probably like $40 for a warped tour or other types of festivals/tours. Even in the early 2010s, when EDM became this massive wave, most big artists were like $30 to see them live. I think I saw Skrillex and Rusko at their peak popularity for like $25 and I was in the very front. Then everything became a "festival" and ticket prices were like $200 - $500, so I was like, "Man, that's insane, I'll just stick to single-act shows," but those were still like $100-$150 per ticket. Now, I can only afford to go to much lesser-known bands/artists. But it's still a fun experience. But I just wish when whatever big-name act comes to my town, I could just go to it for no more than say $60. But nope, gotta pay some extreme price." - u/DroidOnPC
Film cameras. I work at a camera store and we have more people than ever coming in looking for film cameras. Even used ones. If you have an old film camera, check the price online you'll be amazed at what some of these are going for. There are a few reasons why I think this is. First and what I hear the most, is the nostalgic colors that film gives to the images. It has that unique and imperfect look that the younger generation grew up seeing in their parents' photo albums. This brings back memories that we used to experience in our childhood. Another reason is the thought of slowing down. With digital (including your phone), you can take thousands of photos at one time to the point where they become meaningless. Many times, film is limited to 36, 27 or even 24 photos, which forces you to think about what it is you're taking a photo of. These images, in return, have more meaning to the person taking the photos. - u/ItsJustJohnCena
Vehicles. They went from relatively safe, efficient and practical cars in the '90s up to the '00s. Then they started adding a feature here and there and making it harder for the owner to maintain and now they're bloated and essentially a very restricted gadget on wheels. I'm a fan of electric vehicles, but it's impossible to like a car that feels like a Google project. - u/SaltyBalty98
Might be random, but I used to love taking long drives for no reason. I would just end up stopping and having lunch and just enjoy the ride. If the weather is beautiful, I roll the windows down and turn up the music and just go. I do it, especially if stressed. Now, it costs me close to $150 to fill my truck when gas was $4.50. Better believe I am not wasting a drop! I ended up buying a 2008 base Honda Fit with no frills, not even keyless locks. It is stuck for God's sake. But it gets 30 mph even in town. I need my truck to last another 10 years! - u/NoMouthFilter