10 Expenses our Parents didn’t Have

As I was budgeting with my husband the other day, I started thinking about all the expenses our parents didn’t have when we were young children. We could probably do a list the other way around too, but I found it funny to realise how much things had changed in a rather short period of time.


1- Fast Food Restaurant and Coffee Shops


Restaurants existed long ago. Some fast food ones too, like McDonald’s that is over 50 years old. However, it was quite an event for a family to go to these places. I remember my parents saying that before their twenties (they’re both around their sixties now), they didn’t know what a pizza was and that it was somewhere in the 1980s that people really started to include fast food restaurants in their weekly routine. Before that, most meals were homemade.


It is quite similar for coffee shops. Starbuck’s opened in the 1970 and Tim Hortons (leader in Canada) opened in 1964 and both companies had their first big growth in the 1980s.


get off internet


2- Internet and Electronic Devices


It is well-known that it was in the late 1990’s that Internet was introduced in some lucky houses. Many of us still remember the dial-up Internet that would use the phone line and create some family disputes!! “Leave the Internet, I gotta make a call!” is something people of my age heard million times! This is total nonsense now…


Mobile phones, tablets, GPS and, yes, even computers didn’t really exist as household expenses until the 1990-2000. Looks so far away, but isn’t really that far actually! When I see a group of people hanging up together without saying a word – but having eyes and hands on the super smartphone with unlimited texts to make sure they can “talk” to their friends – and then turn back to my parents who don’t own a mobile phone at all, I’m wondering who’s the smartest…


3- At-Home Movies


This is also technology related. The first VHS for home entertainment was sold in 1977 in the US. Before that, our parents would have to go to theaters or be satisfied with the old movie presented on public channel…


4- Contact Lenses


Believe it or not, the idea of contact lenses appeared in 1508 by… Leonardo Da Vinci! It was only in the early 1980s that it was accessible to grand public. Although only about 2% of worldwide population uses them, it is now considered as an essential for some people.


5- Snow Removal


Commercial snow removal available to large public was introduced somewhere in the 1990’s. Not only our parents would save that expense, but they would also be in better shape by shoveling all winter-long! 😉


lashes extension


6- Extension: hair, nails, lashes


I thought about this new trend just yesterday while I was at the hairdresser. Of course, our parents would have their hair cut and done sometimes. Sure many women – and some men – would go for a manucure or pedicure, but lashes extensions are quite new and on trend. Hair extensions were very popular not long ago and still are. Additionally, fake nails with different colors and designs come in numbers!


7- Erectile Dysfunction Pill


Alright… won’t start a big discussion on that particular one. I thought that this medical progress was one to mention though. The first one of many others, Viagra, was only introduced in 1998! I remember being a teenager and how much everybody was talking about this “blue pill”. As a woman with advertising background, it is also hard not to mention the famous TV ads in which men would sing, dance or smile like never before!


8- Running Strollers


Baby and children products in general evolved a lot in the last decades. I refer particularly in strollers because they have changed tremendously and also because so many parents are runners nowadays! I include my husband and I in this category. It would have been impossible for us to keep running with our kids around without an appropriate stroller.


family in car


9- Second Car


As a person who works online, I read about frugal persons or family who only have one car IF they have one… However, reality is most families have at least two cars these days. This is a big expense to add into a household. Insurance, maintenance and repairs fees are also adding. On a personal note, we sold our second car last summer and we couldn’t feel better about it! When in needs, we always find a way to manage, including walking, biking or carpool.


10- Spas, massages and other cares


Last but not least! I can’t remember my parents going for a massage when I was younger. I don’t think they were a minority either. It has surely changed since then! I know of many people who literally need their spas or massage every month or so. Not to mention all related cares: skincare, face care, purifying care, energizing care, etc. etc. etc.


I could probably redo the list the other way around, enumerating expenses our parents had and that we’re not facing anymore. I’m not sure which generation had less but I tend to think our parents were a lot more frugal, often for the better in my point of view.


Did I forget any important one?

Do you think we have more or less expenses than our parents?


Images retrieved from Pinterest: Internet quote, Lashes Extension, Family in Car

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