Recessions have a way of helping people distinguish needs from wants. However, analysis from U.S. News & World Report has resulted in a somewhat surprising list of products and services where sales over the past few years have either grown or at least have not declined, including:
- Notebook computers. Sales have skyrocketed over the last three years.
- High-speed Internet access. This was one of only three things people described as more of a necessity in 2009 than in 2006, according to a Pew Research Center study. The other two were flat-screen TVs and an iPods.
- Smart phones. While cell phone sales dropped for the first time ever in 2009, sales of smart phones, which can handle e-mail, browse the Internet, and more, rose.
- Education. Private school enrollments slipped only marginally from 2008 to 2010 and college enrollments grew.
- We also spent more over the past few years on music downloads, pets, alcohol, and coffee.
I believe the only area where my wife and I have increased spending over the past couple of years is on activities for our kids. What about you? While there are probably many areas where you have cut back, what have you spent more on during the past few years?