Stuff We Don't Need

An article at the Wall Street Journal says Americans spend $1.2 trillion annually for things we don't need.
As it turns out, quite a lot. A non-scientific study of Commerce Department data suggests that in February, U.S. consumers spent an annualized $1.2 trillion on non-essential stuff including pleasure boats, jewelry, booze, gambling and candy. That’s 11.2% of total consumer spending, up from 9.3% a decade earlier and only 4% in 1959, adjusted for inflation. In February, spending on non-essential stuff was up an inflation-adjusted 3.3% from a year earlier, compared to 2.4% for essential stuff such as food, housing and medicine.

Minnesotastan wonders how we define essentials and non-essentials. There are a lot of items that can be defined either way. Braces for teeth? Books? College tuition? Lawnmowers? Where do you draw the line? Link

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cheetos, 7-up, alloy tire rims, television, decks, hood ornaments, parchment paper, bottled water, V8 engines, case of cold beer waiting to be consumed in the extra fridge in the garage, sushi, neodymium magnets, anything in the neatoshop. *runs!
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There are a lot of things you could argue over, like air conditioning. Sure we can do without it, but when it's 100 degrees, it's hard to sleep, which makes it hard to work. But others would argue that one should just move to a cooler climate, which of course costs more for heat, in which case you should move to a warmer climate.
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I want a list of essential items..
Then compare that to the cost of living.

Im waiting for the list to contain CARS/Insurance to get to work, as most business over the years has reduced the numbers of outlets to Work at.
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