What is luxury? Basically, luxury items are things that aren’t basic necessities. Anything from food to clothing to vacations can be considered “luxury.” Rap and pop music videos often are great examples of stereotypically “luxury” lifestyles.
Shelter is a basic human necessity, so houses by themselves aren’t necessarily luxury items. We could even expand our definition a little to include houses with electricity, running water, and a septic system as basic necessities. A luxury home might come with acres and acres of non-agricultural land attached. These often quite elegant and beautiful homes may come with amenities such as a pool or hot tub, a guest house, an elevator, and multiple living rooms or kitchens. Luxury houses are quite large and require a lot of upkeep; fortunately, their owners generally have the financial means to hire staff as well.
For most people in the industrialized world, a car is a necessity. The brand of car, however, has no affect whatsoever on our ability to get to work or run errands. Luxury vehicle brands include BMW, Lexus, Maserati, and Jaguar, among so many others. These cars are quite expensive; BMWs start anywhere between $30,025 to $103,225. Luxury vehicles can be worthwhile investments, however. Tesla cars, for instance, are extremely eco-friendly. Many people invest in luxury cars because of the cars’ safety ratings, fuel efficiency, smoothness of ride, and dashboard features–such as rearview cameras and GPS systems. If you’re going to spend a ton of time in your car, or if you want to drive for a ride sharing company, it may be a good idea to upgrade to luxury level.
You can probably go to the mall and find luxury accessories. Technically, any accessory might be a luxury item, because there’s no kind of accessory item that a person really has to have to live. Particularly iconic luxury accessories include Rolex watches, Hermes scarves, and Tiffany & Co. rings. While celebrities at the Grammys may be decked out it luxury jewelry, purses, and shoes, the average middle-class person may own one or two pieces of what we would consider a luxury accessory.
Most of us can’t afford a “luxury lifestyle,” but that doesn’t mean our lives are by any means bad. Consider that the GDP in Rwanda is 700 USD per capita. To people in a developing country, even middle-to-lower-class Americans live a luxurious lifestyle. We have clothes we like, food we enjoy, and we can take vacation days. While most of us probably couldn’t afford a luxury house or car, we might be able to save up and splurge on a designer watch, for instance.
Of course, many people with the means to live a luxury lifestyle choose not to, either because they’re not interested in that sort of thing or it goes against their principles. People with lots of money may also choose to invest it, spend it on travel, educate themselves further, or become major philanthropists. So long as we keep things in perspective, we can remember just how luxurious our lives really are.