Items No One Can Afford to Buy Anymore

By: Julia Mehalko | Published: May 07, 2024

Everything seems to be quite expensive nowadays. Thanks to the high cost of living seen throughout the United States, as well as high inflation, many Americans are deciding to refrain from buying items they used to.

Now, there are many items, products, or services that many feel they can no longer afford to buy because they’ve become so expensive. 

Streaming Services

Streaming services used to be affordable. Now, as the so-called streaming wars continue, it seems like there are too many services to pay for.

A person with their feet up on the table watching Netflix on their TV.

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Even worse, these streaming services continue to raise their prices in what seems like every year. Many people even miss how easy cable used to be — before it too got pricey. 



One of the reasons streaming services such as Netflix became such mainstays in peoples’ homes is because of the exorbitant price of cable TV. 

A person holding a TV remote in front of a TV screen.

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Even though streaming has increased its rates, cable still remains very expensive for many average Americans. Therefore, many have decided to keep their home cable-free to cut out this extra expense. 


Traveling can be incredibly expensive. For a while, many travelers were able to save some money by staying in Airbnbs, rather than pricey hotels. 

A woman in front of a cabin with lights around it in the forest.

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However, Airbnb costs have risen, thanks to additional fees. As a result, many Airbnb options are no longer cheaper than hotels, leaving travelers with the decision to cease using Airbnb altogether.

Junk Food

Junk food and potentially unhealthy snacks used to be a cheap option for many. Who doesn’t enjoy snacking on a bag of chips, or buying a bottle of soda with your lunch?

A close-up of chips in a bag.

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Now that many junk food items have soared in price, people are staying away from eating these things. In the long run, this may be the healthier choice. 

Fast Food

Once upon a time, fast food used to be a great option for those who were looking for a quick, affordable meal. Now, however, fast food menu prices have skyrocketed.

A close-up of a McDonald’s drive-thru menu.

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Many of these eateries are now no longer affordable. As a result, many have chosen to steer clear of eating out at fast food restaurants. Instead, they’re buying food from grocery stores and saving money.


Food Delivery

Who doesn’t enjoy a reliable food delivery service? Sometimes, the last thing you want to do is go out to get a meal. However, now many people are having to do exactly this, as food delivery services and fees have become too pricey.

A DoorDash delivery driver looking at food in a grocery store.

Source: DoorDash/Unsplash

Services like Uber Eats and DoorDash have raised their prices. Now, it’s much more affordable for people to actually go pick up food in person. 



Many products in grocery stores have gone up in price. Boxed cereal is one of those products. Now, it’s hard for many Americans to rationalize spending almost $7 for just one box of cereal.

A close-up of colorful cereal.

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As a result, many shoppers are deciding to purchase store-brand bags of cereal that tend to be much cheaper than the boxed name-brand options. 


A New Car

Buying a brand-new car has always been a costly endeavor. However, not too long ago, people on a budget could invest in a new car at an affordable price.

A close-up of a white car parked in a driveway by grass.

Source: Sarah Brown/Unsplash

Even this option seems to be gone, now, as the once basic, affordable vehicles are incredibly expensive. Americans are choosing to not buy new cars as a result of these high prices. 



Concerts have been increasing in cost for a while. However, the days of going to a concert and spending less than $50 seem to be long gone.

Many people in a crowd with their hands up in the air, making hearts, while at a concert.

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Even if you do manage to snag a cheap concert ticket, adding up the costs of parking, extra ticket fees, and food or drink prices quickly makes the entire concert experience very expensive. 


A College Degree

A college degree is another aspect of American life that has always been rather pricey. However, recent years have seen the price of college tuition skyrocket to absurd amounts.

A woman wearing a graduation cap and gown by other graduates.

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Now, so many Americans are rethinking the costly investment that is obtaining a college degree. As they don’t want to have to deal with extreme student loans for the next few decades of their lives, they’re choosing to forgo college. 


Health Insurance

The United States has had a tricky relationship with health insurance since its inception. Though moves have been made to make health insurance more accessible and affordable for all, this hasn’t really happened.

People working on paperwork and laptops.

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Instead, many people have realized that they’re paying far too much for their health insurance — especially thanks to out-of-pocket expenses and high premiums.