Many different things have changed over the past 2 decades. The internet as well as the exponential advancement in technology has changed more than we are willing to analyze. There are many different levels of the economy affected by these life changing developments. Technology now allows anyone to cut several corners in their every day routine, and it is the same technology that changes the scales of spending. Let’s take a look at Facebook, and their online games in general. Last year, in the 4th quarter alone, Facebook generated over 200 million in digital download revenue. What does this mean? It means that over 200 million dollars were spent by consumers for a non-tangible item. This is a newer concept that tips the scales. Some of the biggest companies in the world are now making hundreds of millions of dollars for a line of code. One could argue that you are purchasing a service and not a product, but I think it makes more sense to call them non-tangible items.
These behemoths ruling the new world know how to replicate what works, just like McDonalds famously did, but on a digital world. So our money is being spent differently but it is also being spent faster. Online sales keep increasing and more technology releases daily that make it easier for your purchases to be done faster and easier. Now you can just open an app and place your fast food order ahead of time, you know, in case fast food isn’t fast enough. You can also order groceries to come to your home. The ways of spending money have become so easy that people are willing to do it more carelessly.
This has also created one advantage to consumers, competition. There will always be fees associated with any service your order, that’s how much of the mark up is made, but fees aside, product prices have to stay competitive. That is not to say that inflation has not affected spending as well. There is obviously a cost increase over the years, but not at a rate compared to anything else. Restaurant pricing for example has not kept a steady growth, most restaurants having to create 2 for $20 specials to keep the people walking through their front doors.
Overall the way our money is spent has changed more than we know, and this s just the beginning. These numbers will continue to change and flex with the changing of our technology, we just have to wait and see where it will lead.