Monday, August 3, 2009

Fiscal Irony

Last week I was able to catch up on the laundry and even had time to wash our sheets. As I was making our bed with a spare set, my mind wandered to where it always does when making the bed; I want new sheets. We’ve had the same two sets of sheets since we’ve been married and both are stretched, faded and have a few random holes. Having wanted new sheets for a while now, I came upon an interesting inquiry. Why is that we spend money on certain things that really have no lasting relevance, but refuse to spend money on others because they seem too expensive or not really worth the price?

I’ll give you an example. I recently colored my hair again. It was easily over $100 to do this. Granted I only get this done twice a year but I, rather effortlessly, spent the cost equivalent to a new set of sheets, or two. And sheets, as I’ve just explained, last at least four years! Here’s another. I had my eye on a light fixture for probably close to a year. It was being sold at Pottery Barn and feeling their merchandise is highly overpriced, I kept watching for it to go on sale. Sure enough, it went 50% off. Not good enough. I decided to wait until it was at least 75%. This light fixture would probably hang in our house for the rest of our existence here but I just couldn’t pull the trigger at half off. Even though I really, really liked it and haven’t found anything since. I, on the other hand, have no problem buying a new pair of shoes or going out to eat on a regular basis or spending a good chunk of change on cable each month. These easily add up to the price of the light fixture.

This one is even worse. In fact, it may not have anything to do with money, but shear laziness. We’ve often times been in the middle of cooking something when we’ve realized we’re missing an ingredient. Instead of running to the grocery store, which is about three to four blocks away, we’ll run to the neighbors to see if they have what we’re missing. Why not just buy it? Surely the missing ingredient isn’t that expensive and we’ll more then likely need to use it again!

I just thought of another one. Razors. Razors are so expensive! I cringe every time I have to pay close to $15 for razors yet I’ve been known in the past to buy “special” shampoo for close to $25 a bottle. We’re even so cheap with razors, we share. Here’s another one… we’ve been saying for quite some time we want one of those boxes that you wind your water hose into when you’re done but for some reason, we can’t get ourselves to spend the money. We did, however, enlist the help of TrueGreen for an entire summer at well over $100 without putting much thought into it. You know for a fact that box would’ve down right decomposed before we actually rid our entire lawn of every weed and problem.

I find it frequently perplexing the things I’ll spend money on and the things I won’t. Even more interesting, what I’ll indulge in and what I can convince myself isn’t important. It’s even intriguing what we’ll buy generic and when we can’t bring ourselves to buy anything but the name brand. I’m guessing I’m not alone in this fiscally ironic battle. Any confessors?

1 comment:

  1. yepper - I was laughing and cringing the whole time reading that! As I unpack my 50 years of existence I catch myself saying "Really? You kept THESE because you refuse to replace them? And they have duct tape on them? And yet, here is a perfectly BRAND NEW BOOK you have yet to read that you bought years ago for well over 40 dollars!!!"

    ah cousin, good reading and a great eye opener as I adapt to the world of poor student. love to the familia. smooch norman for me!



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