I’ve been telling my boss’s boss that when I’m rich and famous I’m going to purchase a Vitamix blender, a Dyson vacuum, and a laptop of approximately two grand. To me these things represent wealth. They are symbols of upper middle class. The blender is just under $400 and the vacuum cleaner mostly just under $300. To spend over $50 on an appliance and over $100 on a vacuum cleaner suggests splendor and excess cash. To me they represent solid items with lifetime guarantees (the Vitamix anyways).
What things represent wealth to you?
Cars that you don’t buy outright or houses you buy with a mortgage attached do not count. I’m referring to products you can walk in and buy with cash. That is a privilege for those who do not live paycheck to paycheck, especially if you’re splurging mid-year without a holiday’s excuse in sight.
Recently, to represent my newfound wealth of two incomes I purchased a (used but great condition) handheld GPS and a year-membership to Geocaching.com ($30).
When I was in college I spent six months debating whether to purchase my then $90 Vibram 5-finger shoes.
Between high school and college I spent three – six months debating whether to buy my own archery supplies (bow, arrows, etc) and then did, spending about $150 but later selling everything to another budding archer for $75.
In my mind, purchases over $100 necessitate some thinking. Are they worth it? But most importantly, are they as valuable as their price tag? Or as my dad would say, what is the use per dollar? A bed would have high use per dollar. A sandwich has one use per however many dollars you spend.
This is the financial thought process I go through when I want something and think I can “afford it” Certain products and services I value over others. Learning I value higher than cosmetic services. I do not think a haircut is valued over $20 but I think several hundred on a class is worth it (Bartending School). I think good healthy food is worth extra dough. I do not believe community-centered activities should cost anything (dodgeball, card game clubs, book clubs, etc).
How do you place value on the things you buy and do?