Saturday, August 18, 2012

Worth vs. Cost

It's hard especially in a multimillion retailer world to find the best 'deal' out there. There are so many options. And of course it's extremely hard to say that one thing is right for everyone. But what is important is understanding the difference between cost and worth. So many people just want the cheapest thing. If they can buy it for less, then they are all for it. And I completely understand that, especially in a budget lifestyle and low end jobs, you have to be careful with your nickels and dimes.

However you also want to remember that it's not just about being conservative with your limited resources, it's how you invest it. For example for $40 over two years you could buy three pairs of $7 Old Navy sandals that look cheap, fall apart, and don't provide support; or you could buy one pair of Rainbow sandals, have stable flip-flops and good support that could last more than two years if they are well taken care of. Most people would prefer to get the three pairs of sandals because they feel the quantity is more important, not the quality. Yet again, it is different for everyone, but a good deal is where the quality is high enough and cost is low enough that they are equal to each other. I.e. the item is worth its cost.

It is surprising how many people have adjusted to the Wal-Mart mentality. They want the cheapest price, no matter the quality they are provided. So instead of investing in their products or the merchandise they purchase, they merely put a 'band-aid' over their needs, temporarily fixing the problem as cheaply as possible. And then when that item breaks they have to do it all over again, instead of just spending the extra amount at the initial time of purchase for the better quality item. They are sacrificing the worth of their items for something of 'the lowest' cost. Our parents however, knew and understood that to really stretch your dollar you buy things of good worth (where cost and quality meet) and take care of them. Not just by buying the cheapest thing available. It's an indication of the difference between ours and older generations.

We are so caught up in having the most of the lowest costing items, while they bought something of high quality and ensured it's long life by taking care of it. They were fixers, we are discarders. And that mentality is evident in almost all aspects of our society. We'd rather get divorced than fix our marriages, we'd rather replace our household items instead of fix them, we'd rather throw out clothing items with minor tears or holes instead of repair them, and we'd rather get surgery and liposuction to loose weight instead of exercising. We have become a society of lazy and 'just right now', instead of working for long term solutions and investing in our futures.

No wonder our society is so broken. We do not understand or appreciate the concept of worth in the items we purchase and unfortunately the market is following these habits. Developers want to know how to make things 'cheaper' while sacrificing quality. Workers want to know how to make their jobs easier so they don't have to work as hard. Mothers want to know how to do it all, keep in touch with all their media (blogging, fb, twitter, pinterest) and look great doing it while sacrificing all attention to their children. Don't be those people. Don't be those who want to sacrifice the minimum cost (time, attention, or effort) to get the most gain. Understand the relationship between cost and quality. You will be grateful you do in the long run.

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