We all have different preferences, and different things that we like to spend money on. Indeed, my husband is constantly baffled that I am willing to spend money to go on a nice trip. At the same time, I can’t understand why he likes to spend money on action figures that we don’t have room for. He looks at a trip, which only lasts seven days, and sees how many cool things he could have bought with the money — things that will last practically forever. At the same time, I look in our storage area at the bins of action figures collected over the years and see enough money wasted for a pretty decent trip to Europe.
What’s important to us influences what we are willing to spend money on, and what we are willing to pay when we do spend the money. When I travel, I’m willing to pay extra for:
- The good stuff
- An upgraded room
- Minimal hassles
- Proximity to what I want to do
My husband is willing to pay extra for rare editions, signed cards, and other things that make something he’s collecting more “valuable.”
What Makes Something Worth the Extra Money?
Whether or not something is worth the extra money depends on what you value, and how you measure the pros and cons. I bought a Kindle because I like to read, and I figured that, in the long run, it would save me money (and it has). Paying more now, for something of higher quality, or something that is likely to save money over time, makes sense for many people.
One of the biggest reasons that people pay extra is the time factor. I’m willing to pay for things that save me time. I recently started, as part of my home business, paying someone to submit to social media for me. This is because I dislike the job, and it takes me between 35 and 60 minutes a day. That’s time enough to play a board game with my son, or go for a bike ride around the neighborhood. That’s time enough to have lunch with my husband. That’s time enough to get in a good workout. It’s time enough to do enough work to more than pay for the service I receive. Think about what you could do with the time, if you paid someone else to complete mundane tasks on your behalf.
Sometimes, though, there are other things that come into play. Tickets for the opening showing of The Dark Knight Rises are being scalped for more than $100. This means that there are buyers who think the distinction of being first is worth the extra money. Sometimes, there’s a status element involved in our money decisions. We want to look as though we are on top of things, or at least stand out in some way. (On the flip side, frugality as a movement sort of started when people wanted to be different, and flaunt their savings prowess.)
Whatever your reasons for spending money, and paying more, they are your own. It’s not right or wrong, but it does make a difference in your financial success. Know why you are spending the money, and be honest about it. That way, you’ll be better able to focus on making purchases that are more important to you, and that truly are worth the money.