It’s fascinating to see what things people place value on, what they are prepared to spend money on and what they consider highway robbery.
Take for examples cars. I don’t care about cars.
They are lovely when you are seated in the front and someone else is driving, the smell of the leather etc. A heated seat is nice maybe, if you have a sore back.
But I couldn’t tell you from the outside if a car is a Porsche or a Honda. If I ever witness someone snatched off the street, I’ll be useless to the police when I’m asked to describe the getaway car.
I live my life just not even registering them and have resented buying every car we’ve ever had. It’s like going to buy a mop. Dull.
Our car is on its last legs and I idly said to my husband last month “That’s the last one I’m ever buy, by the way. I prefer getting Uber or taking a train.”
I have never seen someone move so fast to make friends with a new mechanic.
But my husband resents spending money on replacement technology in general. He’ll have things like PC’s and laptops and phones and cameras fixed and fixed again, until the point when the stuff is so antiquated the repairer can’t keep a straight face.
He didn’t even want to get the dishwasher fixed, yet he spent $300 on a Tom Ford fragrance.
One of my sons goes ballistic at the price of a basic pair of jeans but will enthusiastically spend $100 on the ugliest vintage snapback cap he can find. He’ll spend $80 on a scented candle for his girlfriend, and then go and on about the price of sliced Bega cheese.
A friend who is a doctor won’t buy Pukka herbal tea as she deems it too expensive.
I, too, have my own value quirks. I think $200 for a pretty bra is quite reasonable, but it took me years to spend that on a good bread knife ( as it happens, the knife, not the bra, has changed my life).
I find the price of a lot of designer clothing unfathomable (the last Gucci jacket I was sighing over online was $4000. For a light blue blazer to wear with jeans?) but I can always, always rationalise expensive skincare, even though deep in the right side of my brain, I know it doesn’t really work and the profit margin is probably about 90 per cent on cost of goods.
What I have learned – a little too late, to be honest – is that you really should spend the money upfront on something you love, something that will last. I’ve probably bought six, sort-of-okay-but-not-fab living room rugs over the years, because they were affordable, instead of buying a really gorgeous, expensive one that I would have loved and enjoyed the whole time.
I relayed this piece of tardy financial wisdom to my husband, who has learned to nod silently in agreement when I whinge about money.
And to not mention the new Mecca Cosmetica shopping bag on the table.