I donâ€™t really care about clothes or shoes or designer labels. So, I think itâ€™s crazy when I find out my friend spent several hundred dollars on a pair of jeans. But then again, she thinks itâ€™s crazy that I would spend $15 on a notebook or $50 for a nice dinner. One of the people I love most in this world buys cast iron pansâ€”spending upwards of several thousand dollars per year on antique metal pans. But, she wouldnâ€™t spend the thousand of dollars I spend a year on travel.
When I recently berated my friend for her jeans purchase she reminded me of my own unique spending habits. And then it really hit me: everyone places a different dollar value on different things. Itâ€™s impossible for me to judge the joy that my friend gets from wearing her jeans, just as she canâ€™t appreciate how much I love writing in a new notebook.
Because we canâ€™t understand how much pleasure or benefit someone gains from a purchase or experience, it is important, in any sort of relationship, to keep from judging someone elseâ€™s spending. Because when you criticize how someone spends their money you are criticizing their values.
How does this translate back to our own spending habits? It can help us figure out what we value and what we should spend money on. We should ask ourselves: â€œWhatâ€™s it worth to me?â€ When you ask yourself that question you can get a better idea of whether or not to make a purchase. For example, when Iâ€™m at the grocery store buying a bottle of wine, occasionally I will come across a bottle thatâ€™s on sale for $15 down from $20. I think to myself â€œthatâ€™s a great deal, maybe Iâ€™ll buy it.â€ But then it occurs to me, $15 isnâ€™t worth it (to me). I like wine, but I donâ€™t love or appreciate wine enough to buy an *expensive* bottle.
Another example of this happened to me today. The Powerball lottery happens to be up to $240 million. I know buying lottery tickets is a complete waste of money. But, that one dollar lottery ticket was worth it to me today for the minutes (hours?) I spent thinking about what I would do if suddenly I had that much money. (I wouldnâ€™t change much, actually.) Iâ€™m not encouraging you to go out and buy a lottery ticket; I only buy one a few times a year. But, if you can afford it, and itâ€™s really worth it to you, buy the expensive pair of jeans, the cast iron pan, the wine, lottery ticket, or notebook. Just remember, first ask yourself, â€œWhatâ€™s it worth to me?â€