Rational Spending

Posted: June 12, 2011 in Bucket List, Happiness, Personal Finance
Tags: , , ,

I consider myself a rational man, but I definitely can look closer at my spending and find examples of irrational behavior.  This became obvious lately when I went to buy replacement glasses.  I had just recently bought glasses again after going over 10 years without needing them following corrective surgery (by the way, that was free, courtesy of my military service).  I don’t remember feeling like I was overspending for the glasses when I bought them a few months ago, but looking back I realize I bought them without taking time to really think about the cost, how I would use them, and what I really needed.

So what made me think about it now.  I took them on vacation last month and accidentally left them in my rental car.  I had rented with Hertz, so I expected that I could contact them and have a reasonable chance to get them back.  I know better now.  Rental Car companies don’t spend more than an absolute minimum on Lost and Found.  I think this is a mistake, and potentially a lost profit opportunity.  If I will spend $25 to check a bag, I would spend at least that much and probably more to get lost valuables back.  But that thought is for a different post and probably a different blog.

I decided to buy glasses, even though my vision is still very good during the day, because it is not as good at night.  I decided I wanted glasses for driving at night and to be able to see the stars better when I’m camping in the mountains.  I really didn’t think much about the cost of the glasses because I expected that I would use them for several years.  When I lost the glasses after a couple of months, the cost became more of a concern.  After I had selected new glasses, I asked out of curiosity how much I had paid for the previous pair.  I had paid $207.00 for glasses that I would wear only occasionally.  Not an outrageous sum, but they were much more than I needed.  The new glasses I just picked out were more than adequate for the purpose, looked fine, and cost only $38.00.  On the original pair, I had paid $110 dollars for the lens, which included a $50 dollar option for UV protection.  UV protection that probably wouldn’t be much use at night.  There were other excesses when I compared the new glasses to the original pair.   I paid an extra $30 dollars to have lens for semi-rimless frames, also unnecessary considering I would rarely wear them in a public social setting.  On the new pair of glasses the lens were only $29.00., and the frames were adequately stylish and only $9.00.

So I’m planning to think more about my purchases, figure out what I will use the item for, how often, and then buy what I need, not what the sales person is trying to sell me.  This blog is about celebrating and living a full life.  Unless you have “Bill Gates” type money, watching your spending will definitely increase the money that you have for checking things off the bucket list.  For me it will also keep me on schedule or maybe get me ahead of schedule for being debt free.  Sitting here eating my coffee cake and drinking coffee with plenty of cream in it, I think I might also benefit from more rational eating too.  Hard to give up some luxuries though and I am going on a hike in a few minutes.


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