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What if you can afford it?

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What if you can afford it?

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I have the money – I can afford it

In one of our travels to Croatia, we came to a restaurant in Dubrovnik selling everything a tourist could ever ask for – gourmet coffee, steaks, local food galore and also their most prized 1 kg piece of meat with a name not even the locals can pronounce – at a whopping price of ‘only’ R 3 500 (that’s roughly US$ 240).

I would’ve liked to say that these people were high, delusional or wanted to use a pineapple to procreate, but all of these are probably spot on. Technically they were just overpriced, taking advantage of tourists and expensive.

Now back to the current day. Do you think that the value that 1 kg piece of meat would’ve added to your life is significant? Do you think the amount is justified? Well, this is a trick question. Here’s two scenarios:

  1. I am a gourmet food specialist and I critique food for a living.
  2. I am a snob and I love eating to boost my morbid obesity.

Here’s the big question – in which one of these two scenarios would you say it adds the most value? Well, again, both of these could potentially add value.

Why I worry about this

My concern with the above is that it’s wasteful. Full stop. Everyone will eat a bit and take the rest as a take away or pop it in the bin. I am not saying don’t go eat out – we LOVE eating out. I am saying maybe we need to start thinking about if the experience is worth the money.

Related: Frugal Foodie – saving, enjoying, eating.

The other things we spend on

I know you do not believe me, but here’s some other ones:

  • Is that luxury car really an asset? Do you really need an 8 seater SUV? I know many are able to afford the tires that cost more than the house you live in…
  • Do you really think that the large Starbucks cappuccino is going to make your life THAT much better?
  • If you cannot afford the house that you live in, why are you living there?
  • I know we love Woolies food (and sometimes the food is really a lot cheaper there, e.g. the long life milk) – but does the brand do any other good except make you bloated?

Related: Money confessions and action plans

So, what do we do now?

We’re sitting with a dilemma here: If we spend now, we might not have enough for retirement. But what if we don’t make it to retirement?

I am not advocating super lean frugality with no treating yourself for something like a massage, but I am not for wasting money by ways of licentious living and splurging on things that don’t add value to your life.

Maybe we need to find a middle ground.

Is this thing adding THAT much value to my life?

If it does, is it okay to buy it? 

How will it affect the future me?

Related: Investing in more than just money

Conclusion

Do things that add value to your life.

If you savour the food you eat, then enjoy the good food – but don’t waste. 

If you drive long distances and your car is not trustworthy, get one that is trustworthy.

Yet, above all live within your means.

So, go!

Happy investing!

Article reposted with permission from Frugal Local. Original post here.



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Carl Barnard

Hey, I am frugal... I love talking about property and money. Some interesting facts about me: I drink too much coffee. I have walked the Camino de Santiago twice. I have the most awesome wife. I am a software developer by day.

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