Is the stuff you buy worth the effort you make to afford it?

Just the other day I asked my fellow worker if all of the stuff he’d purchased recently was worth the effort he was putting in to pay for it. Given that we were stationed at one of the most demanding positions in the plant, it was relevant to the occasion.

He paused to stare at me for a long moment. “Not really” was his response.

“Then why do we do it?” I asked. “If our stuff isn’t worth the effort we put in to earn the money to buy it, why do we want it in the first place?”

Neither of us had an answer to that question as we continued our work.

What about you? Is the stuff you buy worth the effort you put in to pay for it?

6 responses to “Is the stuff you buy worth the effort you make to afford it?”

  1. Tammara L Mills Avatar
    Tammara L Mills

    Sometimes but not often. I think that if we measured our purchases in hours worked or labored that we would begin to look at our purchases differently. I dunno. Maybe I’m wrong. I think I’ll try that to see if it changes my perspective.

    1. It’s changing my perspective a bit, but it’s still a new concept to me. I’m definitely more thoughtful now. I now question things other than food.

  2. I can confirm that Tammara’s idea works well in my experience. More recently I figured out my “true hourly wage” going by my take home pay after taxes, health care contribution, and 401k plan. At first it was sobering to realize that my earning rate was 64% of my “gross hourly rate”, but I soon saw this knowledge as a blessing. Now I find it easier to be really fussy when it comes to things that I actually buy as compared to see, think about it and realize that it is not really worth it. A large 14oz package of one of my favorite teas which will last me for 2-3 months for 3 hours of my time, would be a strong yes. An ebook for 15 minutes of my time which will likely take me 10+ hours to read, another strong yes. A shoebox sized wooden storage box for 4 hours of my time, a clear no.

    1. “True hourly wage”…hmm. I imagine that would be a sobering number for all of us. (Runs off to start calculating)

  3. A cousin and I had this discussion many, many years ago and came to the conclusion that so very many of the things that we bought weren’t worth the number of hours that we’d worked to buy the things. It truly changed our perspective and our buying habits. Sadly, as the years have gone by, I’m afraid both of us have fallen off the wagon so to speak. It’s time to get back to the “worth of the item to be purchased versus hours worked to purchase said item” mindset.

    1. Hello Kddomingue!

      What changes did you make as your perspective changed?