Damn you, Indecision!

Awesome quote to live by

When you buy something cheap, you lower the value of your own life.

The above quote is in a New York Times article about deflation in Japan, which in itself is an interesting (yet depressing) read. However, I want to focus further on the quote.

A lot of people who are frugal will disagree with the quote above, but it doesn’t just mean buying things on sale, or seeking out good bargains. To me, this is a rather profound quote on seeking out quality products, services, and cultural experiences. Some off-the-top-of-my-head (mostly obvious) examples:

1. Cooking your own food vs. buying fast food
2. Buying well-made goods that you’ll keep for years vs. cheap, throwaway-quality items you regularly replace
3. Well-written, scripted TV shows vs. trashy “reality” shows
4. A day at the zoo, museum, or fair with your family vs. a jaunt to the mall

Granted, in this economy, you can’t always go for the quality option that costs more. And I’m not saying that you can’t get high-quality goods, services, or cultural experiences without spending a lot. On the contrary, there are lots of cases where a museum will have free exhibits or other events. Or just going to the park to spend time with loved ones is definite quality time “for free”.

I guess in some cases, the price of something doesn’t just involve strict dollar value, but also making the effort to choose, which is a cost in itself. It’s convenient to buy fast food for a quick meal, but if you choose to make your own food, you’ll feel better about the meal. Or it’s convenient to go to the mall and zone out while window shopping, but choosing a trip to a free zoo, park, library, or even a cup of coffee at a cafe over conversation would be a more engaging thing to do.

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