Disclaimer: People who know me know that I’m not a snob. I’m not just buying expensive things because, quite frankly, I cannot afford the most expensive all of the time. I only decide on buying the expensive version of things when I can 100% afford it. My favorite dish is noodles, and I rarely go out to eat, for example. I only buy clothes once a year or so, and that’s just if I lose or gain weight. And when I travel, I’m cheap because I don’t care about the hotel bed coming with 5 different types of pillows, as I’m just sleeping there. This article is about money and its value, and my lessons after hardly working for my income for the past 10 years.
When people buy things, it’s usually one of two reasons standing at the base of their decision. One, they’re cheap and “on offer”, which usually means people have been lured in by an ad. Or two, there’s a real necessity and people simply have to buy that thing. I have a third reason why I buy things and go for the most expensive ones out of the entire lot most of the times.
For me, money has value when it’s been put to good use and lasts for years, not just for immediate pleasure and satisfaction. This is why for many years now I’ve made the decision to buy little, but expensive. Buy the best product I can with my money. Buy the brand that I know works, even if it’s a pair of jeans, or a set of earplugs. I’ll explain everything, grab some tea!
Expensive means what?
First of all, we need to establish what the word “expensive” means. This is because objects and services are more or less expensive based on your income. A $100 pair of joggers might be considered extremely expensive if your income is $1000 a month, as you’re giving away 10% of your salary for it. If you’re making $2000 a month, it’s just expensive. And if you’re making $3000 or more, it’s fine.
Expensive means something else for every single individual out there. There are no expensive cars, houses, clothes or jewellery. There are just things you can afford that won’t break your bank, and things you can’t afford without breaking your bank. Expensive means I can afford that thing and it just merely breaks my bank. That’s the most simplistic way of putting it.
My first new smartphone
I’m 28 years old. I’ve been a full-time journalist for 10 years, basically ever since it was legal for me to work in Romania. For over 5 years, I’ve been a full-time content creator and started to make money from it. Yet it was just one year and a bit ago when I decided to actually buy a brand new phone for myself. Until then, I used just second-hand Samsung and Huawei phones.
It took me almost 8 years to decide on buying a new, extremely expensive phone. I could afford it since year 5 or 6 of the past 10, but I took my time. Why? Because it was more important for me to learn the value of buying less, but of quality, than actually buying the thing in itself. I learned the value of money, and I made the decision of buying something expensive after.
First, in order to buy expensive stuff, you must realize that it’s not just about the price, but the value, the added value that the product will bring into your life. A good smartphone, such as the iPhone 11 Pro Max, whatever they call it, is essential for a freelancer as it makes my life so much easier. I can count on it. I can use it fast, and easily. It’s adding value to my life.
My cheap, almost deadly bike
To give you a counter-example, I’ll tell you about my cheap bike that almost killed me a few weeks ago. It was right before Easter of 2019 when I bought it. A cheap, cheap bike with no special features, just a bike and that’s about it. It was about $140 from an online retailer, and it was delivered completely in pieces. It took me and my dad hours to put together, but we managed.
After just two years, the bike is now almost ready to be thrown away. It’s so bad, in fact, that a few weeks ago, while riding it through the beautiful city of Sibiu, I nearly crashed into a bus. The handles started moving and the main axis of the bike simply turned inside out and started to fall apart right there, while I was descending a slope, speeding right towards the bus station. With a bus and people in it!
I stopped inches away from the backside of the bus, tumbling over. The people were nice though and jumped in to help. Just a few laughed. No hard feelings, I would’ve laughed myself if I saw something like that.
Money is value
Money equals nothing but value. It does not care about price, but about the added value to your life when it comes to purchases. It’s better to buy one expensive smartphone that will last you for more than 5 years than buy one every year because it’s cheaper. The same goes for clothes, for example. I love Guess, the clothing brand, and have mostly bought clothes from them over the past 3 years.
Why? Because they’re great quality, they never disappoint me, and they fit me well even when shopping online. And they’re comfortable, good looking and yes, pricey, but you get what you pay for. If you pay scraps, you’re going to get scraps. If you pay a little more, you’re set for at least a good amount of time. And your money was spent with regards to value, not just wasted.
Right now, working through the final edits on this piece, I’m also ordering some lunch. There’s this Chinese spot in town that’s about 20% cheaper than the more “luxury”, authentic Asian place. From the first place, the food tastes like your regular mall/food court Chinese food place, not bad at all actually, but not great. From the more authentic place, although a little more expensive, the food tastes very much like the one I’ve had in London, at this little Asian hole-in-the-wall where I’ve had the best bowl of noodles yet.
I’ll let you figure out where I’m getting my lunch for today from…
Hei, just a quick thing before you leave:
First, nice of you to read thus far, it means that you’ve enjoyed my writing!
I’m not here to ask you for any likes, shares, or comments, although that would be cool of you! Instead, I’m offering you a chance to have an even better piece, sort of like this one, but better, written for you by a content creator. That would be me! Check out my Services, Portfolio and Testimonials pages for details. And then shoot me an email at the address you’ll find on the Contact page.
If you’re a freelancer like me and are confused about learning how to make money online, especially through writing but also programming, design, or social media management, you can buy my book. It’s called “From 0 To $2543 A Month With A Crappy Laptop – The Freelancing Course From A Self-Made Content Creator Boss” and you can find it on Amazon at 50% off!