I remember back when Adam and I were first married and we thought $100 was a lot of money. We then bought a house and did some remodeling. I took some college classes and suddenly $100 didn’t seem like a lot but $1000 was a lot. Well, now $1000 is a decent chuck of change but we don’t even baulk at $100 for many things but man $5000 seems like a lot. I wonder what I will think in 10 years?
I’ve made it a practice to ask people questions instead of making assumptions, but let me tell you I still fail. We all have our own set of expectations and this goes back to my whole post on value. Have you ever looked at someone and said, “I can’t believe they spent X on that?” I can assure you I have and then many years down the road spent that or more on it! We all have price points on items. They are determined by the value we place on them. For some $400-600 a month on health insurance seems like a lot but when it covers a monthly infusion that they bill at $10,000 for a yearly total of $120,000 suddenly that $7,200 a year seem like nothing and well worth it!
Have you ever skimped to save a few dollars only to find it cost you more money? I once used a coupon and a gift card to buy some clothes at a store after I had my third baby since it was clear that I wasn’t going to lose the weight fast but I didn’t want to spend a lot. Well, I ended up not liking the clothes and had the choice to continue to wear maternity clothes or go spend more money on what I liked. For me there are some things that really don’t matter, but more often then not I find if I put in the money I use whatever it is more.
I once looked up what the average family spends on Christmas. I just googled this article. It’s dated but you will get the point. The average spending per child was $271 per kid! one in ten plan to spend $500 per kid. Now that’s a lot. But maybe you are one of the one in ten and it isn’t. Or maybe Christmas is the one time a year you “go big.” I can tell you we were at $50 a kid this year and that was up from $25 per kid last year! But gifts for Christmas aren’t something I place a ton of value on.
So the next time you are talking to someone and they say “That’s a lot of money” you may want to ask for clarification. Don’t judge others for what they spend their money but rather seek to understand where they are coming from. This can apply to other areas of life and not just money.