The Good Feeling Doesn’t Last
I heard this great quote the other day. It really spoke to me and describes how I’ve felt about new cars and many other purchases.
The quote is from Professor Barry Schwartz. He’s talking about the feelings we get when we purchase something we’ve desired for a long time. You know, the stuff we believe is the “absolute best”. In this case, it’s a Mercedes convertible:
The good feeling doesn’t last. We get used to having the Mercedes.
It’s spectacular. It’s better than sex the first week.
It’s better than a meal at a great restaurant the second week.
It’s pretty damn good the third week.
And after that it’s just your car.
To me, this spoke volumes. This quote has to do with a lot more than just cars!
Imagine, if you will, how much more you could save if you had just bought a car instead of a fancy car with all the trimmings, especially when the good feeling usually fades. Is spending thousands of dollars more to get that car you’ve been dreaming about worth it when, in the end, it’s really just going to become “a car”?
To some folks, it may very well be, and I see no problem with that. If it’s been your dream to own a Mercedes, and you honestly feel it’s a smart financial decision, then it’s important to try and realize your dreams. I know Melissa still loves the knives she has even though she could have gotten cheaper versions for the same job. Perhaps they aren’t as exciting now as they were at one point, but she still loves her knives, babies them, and they are critically important for her cooking.
I think the moral of the story here has more to do with keeping in mind that something that may seem exotic or unattainable, or something you’ve attached a lot of desire to, can become mundane after a short time. Personally, I’ve had this feeling with regards to things other than cars. My first DVD player I went all out and got a very expensive model that could take two DVDs at once and had a lot of features that I thought would make for a crisper picture. In the end, I’d probably have been just as happy with a plain jane model. I would have saved a lot of money, too. It didn’t really play movies any better than the cheaper DVD players.
You have to do what’s right for you, but I think the next time I consider an expensive purchase that I’ll think whether or not it’s worth the money to get the bells and whistles (or prestige) in the long term, not just the short term. That will come in handy as we continue to find more things we need for the new house.
Image Source: Mike Babcock