A smart person plans what they buy; a wise person realizes that everything costs twice.
The Deal of the Century
When the iPod was starting to gain popularity, I got a great deal on an MP3 Player. It had a huge capacity, lots of features, and special software.
And it was a hunk of junk.
The problem was that I had to pay money for accessories and software, spend time recataloging my music, and deal with all the issues that came up from faulty firmware. It was a mess.
That hunk of junk showed me why value has a price and why everything costs twice.
Saving Money Costs
We all like to save money. We love getting a great deal, finding a knock off for cheaper, or finding a way to cut a few dollars off the price by getting rid of something in the deal.
To steal from Michael in The Good Place: “There’s something so human about taking something great and ruining it a little so you can have more of it.”
But are we really saving or is our penny pinching costing us in the end? Perhaps it’s time we realize that everything costs twice, it’s just a question of when we have to pay for it.
The Real Costs
Everything costs; the problem is that most people only think in terms of dollars. If you offer to take your friends to a nice meal, but then take them to a dive to save a few bucks even though you have the money, you just paid twice: first in cash, then in friendship capital.
If you want to get an EV (electric vehicle) but decided to save several thousand dollars on a gas vehicle, you just paid many times over: in maintenance, gas, wear and tear, your effect on the environment, possible resale value, and more.
If you want to buy a computer and decide to save a few bucks by going for one built by a company that builds them as cheaply as possible, you’re going to spend money many times over in compatibility, time spent on support, headaches, resale value, and, once again, the effect on the environment.
Everything has a price and when we “save a few bucks” we’re simply cutting out some dollars to increase the cost somewhere else. There’s a better approach.
Everything Costs Twice; Spend Wisely
Money is one of the cheapest currencies there are. Friendship is more valuable. The world we live in is more valuable (we have exactly one of them). Relationships, social connections, knowledge, time – all of these are worth vastly more than money.
When it’s time to pay for something, analyze the cost. If you go for the cheapest dollar amount, chances are you are paying more than you should. You may find that you have more money and have less of the things that matter.
What’s more, earning more money is typically highly dependent on having the things that people usually trade money for: good relationships, knowledge and skill, health, etc.
If you want to have a great life, spend your money wisely. Realize that everything costs twice – or more. Either you pay more in dollars or you pay it in something else.