Expensive is relative

July 5, 2017

in Lifestyle

Guest post –

A friend of mine asked me about my bracelet and remarked how beautiful it was. I thanked her and then immediately she asked me “how much was it?” I was a little surprised by her prying but I shouldn’t have been: we ask the price of things because we want to know if that items is something we could own. It starts out innocently enough with a comment and then whamo! People want to know how much YOU are willing to spend on something. It’s an interesting dynamic to think about, really. Why do we care how much things cost, if only to determine if we can afford them ourselves. But it’s not about ownership, sometimes, as much as it is about being nosey. And the thing you need to remember when you confess the cost of something is that expensive is a relative term. What I consider an appropriate amount of money to spend on a bracelet, my friend may not.


There is no place where this dynamic is more prevalent than in the real estate market and the car industry. The real estate market lives in a fluid line that changes every second of the day. And if we get lucky to have housing prices drop, it just means that interest rates on mortgages go through the roof. So no matter what way you slice it, home ownership is expensive. Expensive compared to the other things you will likely purchase in your lifetime, but the expense of the house may not be that much for others. While $500,000 might seem unattainable to you, it is pocket change to someone else. Lucky ducks, right?


In the car industry, the most expensive car ever sold is only considered so because of the value we place on it. In comparison to the housing market, a few million dollars on a car may seem like no big deal. But again, expense depends on the buyer. And even then, there will come another car that will be sold for more money, so the title is only held for a short period of time.


An interesting thing happens when we ask someone how much they paid for a product: some people get defensive and will give you a figure that is less or more than they actually paid for something. It’s because they feel like their privacy has been violated. Although, in today’s day in age, it’s hard to hide anything from people on the internet. And realistically, they’ve already plastered it all over Facebook how much they paid for their new car or house anyway. But when people do get offended or offer up a different price, it’s because they feel like you are stepping inside a boundary that isn’t meant to be crossed. Why does it matter how much the bracelet, car,  house, trip, book, or table cost? When someone asks you about a price and they think it is too expensive, they judge. When someone asks you about a price and you deny them the information, they judge. Ya just can’t win.


So, spend your money the way you see fit on the things you see fit. Don’t worry about what anyone else is going to say about how you spend your money. Expensive is relative. If only judgement were too.

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Lindsey Renuard is a blogger, YouTube beauty expert, and the Managing Editor of the Skiatook Journal.

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