Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A Matter of Scope

I find it interesting that what you're buying affects how much money you are willing to toss about.

We recently bought a bunch of camera-related items. Among the realm of cameras, there are a couple of different levels. There's the point-and-shoot level of use, the average price of which I'd guess was $200 for a camera, and not many accessories to with it. But there are some things that if you were asked to realistically spend $200 on (even for an item of superb quality), you'd balk a bit. Clothes, shoes, or make-up. (I say "realistically" because while most people pay much less, a $200 pair of shoes is not unheard of, whereas you have probably never seen a $200 donut before, and if you have, it better have been the best donut you've ever had and will ever have.)

Then if you get into the world of SLR cameras, paying $200 for a camera means that you are probably getting a piece of junk. This is a world where a lens for your camera might very realistically cost more than the camera body itself. Ever spent $600 on fancy pieces of glass? $200 on a camera bag? Some of you probably have.

Then you have cars. If you're paying $600 for a car, you're not expecting a very great one. People have no problem paying $10,000 for a car, yet some of them spend precious minutes of life (and milliliters of gasoline) driving around town to save a few dollars on groceries.

THEN you have houses. This is a realm where people toss around thousands of dollars like dirty socks. "dah-ling, shall we add a menagerie for $100,000, or splurge for an escalator, mwa-ha-ha."

I don't know what the point of all this was. Just thought it was interesting.

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  • Laura

    I thought of this recently when I was buying a sewing machine. Spending more than $200 on a sewing machine seemed sooo unreasonable. And a $2,000 sewing machine? Ridiculous!

    But people with Berninas or Pfaffs say their machines sew like a dream... and it occurred to me that that's how I feel about my violin -- it plays like a dream. (When I get it out -- doh!)

    Everyone spends their money differently, I guess. With the money our family saves by using cloth diapers, we could buy a very very nice camera, or sewing machine, or computer, or violin. (Not that we're planning to use the money that way... we're saving up for a down payment on a house, sans escalator.)