Tynan had a great piece about value on his blog. He explains that value is almost entirely subjective and down to the individual making the decision. This got me thinking about what I value highly and I agree totally with his point of view. Some things that I am prepared to spend a lot of money on, have a huge value to me but likely not for the next guy (mechanical watches being a case in point). Check out his post for the things that he thinks are of high value to him. If you keep reading, I’ve listed a few things, that for me, have value… for better or worse.
House — good value
The house I bought in 2014 is probably the best money I have spent. Yes it was eye wateringly expensive and I‘ll be paying off the mortgage for a long time. The value comes from the area it‘s in and the fact that the market is amongst one of the most stable in Europe, meaning that when it‘s sold, the achievable price will still be strong.
Espresso — good value
I’ve written about espresso here before. For me, it’s not just about drinking that shot of coffee, but the whole experience. The initial outlay is rather high but as soon as you’ve got your gear set up to make yourself the best shot of espresso, there is no going back. It provides many types of subtle values for me. The actions of preparation are a kind of zoning out, talking and writing about it let’s me satisfy my nerdiness and it also promotes social activity (everyone congregates at the espresso machine at some point).
Suits — bad and good value
I own four suits. Two of them are fitted. I don’t have to wear a suit everyday, but on occasion it is necessary.
Bad value: The two non fitted suits are good, smart suits by well known labels. Compared to the fitted suits though, it’s like wearing pajamas. I just don’t enjoy wearing them, so even considering the reduced price I paid for them, they have a lower value.
Good value: Every time I put a fitted suit on, I feel good in it. I look good in it. And let’s be honest, if you’re going to suit up, you may as well do it properly. So even though the fitted suits cost a lot more, I enjoy them more -> higher value.
Expensive meals — neutral value
This is tricky, as a lot of restaurants price themselves according to area and surrounding prices. I really appreciate the craft of cooking with high quality ingredients and superb presentation and will gladly pay the price this costs. Any time I feel this not to be the case, it feels like a colossal waste to me and I likely never go back there again.
Travel — bad to good value
I like to travel and have done a fair bit of it in my life, but it is also a very tricky point, as it wholly depends on the reason for and mode of travel for the price paid.
Bad value: paying a minimal, off season price for a train ticket but having to stand in an overfilled, stinky carriage.
Good value: Paying a seasonal premium price for a flight but having an epic adventure and the experience of a lifetime.
Facebook, Instagram, … — bad value
Ok, of course I haven’t spent money on Facebook and co (at least not in a classical way). The currency that is needed here is your time and attention. Sure, you can see what’s going on, catch up with friends, find old school mates, marvel at how others are “winning” etc. Unfortunately, a lot of the content on these platforms is being driven by companies and slowly but surely how advertisers want us “the punters” to like, feel and ultimately think. The reason I have stopped using FB and only look at Instagram occasionally, is because I wasn’t getting more out of it than I invested. I was wasting time and ultimately felt I needed to step away. I don’t miss it.
All of these things are my thoughts and my values. Obviously they will be different for you.