My older years continue to teach me that there is a large difference between cost, value, and worth. I’m working on enhancing my practice of using smart dollars.
A Google search has given the following definitions:
Cost: “An amount that has to be paid or spent to buy or obtain something.”
Value: “The regard that something is held to deserve; the importance, worth, or usefulness of something.”
Worth: “The value equivalent to that of someone or something under consideration; the level at which someone or something deserves to be valued or rated.”
You may see from the definitions that value and worth are quite similar. Too often, we focus on the cost.
It’s time to use smart dollars.
Saving dollars and counting pennies is good on many occasions. It’s also important to look at the time, frustration, and headaches we may acquire by saving these pennies. Is it worth our hassle? Would we get a better value through another avenue?
I’ve recently faced a dilemma with my cell phone service. I have been a Republic Wireless customer for the past three years. The service cost me anywhere from $10-$30 a month. The cost was great. The value was good. The service was good enough, for the price I was paying. They were smart dollars for some time, but not as smart anymore.
I’ve recently experienced some performance issues with my most recent cell phone purchased from them, a phone that is about 8 months old. The phone cost somewhere in the realm of $200, a good cost for a decent smartphone, or so I thought. I sacrificed by buying a phone I thought would be “good enough”, but I did have a couple of reservations based on my use.
Republic continues to change the way they structure their plans. This is leading to frustration with many people, myself included. They are releasing several new phones soon, but my phone was quickly becoming unusable. Soon was not soon enough.
I made a choice to upgrade to Google’s Project Fi.
The service includes a phone that is much more expensive than the Republic phone. The phone, however, has outstanding performance and reviews. Users say the phone (Nexus 6P) stands the test of time. These look like smart dollars to spend. I expect a phone to last at least 2 years. Anything over that is gravy for me. 8 months is not enough.
Nevertheless, I decided to pay a few dollars more every month to a company like Google who has a large tech background (obviously). I decided to pay a bit more money for a nice phone, that will do everything I’m looking for it to do. Being a minimalist, it really isn’t that much. You know, make a phone call, send a text, simple web browsing, and run some basic apps. No social media. Nothing too fancy. But the Republic phone couldn’t keep up with the simplest.
My decision to spend a little more money will save me time, money, and headaches.
After three years I realized it was time to reevaluate the cost, worth, and value of my service. Along the way, I learned that Republic was not the stand up company I believed they were, in terms of customer service and usability. It is too bad really, as three years of good faith has washed away quickly. That’s not to say many people don’t enjoy Republic, because I did for a while, but it’s good to reevaluate.
Another area in which I tended to “sacrifice” was as simple as socks. I’d pick up a 12 pack of the cheap socks from Wal-Mart. They were good enough. They’d last long enough. And then, for reasons that escape me, I grew tired of replacing socks. I became tired of sacrificing the comfort of my feet. After a lot of sock research, it seemed that socks from Darn Tough would provide me with a great deal of comfort, value, and a lifetime warranty that includes just about anything you can imagine. Had I ever pictured paying $15-$20 for one pair of socks? Hell no. When I put them on everyday do I realize they’re worth every penny? Heck yeah.
It’s important to remember to reevaluate areas of your life.
We grow, we learn, and we move on. Sometimes we outgrow what we once loved. Sometimes it’s just good to try new things. We may return to what was, but we will likely come back with a greater understanding and appreciation.