Personal finance is so interesting because it’s just that–personal.
While you might not think anything of paying $100 for cable, others may choose to go without it entirely because they’d rather read or do something else. You may scoff at buying shoes for $40, while another person may feel they’ve just scored a deal with those same shoes.
Then, there are other choices. Are you willing to spend big bucks for things that depreciate such as a luxury car, or would a Toyota sedan be just fine for you? Do you need to have the best, most fashionable clothes, or would Target clothes work just fine for you?
What about consumables? Where do you draw the line there?
Over the Top Consumption
Do you know that you can buy one hamburger that costs $666? The Huffington Post says that 666 Burger offers the Douche Burger that is a ”foie-stuffed, gold-leaf-wrapped, Kobe patty smothered with caviar, lobster, truffles, Gruyere melted with Champagne steam and BBQ sauce made using Kopi Luwak coffee.” Keep in mind this isn’t even the most expensive burger around. There’s another that runs $777 and one that is $5,000 for a complete meal including a bottle of wine that retails for $2,500 (Delish).
Move over Starbucks; there’s much more expensive coffee on the market. As of 2006, Hacienda la Esmeralda Geisha in Panama sold coffee beans that retail at $100 per pound (Forbes). Even if you’re a serious coffee drinker, would you put down this much money for your daily cup of joe?
Sure, you can get 5 pieces of nigiri sushi “garnished with diamonds and wrapped in 24-karat gold leaf” in the Philippines for $1,978.15, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. But what about a more traditional sushi meal? A meal at Sushi Jiro, made by the legendary sushi chef who was the focus of the documentary, Jiro Dreams of Sushi, will set you back $366, according to Delish.
Pizza is an all American treat, right up there with hot dogs and apple pie. However, at Steveston Pizza Company, there’s nothing all American about the C6 Pizza’s price. There, you can order pizza that costs $450 and is “topped with lobster and black Alaskan cod, then served with Russian Osetra caviar on the side” (Delish).
The Price of Decadence
Sure, you may argue, I’d never pay that much for a meal out! Those prices are for celebrities with money to burn.
You’re probably right.
However, if you eat out frequently, the bottom line that you’re willing to pay for a meal gradually becomes skewed. Maybe you think $40 for a couple is outrageous, but after eating out for awhile, you may bump that up to $50 and then to $60.
Where do you draw the line at decadence? How much are you willing to pay for something that is consumable and is gone from existence in less than 30 minutes? Are you willing to pay more just for the experience (and the bragging rights) of ordering exorbitantly priced foods?
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I call it income creep. I fight it as often as possible, I see myself losing too often. I think back to when I was a little kid in a poor family. We would call all around town to save $2 on tennis shoes. Then in college I would debate if I should get milk or just drink water. I would analyze the price of cheese and make connections with the girls' apartments to see if I could work in a free dinner a couple times a week. Now I take much less consideration as to how I purchase food and other products.
I love food and I have switched to good choices. I find I feel better when I make good choices. My occasional bad choices may be pizza which I enjoy once every 2-3 months.
Those trying to live on a small budget would probably draw the line even at Starbucks - you could get a much better value for your money by making a coffee at home!