March 28, 2008

When you Buy Something,

What Are You REALLY Buying?

Well, if you're talking with an insurance salesman, you may be urged to buy "peace of mind" and "financial security for your family." Are you buying "youth in a bottle" as some cosmetic products claim to reduce the appearance of facial lines and blemishes? And of course, we've all seen the ads where buying a certain brand of beer will give you a moment of life that "doesn't get any better than this."

We've talked about it before...what you spend your money on is the way you make your values visible. Of course you have to buy food, clothing and shelter, but how you approach those purchases, how you choose to meet each of those needs is critical to financial well-being. Doesn't this current sub-prime mortgage mess tell us that very clearly?

Both Bert and I are residential real estate appraisers and what we've seen in the frenzied market of the past few years has been astonishing. Many people were buying homes far beyond their needs for housing and far beyond their means for re-paying. What were they REALLY buying?

For the moment, let's leave those big purchases and head to the grocery store. What you should be spending your food dollar on is good health and fuel to meet your body's daily demands. But we're offered so much else... products that offer "convenience," a "fine food experience," a scent of the exotic, food and drink for cozy yet sophisticated entertaining, ingredients for creativity, and the grocery store even offers you an easy way to make your family happy as they excitedly gather around the dinner table just waiting to sample that "home-cooking" you picked up pre-packaged at the supermarket.

Just do one thing at the grocery store this week: Look at what you're putting in your cart and ask yourself, "What am I REALLY buying?" And make sure that you can, and really want to, spend money on that!



1 comment:

Suzanne said...

Here I am in KY!

Just read your bolg entry. Katharine & I stopped at Costco bought some "fuel" and some "good health"!