While Dan and I were on a weekend excursion last year, I picked up some cool-looking, wildly colored casual shoes I thought might be handy on a winter cruise vacation we had planned. They were made of elastic strips, with memory foam insoles, brand new and only two dollars at the second-hand store!
I wore them on a shore excursion in The Bahamas and made memories flipping a Segway machine in the sand, twisting my ankle and wounding my pride.
I found out my little two-dollar investment was a good one. The shoes are exceptionally comfortable, easy to slip on, and the multiple colors make them versatile enough to wear with all my summer outfits.
Everywhere I go, I get compliments on my unique shoes. It’s very tempting to say, “They were only two dollars!” But I resist. Especially since I stumbled across a pair on the Internet and found out they retail for over fifty bucks!
If I had paid $50 for my shoes, I probably would not have worn them to ride Segways on the beach. For sure I would not have dipped my bruised foot into the cool ocean and gotten salt water all over my new shoes! I would have saved them for strolling around on the deck of the ship. If I had known I was wearing fifty-dollar shoes, I might not have put them on in the rain or to go shopping at Wal-Mart. For $50, I would have been trying harder to make them last two seasons, or maybe three.
I see pros and cons here. I’ve really enjoyed my shoes more for having put little monetary value on them. But that may be due to a character flaw of mine. Having been trained by parents who suffered through the Great Depression, I am frugal to a fault. If I spend a great deal of money (or time or effort) on a thing, I tend to want to save it. It is only when a thing is cheap (or free or easy) that I feel like I can simply use it up.
But then I see other people who were “born with a silver spoon in their mouth” who waste wantonly. I consider that a character flaw also.
Little kids will ruin their Nike shoes just as quickly as shoes from the dollar store because they don’t know the difference in value.
Children in the U.S. sometimes waste their public education years because it is “free.” Young, immature college kids often waste their opportunity for higher education because it didn’t cost them anything.
I see people at the grocery store wasting money on junk food and then paying with a government-issued EBT card. Because it’s free food, it doesn’t have to be nutritious or worth what they’re “paying.”
It’s the same way with medical expenses. I find that I’m more cautious about running to the doctor or authorizing tests because I have to pay for it. Families with government-provided or employer-provided health insurance seem to have less caution about spending health care dollars.
Having lived so many years, in so many situations, I suppose I can see both sides of the coin. I think buying fifty-dollar shoes for two dollars is the best!