This is another 2020 social isolation post. If you’ve doing the basic calculations from my last post you are now ready for this post: What is value for money?
Now that you’ve sorted out your budget you can now look at other things you can spend your money on so long as you’ve budgeted for them as well. As far as I’m concerned these items can be called luxuries and not your savings /investments which is a different category. That is you, have a savings/investments budget and a separate luxuries budget. As a result there is no need to think when you want to buy something beyond the basics.
Using my ‘value for money’ method does not mean you buy cheap things, it applies to any thing you want. What will make you the happiest is the key criteria. For example Netflix vs Apple TV+ subscription. There maybe one or two shows on Apple TV+ that you want to watch Vs Netflix that has everything else. The answer is Netflix or is it? The other part of the issue is that you may also buy DVDs so when they remove the show from the playlist you can still rewatch your favourite episodes. So if spend enough on DVDs year to cover for another streaming service for the same amount of time then signup for both services. Regardless you can always unsubscribe when money gets tight.
Another example and a situation you should avoid, is paying extra to one company for different services when you can get from others that cost less either immediately or over time, The example is Apple. Having an iPhone for example, TV+ costs $7 and iCloud costs $2.99 for online storage current at 200GB because your phone doesn’t have much memory to begin with. $14.99 a month for Apple Music for a family but you need iCloud subscription as well. Unsurprisingly you need to pay about $27.00 a month extra or $324 a year to be able to use an iPhone in the way they designed it. Over a long 3 years (usual contract time) the total works out to about $1000. This is simply not value for money. Sure you don’t have to sign up but you probably do because the memory space on them are deliberately tiny so you need to pay extra. Great business case for Apple but waste of money or you!
Sure get an iPhone if you want but don’t pay extra to use it as there are better alternatives. However I would choose another phone, probably cheaper and get the new Louis Vuitton wallet I been looking at, since that for me is better value for the same money – I’m quite sure you didn’t consider that.
My use of ‘value for money’ is often not ‘like for like’ item. There are too many small minded people out there who can only consider things in such a binary way, hopefully you aren’t one of them. Besides I refuse to be brain washed to think that way. Finally, many will say, using the iPhone example, that it’s the best phone and I say no it’s not – it’s like saying it’s the best fridge but there are plenty of other fridges you haven’t used. For the record I have an iPhone and an Android phone and find them both good to use. Why a Louis Vuitton wallet? because I like the design, quality and lots people like them. I also want to find out for myself whether the brand is all that it’s claimed to be and no one I know has one – which is priceless.