The Real Reason Something Is Too Expensive For You

Let’s talk about spending money.

Have you ever had the thought “that’s way too expensive”?

Why?

The cost of something is relative. It’s neutral.

I had an experience the other day that I found fascinating.

My husband and I were in the grocery store and we went specifically to buy a box of tea.

Here’s a picture of what we were looking for.

sml tea.png

We found the box really quickly and it was $4.99.

I went to grab an additional flavor (peach), and my husband said, and I quote, “we don’t need both, that’s expensive, it’s not on sale.”

Let me repeat, the box of tea cost $4.99.

He’s not a cheap man in general. BUT, he does have a lot of thoughts about money and value. We all do.

My guess is some of my husband’s thoughts were:

  • That’s more than I usually pay for a box of tea.

  • That’s expensive.

  • Who knows if it will work.

  • What if it doesn’t work?

  • It’s not on sale (he actually said this one).

  • I don’t want to spend more than I have to.

Now let me give a little background, we were buying the tea because he has afib. A heart condition that is extremely uncomfortable to say the least. He is on medication for it, but does not like the side effects.

While he’s doing what his Dr. has suggested, he’s also looking for alternative things to try. A number of people in an online afib forum suggested this tea. It had helped to keep their afib at bay.

When I saw that the tea was $4.99, I had completely different thoughts than he did. Here are a few of mine:

  • That’s so cheap.

  • If it works it will be so worth it!

  • It’s worth a try.

  • One tea at Starbucks costs $4, and this has 16 bags for $4.99.

  • This may help to keep him out of the ER.

  • This may help him feel better.

  • This may help us both get more sleep.

  • It would be great if this helped.

  • His health is invaluable.

There are plenty of things that my husband buys that aren’t on sale. Cars, DirectTV, restaurant meals, gas, yard maintenance, pool service, cell phone service, and Starbucks to name a few.

But for some reason, this box of $4.99 tea seemed expensive to him.

Why? Because he didn’t yet value it. He was thinking about the cost if it didn’t work (what a waste), rather than what it would cost him if it did work, but didn’t benefit because he never tried it. What if he missed out because he didn’t try it, but it was just the thing he needed.

He was focusing on the teas potential to fail vs. the potential for it to work.

The question he could’ve asked is “if this works, and I’m in afib less, will the $4.99 be worth it?” Of course it would be. No brainer.

I used this example because people think it’s the amount of money that makes something expensive or not. That’s just not true. It’s how we think about the item and whether or not it’s valuable to us or not.

It’s perceived value.

When you’re not sure that something will work, it may seem expensive. But what if it did work and you never gave yourself the chance to find out? What would you be missing out on then?

$4.99 is just a number.

$600 is just a number.

$2000 is just a number.

$18k is just a number.

If your life is forever different because of what you decide to invest in, is it worth it to you? What did did it cost you if you are a better version of yourself? What did it cost you if you feel better? How many hours of your life could you reclaim that would’ve been spent in suffering or confusion?

When you’re ready for something different, the amount won’t matter. It’s all figuroutable. It’s just math.

What matters is when you want to invest in something that feels right for you, do you realize that how you choose to think about it is up to you.

You get to choose what you can afford. If you prioritize something and choose it, you then have a better chance of being able to “afford it”.

If you value something, it will be valuable to you.

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