Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Satisfying the Jones

How do you decide whether to indulge in a high end/high price version of a product or service or whether to be responsible and stick to the low end/low price version?  Some people are very responsible and always take the low end.  This can work if you don’t know what you are missing by never experiencing the high end.  Some people always take the high end.  But I suspect that they end up on the government dole in retirement because they haven’t saved.  Remember the ant and the caterpillar fable.

The problem with the 95% of us who go back and forth is that you never know in advance which one is best for that situation.  You might settle for the low end and be satisfied.  Then you feel really good about the choice.  You also might feel slightly unsatisfied, but reconcile the choice because you were responsible.  That feeling can make up for the difference.  But what about those times you are totally unsatisfied?  Do you then go for the indulgence anyway?  If you do, do you feel guilty about it or forget about your previous mistake and just move on?

I had a small version of this yesterday.  I was choosing among the beers in my fridge.  I am moving, so I need to finish them all before I go.  I decided to go with the low end.  It was not satisfying.  But rather than have a second beer, I decided to go with the indulgent choice on the cheese I had later.  Extra sharp cheddar and extra aged parmigiano reggiano.  Made up for the beer.  But tonight I am having the IPA for sure.  So should I go for the American slices?

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