Friday, April 23, 2021

Random thoughts: No Free Lunch, a good deal will do.

This post is about "free lunch", kind of conincide with SMOL "nothing is free".  I find it cognitive dissonansing that people spend plenty of time searching for the best deal, when I thought a good deal should suffice. Yet the people searching for the best deal, end up spending more than usual. Below are some of the paradoxes I can't wrap my mind around. 

Buying to consume, or consuming to buy

Whenever there is a promotion in the supermarket, I know of someone who will grab it and feel very satisified that they saved some money. Yet, when I ask if they actually use this, they will also be defensive and say that they will surely be of use. So, you are "consuming" something that is cheap so that you can go on "offers" collection spree. It seems counter-intutive to me.

Even if there is no doubts that certain products will be used, are you over-consuming it, simply because there is an offer. Net net, it might seem still a good deal to some, but personally, I consume what I like, whenever I like it, I do not like to buy something to store it, because I knew I would consume it someday, and feeling obliged to consume it.

One Red flag I think consumers can ask themselves is this: Do you worried that your stuff will expired? I think if we consume in a "need or want" fashion, we hardly need to worry about Ribenna or Butter expiring isn't it? Over-consumption plus wastage is a horrible combination if you ask me.

The exception to this is something of regular consumption. For example, petrol for car, toilet paper (Everyone need to shit, right) etc. When there is an offer, you grab it and you save, is a good deal. Because there is no wastage and also no worry about feeling obliged to consume it. 

The best deal is free delivery

Whenever I hear people talk about offers, I keep hearing "delivery is free", I shall not labour on this point. SMOL has poke about this. 

Better features are worth the deal

I am someone who will pay for effeciency. In my work, I pay for several online platforms so I can create games and resources faster. I sometimes upgrade free learning software to paid versions, so that my pupils can enjoy certain features like mulitiple pages drawing, tagging, to skills etc. 

Value is questionable. Some of my colleagues might feel that there could do without those features (or some do not prepare lessons anyway), or that the valueaddness is not tangible enough. Yet, it provide tangible benefits for me, as it save time for me, and I get to deliver the lesson the way I wanted it and it gave me satiafaction. A few dollars a month, adding up to tens of dollars seem reasonable to me. 

However, after I switch to Xiaomi, I never look back at Samsung or Apple. I do know Apple has better camera and privacy protection, etc. But I realise I do not really need the best camera, and a 300 dollars Xiaomi served me just as well. Also, given that I need no extra money for a handset, I could go for SIm only plan that frankly, offers much better deal in terms of data and talktime.

Second in point is milk powder. When my son is young, I cross the border to do groceries. Money was tight in those years and I shudder when I recall those time when I was just making ends meet. I am really grateful for the time now. Anyway I digressed. 

Milk powder is 25% the price of  what Singapore is selling. Even if you take into account currency difference, it should not make so much of a difference, especially if it is the same brand

Out of curiosity. I bought another tin in singapore, and scrutiniesd every single ingredients As i expected, the Singapore version contain a formula that helps the development of "good eyesight", and hence the Malaysia version is missing 3-4 ingredients.

Yet, given there is "no choice" of purchase of cheaper version, I feel that it is a rip off of consumers in Singapore.  

Conclusion

In case, any reader think that I am trying to preach frugality, I am not. I am quite loose with money, I will be the last person in the bloggersphere that should talk about that. Frugality is a virtue, you should visit ASSI. 

In fact, I am a believer, buy what you want, what you can afford, as long as it makes you happy. If collecting offers give you joy, go ahead. We are all creatures of vices. But please, do not breach "good deal" and "savings benefits" to me. Just tell me you enjoy shopping and collecting offers, and although sometimes, you worried about storage and expiry, you can't help it. I would think you are someone honest with a high degree of self-awareness, and respect you for it. 

Now, if you turn around and think about the headers for investing.

1) Are you investing to earn, or earning to invest?
2) The best deal is free commission (Do you know the difference between custodian account or CDP account?)
3) Better products means a good business

Hope I didn't irritate you with my post LOL

32 comments:

  1. If I can't think of a useful purpose for buying something, I won't buy it even if it's on > 50% discount and everyone else is buying it. I don't consider status symbols as useful.

    If something is useful like fast computers (productivity booster), I don't mind spending to buy good ones and upgrade regularly.

    By the way, Xiaomi goods have been a value-for-money experience for me so far.

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  2. Hi Hyom,

    I see greed more than vanity. I dun think buying more butter or instant coffee status levitating. But yes, vanity is an issue, although it is mindful greed. I buy for a purpose, to show off or feel good. There is no lying to oneself of a good deal.

    Some lying would be such buying is good investment. I know some limited editions make good investments, but most vanity goods are just what they are, vanity.

    Quality is in the eyes of the beholder. Nothing wrong if one can afford it and pampers oneself. Just dun lie to oneself

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