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Our Wallet’s Biggest Enemy

Expensive, luxurious goods are always the most desired items and our wallet’s biggest enemy. Luxury or expensive items often come with a lot of tempting advertisements, and together with that, the peer pressure to own them.

Everyone talks about them to the point that you feel that you do need such items in your lives. We feel they are better than the same thing that we can have which was a fraction of the price but are they really worth the satisfaction that they promise to bring? Does a pen that costs RM200 look and feel much better than your standard ballpoint pen that costs 50 cents? Can this be justified and rationalised? Is the feel good factor here more important than everything else, to the point that we need to splurge our hard earned money for the feeling of something nice?

To begin, we need to understand what luxury items actually are. Luxury items are goods or items that are priced at a premium, compared to a similar product or function that are priced cheaper.

While it cannot be denied that many luxury products are usually of a better build and quality, we can sometimes find similar but cheaper ones that work just as well. As such, just because something costs more, it does not mean that there are no substitutes for that item. While luxury items are definitely nice to have, they are not and never are a necessity. These reasons include that the items are made from better ingredients and materials, or having better craftsmanship, thus justifying the otherwise unreasonable price that they command. Therein lies the rub. Are you buying something which is a necessity or is an ego trip to be the person with the most expensive bag amongst your friends, or the best clothes? The feeling of owning something that you know is better than the rest is a pleasure that many of us actively enjoy and revel in. For example, we all need clothes to cover our body. If that is the function, then any clothing will do.

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fraction (n) – a part of the whole of anything; portion or section.
justifiable (adj) – can be defended as being fair, or right.
rationalised (v) – defended with reason (whether rightly or wrongly).
splurge (v) – to spend extra amounts suddenly.
revel (v) –  to take great pleasure or delight.

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