27 December 2019

From Burgers to Steaks Part II: Money and Changing Values

Recently, I have had some time to reflect on some behaviours of mine regarding spending. I was planning a weekend trip recently, and was making accommodation choices, as well as planning things to do, when it struck me that the choices I ended up making would have been out of my character a few years ago. I say that because they aren't the thriftiest choices anymore, since I somehow am willing to pay more if paying more would get me things that I find valuable.

Take accommodation for example. I decided to stay in a hotel this time, and it happens that this hotel has a 4-star rating. I probably would have stayed away from lodgings like these ten years ago. I probably would have been content staying in a hostel. And even five years ago, I remember being in a business trip, as an academic attending a conference, where I stayed in a 1-star hotel with a shared bathroom. Knowing myself now, I most probably would avoid that.

I also realise that less than a year ago, I wrote this piece where it seemed that I was on the other side, arguing against what I am arguing for today. Funny how people can change sometimes. Or maybe it's just a different manifestation of the same principle. I suppose all this suggests is that what we value changes over time. It's not always cost cutting. Sometimes we value comfort. Other times we value privacy. And when what we value differ, then the cost that is associated with each of these also differ, and is not always the driving factor behind selection.

So you might go to a 4-star hotel because you value more the comfort and privacy that it provides. And I must admit, I kind of am looking forward to it.

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