8.01.2008

Your Money's Worth

The thought came to me as I was unrolling and re-rolling the inflatable Aero bed about the point in time when you feel like you've gotten your money's worth out of owning something.

From the moment I purchase something, I have a kind of meter in my head that counts down the uses and re-uses of a thing until I feel, by whatever arbitrary measure, I've gotten what I paid into the object, out of it.

The aforementioned Aero bed? We're well in the gravy now, we've gotten days and days of fun and sleeping on it. Well worth the cost. The single niggle I have is the inflate/deflate button on the controller is a pain in the ass to hold down.

The extremely cheap plastic binoculars from a trip to Roaring Camp Railroad last summer? So worth it that it isn't even funny. Not only did they cost almost nothing, they've been used and played with nearly every single day since we got them last year.

What else? My Apple G3 Pismo powerbook? Hell yeah. The thing is still chugging along today and its at least 8 years old now. It wasn't cheap but it has been used for a long, long time. It is in its latest incarnation as a starter computer for my two boys, its tucked in a keyboard tray under a desk with an external monitor, keyboard and mouse. And works like a charm, a slow charm but a charm nonetheless.

I'm sure I could continue up and down the line. From my venerable Ibis Mojo mountain bike to our Softub 300 hot tub, quality almost always trumps a cheap price.

There are always the counter-examples, those things that cost too much for the value derived by having or consuming them. Stuff that gets broken easily, stuff that has small parts that little boys like to lose when your back is turned, things that don't live up to their marketing hype.

What comes to your mind when you think about getting your money's worth?
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