The value of things

Some time ago I created a post 'obsessed with saving'  which created some interesting comments/discussion. Our situation is that we now have a healthy income/savings  but I was more interested in saving than spending.

Since the post I have changed a little and am prepared to see our capital reducing but the problem I  still see is how I put a value on purchases.

Some things we have little or no control over, council tax etc, others like utilities we have some control over, turning the heating down slightly, insulation and regularly checking for the cheapest deals and switching providers.

But its how I value other things that seems to make others think I am extremely tight.

To give an example, what happened last Sunday. We collected some family members and and were going for a pub meal in a lovely market town where my son lives. Whilst my wife was not present it was made clear to me that another in the party would be settling the bill as I had paid on the last two occasions. So parking up in the Market Square opposite the pub we went inside before some thought was given to the fact that it was pay & display area. Others were asking me if I wanted change which I declined. Whilst out my wife and the others were discussing  and predicted that I would not pay and move the car instead, Sure enough they were right, it was going to cost at least £3 and possibly more for the stay, our son lives no more than four or five minutes walk away so I drove it to his home and walked back to the pub. On return I was greeted with laughter/raised eyebrows. We had main course around £17/£18 each, nice, expensive but there again a necessity for the occasion. It was when it came to puddings, everyone else was enthusiastic, but at £7 each there was nothing that made me feel that I would get  value so I declined. Even my wife thought I was being tight and it was only after I had to explain it was nothing to do with me saving money, another was footing  the bill,  it was just the value I put on the desert and was nothing to do with having a cost to me.

So thats about it. Speaking with family members in a similar position to me they feel I should just think, do you want it , can you afford it, then buy it, no pockets in a shroud etc.
It is not a luxury we were able to have most of our married life, with just one main income, so I see it difficult to change or indeed even if I want to!

So I'm wondering how other 'moneysavers'  deal with this. How do you value non essential items, is it by comparison to other goods, by historical prices, how much enjoyment you would derive from it etc. Or is possibly ok to have these thoughts but not display them so much when in company!
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  • FarwayFarway Forumite
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    triplea35 said:

    So thats about it. Speaking with family members in a similar position to me they feel I should just think, do you want it , can you afford it, then buy it, no pockets in a shroud etc.
    It is not a luxury we were able to have most of our married life, with just one main income, so I see it difficult to change or indeed even if I want to!

    So I'm wondering how other 'moneysavers'  deal with this. How do you value non essential items, is it by comparison to other goods, by historical prices, how much enjoyment you would derive from it etc. Or is possibly ok to have these thoughts but not display them so much when in company!
    Both in bold, just bite your lip and enjoy what there is while you can still do so
    I think in the case of the pud I would probably have done same as you, not because of value but I'm not a pud lover as it seems to me they are mainly ice cream type, now if it were say steamed suet pud + custard I'd go for that >:)

  • PennyForThem_2PennyForThem_2 Forumite
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    I find it incredibly difficult to spend.  Financially (retired) I am well off so should spend.  Like you I would have moved that car, no question.  Why spend £3 + when can park for free and walk 5-10 mins to the location?

    As to the pudding, it depends.  The restaurant sounds it is probably above average (mains £18 ish) and you would have been able to guage that by the time puddings choice had to be made.  If mains weren't anything special and, as someone who can take or leave puddings, I would probably have declined and chosen a coffee.  If mains were really above averageI would have gone with the puddng - just to experience.

    So I am begginning to spend for experience and/or something special.  For instance, I have an unlimited Cineworld card (can see any film 2D any time at Cineworld for a fixed amount DD each month).  Cineworld doesn't usually show 'arts / limited distribution films'  so I go to the local independent cinema and pay to see those films that interest me.  Same for theatre - I go to local college (high reputation) to see their students' productions.  Get the unusual rather than the popular crowd pleasers.  Especially as, in pre Covid times, small reknowned theatre companies included the college in their tours.

    (I am not musical but if I was that is where I would go to hear music.)

    I feel for you - I think it is incredibly difficult to go from saver to spender.
  • Savvy_SueSavvy_Sue Forumite
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    I'd probably have done the same as the OP for both the parking and the pud, especially if over £3 for parking - it depends on cost, and as one of my siblings says "I don't mind paying for parking if I'm somewhere I don't know, but I really resent paying for it when I know my way around!"

    And £7 for a pud? They are having a laugh ... and I like my puddings ... 
    Signature removed for peace of mind
  • theoreticatheoretica Forumite
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    I have a mix of things I think about when deciding to spend, or not.  Some is habit or premade descisions - if I see something I often buy at the price I usually pay and fancy it I will buy it.  Some is dependent on how much enjoyment I think I will get, using as templates other spending of similar amounts - and whether other enjoyable things are on offer cheaper or it is this or nothing. 
    Time related things (pay for parking or a 10 minute walk, buy the one that is convenient or put more effort in to get one cheaper, paint my own door or get someone to do it) I often relate to how long it takes me to earn the money.
    But a banker, engaged at enormous expense,
    Had the whole of their cash in his care.
    Lewis Carroll
  • Annie1612Annie1612 Forumite
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    All the things you have done I would do ie. parking charges, pudding etc. All my purchases are weighed up in terms of value (can’t stand being overcharged)  and how much pleasure it would give me. I am so often disappointed after spending a lot of money, so I look for cheaper options to offset that. The problem I have now, as prices rise over the years, finding value for money seems more and more difficult as my idea of value is still rooted in the past. There is a local pub near us where a pint of lager and a gin and tonic are £5 each (last time I looked which was a couple of years ago). My kids just shrugged and say that is a pretty normal price when we said we wouldn’t be drinking there anytime soon.
  • edited 10 September 2021 at 7:47AM
    KxMxKxMx Forumite
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    edited 10 September 2021 at 7:47AM
    I think to deny yourself a dessert you were not even paying for and would have enjoyed (presumably as most do and you said the food standard was good) just because you perceived it as poor value is a bit miserly tbh.

    And while I half agree with the parking, you spent extra burning fuel to get to and from that free parking spot. Maybe worth thinking about that.

    I've reached a point currently where I can spend a little more, and it is hard after saving for so long. I still monitor my budget carefully as i'm on a low income but given my savings are where they need to be I can be a bit freer with spending.

    I was irked in the supermarket last week buying 2 items I knew I could get cheaper elsewhere, but I reminded myself I could afford it and by getting everything in one go I was placing a value on my time and energy (long term health problems).
  • tacpot12tacpot12 Forumite
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    What you spend your money on is a personal choice. Clearly compromises need to be made when you are part of a couple, but I don't see a problem with having thoughts about being careful with money. I think people who are careful with money are likely to be careful about other things, like not creating too much pollution or waste, and not hurting people's feelings. 

    I also don't see a problem with people thinking that you are "tight", providing you spend when it is necessary or you think it is good value. It's just part of your character. It also seems a bit unfair when you had paid on the two previous occasions. 

    But I also know that once people have decided what you are like, it can be a very long process to change their minds. It might take even longer for them to notice any change of their own accord. I would suggest you don't change, but do make sure that you enjoy spending your money. 
    The comments I post are my personal opinion. While I try to check everything is correct before posting, I can and do make mistakes, so always try to check official information sources before relying on my posts.
  • PrimrosePrimrose Forumite
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    Meet another fellow traveller!   I,ve been a saver all my life.  As a wartime baby I learnt early the lesson of managing on very little and ensuring my consumer spending always represented good value for money.   My husband always laughs when I ask the price of something because he know my shocked answer will always be "HOW MUCH???

    I think perhaps when in company you may occasionally have to co promise on your spending to avoid making others uncomfortable but I just laugh my habits away admitting jokingly that I,m a tight ar*e and that at my age I'm unlikely to change.  Incidentally I'm quite happy to forego a second glass of wine at £8 a throw in a restaurant or an expensive dessert which  is really not good value for money.    Content yourself that you won,t be expecting your kids to pay off your debts when you die!
  • Baron_DaleBaron_Dale Forumite
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    My personal view is that you need to loosen up a bit. You have worked and saved now enjoy the twilight years! You are dead for a long time!
    I paid £52 for a meal last night for myself and a friend. Not cheap but the food and company were great. I'll survive! Oh yes the puddings were £7. We loved them.
  • Typhoon1Typhoon1 Forumite
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    You sound like me.

    When we go out for something to eat I always compare the price of the pudding with what I could get similar for at the supermarket. For things that come in slices, say apple pie, I work out how many pieces they're getting out of each whole pie then work out how much money they're getting out of each pie, I usually end up with ice cream, then it starts over again with 2 or 3 scoops and how much each scoop is costing. A few odd things though, never worry about the main course, if we're in company and I'm paying it doesn't bother me what everyone else chooses but when they're paying I usually opt for whatever is cheapest.

    I also often work out how long it has taken me to earn the money to buy something.

    I maybe worse than you for parking, never pay it but normally end up walking for miles as a result. So in your scenario the car would have never left the garage.  


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