Thursday, March 11, 2010

An irrational puzzle

Read Gary Foreman's blog entry titled "A Puzzle", and then you tell me...

I think "rational" is in the eye of the beholder. I sometimes spend more money than I need to, or really want to, but I can rationalize it away. For instance, I need to get my eyes checked and will need new glasses. I know there is an optometrist that only takes walk-ins, so I could go and maybe get right in, but maybe have to wait awhile. She's cheap but she's good and I could save money by going there.

What do I do? I go to an optometrist where I can set an appointment and be guaranteed to have that specific time. It costs almost 25% more. I can rationalize that by saying that I would probably waste time sitting in the cheaper optometrist's office, but in reality my time is not worth that much, especially if I'm not doing anything, anyway. I could read a book while I wait at the other optometrist's, or make lists or daydream or whatever... but no, I gotta pay through the nose, rush in, rush out and go home and read a book.

Makes a lot of sense, doesn't it?


  1. Home improvement comes to mind when I think of situations like these. If we try to tackle a project on our own, sometimes we succeed, others we don't. Then we need to call in the contracting pro to not only fix our mistake, but then to do the actual improvement we tried to do in the first place. How's that saving us any money?
    But, if we succeed at the project ourselves, we have indeed saved money. We won't know until we roll up our sleeves and try.
    I suppose it's a gamble. Do you feel lucky?

  2. Do I feel lucky! I hope that was a rhetorical question!

    Home improvements can be a shot in the dark even if I hire someone else. It doesn't always turn out the way I visualize it and it nearly always costs more because when one thing is done, another begs to be done, too.

    Rationalize, rationalize...

  3. Yes, home improvement projects tend to snowball, don't they?
    We learned that lesson the hard way when we needed to redo our bathroom. Long story short--the whole thing got gutted and redone from the ground up. Ugh... And we did most of the work ourselves, but the tile installation and shower re-build we hired out.

  4. Mine was the stairway to the basement. We tore up the ugly carpet, painted the stairs,then the wall needed painting, then we needed stair treads, now the door needs painting and where the stairs lead out into the basement is looking pitiful. I'm trying to ignore it, but it isn't working very well. ;)

  5. Oh those home improvements never end do they? I have had to let my grass die here in the desert because it cost a lot of money to water Arid land especially in the summer. I envy my neighbors who have beautiful lawns but I don't envy their water bills! I couldn't grow anything on that yard everything just seemed to die including desert landscape. The heat in the summer is just too much even when I do water. The ground is hot the air is hot! Just way too much heat. Anyway we have had a lot of rain at least for the desert and now I have weeds ups to my chin! But they are green and they have a yellow flower (not dandelion) so I figure its green, growing and has a flower isn't that what I have been trying to plant all this time? I know the heat will come and kill it all soon so I am going to enjoy my weedy flowers until then! Meanwhile I have to rock my back yard, fix my chicken coop, paint the trim on the house, fix my bathroom repaint my sons room and my room all while trying to save money! And just when I get that all done my front yard will be bare and barren again and it will look ugly! You just can't win!

  6. My lawn is certainly not the prettiest in the neighborhood, but I'm not about to buy all that weed poison and lawn food and water and water and water... we're not in the desert here, but we have to water most of the time anyway. This one is rational to me. I don't care if the lawn is beautiful. I don't look at it and I don't enjoy those expanses of green monotony anyway, so why spend money on it?

    I think you have it right; home improvements never end.

  7. I don't like to scrimp when it comes to doctors or my health. I always wonder WHY one doctor would charge less than another? Is s/he not as good?

  8. The medical profession is competitive, just like any other business (at least for now). Just because a doctor charges more, doesn't mean the level of care is better... just like brand name merchandise isn't always better than generic.