No doubt most of us have splurged on a luxury item now or then. Luxury is sold to us everywhere. Gold class, business class, luxuriant holidays, branded clothing, flashy cars, overpriced hotels, fine wines and fine dining. But what are you really buying? I admit it’s nice to feel a little bit rich every so often. But here’s a few things to think about before your next luxury purchase. Consider the folly of luxury.
What You’re Really Buying?
When you buy luxury what you’re really buying is not so much a product or a service. Rather you are buying an experience of indulgence. A moment to feel like you are richer than you really are. To have what you ordinarily can’t. With that is a sense of superiority. You’re enjoying after all what the plebs cannot afford. You are buying a status above that of mere mortals. If only for a fleeting moment.
Now think about a person you think is rich, self indulgent with a superiority complex. Not a particularly pretty picture. But that’s what you are being sold. Be that person. Enjoy that lifestyle, have those privileges. I guess that’s ok on the odd occasion, but when you realize what you’re buying, it’s not quite as appealing. The folly of luxury is your paying for the privilege of being a person you wouldn’t want to be!
What Your Not Getting
With luxury the one thing you are not getting is value. You are paying not for what you really get, but how it makes you feel. As a result the markup is huge. Our egos and desire to live beyond our means is strong. As an example, think about what you get from economy to business class. A slightly wider seat, a bit more attention. But basically you are squeezed into the same container for the same trip from A to B. It’s all over in the same amount of time. You’re certainly not getting 3 to 5 times the value while paying 3 to 5 times the price, or more. And yet you still want to sit up the front!
Most products have the base range with no bells and whistles but it does the job. Then there’s the mid range product with more features. Lastly the luxury product that does nothing tangibly more with a huge markup. It’s all price tag for no value. At my local cinema you find the same thing now. 3 offerings, basic cinema, a slightly bigger seat cinema and gold class. Same movie, same time, just a bigger seat, a bit of service and over priced food. It’s the folly of luxury, all price, no value!
Luxury is Everywhere
Almost everywhere luxury is on sale. You could have a perfectly good holiday in a reasonably priced apartment or you can go for the luxury escape to blow your cash. There’s luxury bedding and bed sheets, luxury apparel, luxury cars, luxury accommodation, luxury experiences, luxury cosmetics, luxury pens, luxury homes, luxury cinema. luxury makeovers, luxury golf courses…… I felt this pull the most when we built our house. The upgrades were all luxury. You could have this horrible carpet or this luxurious plush stuff for a big $ margin. Almost everything in the home was being up sold. And so it is with life. Near on everything you can buy the luxury version.
Luxury for the Masses
This luxury isn’t aimed at the super rich. It’s luxury for the masses. So you can feel for a fleeting moment like you’re a high flyer. So get an upgrade, go into the lounge, indulge in gold class, go 3 ply, buy that brand, sleep in 1000 thread count sheets. It’s worth realizing that the middle class is the soft target for this. The super rich already have it all and the super poor would never dream of it. This is aimed squarely at those who wish they had it, but don’t. And it’s a powerful motivator. But at the end of the day it’s a trap if you want to be wise with your money.
The Folly of Luxury
The folly of luxury is your being sold a lie. Your trying to be what your not. Your getting no extra value for a lot of extra cost. We call that a swindle! All for a fleeting feeling of luxurious escape. To dream to have a slice of what you simply can’t afford. It’s a taste of living beyond your means. But if you can see through it, you’ll save plenty. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with economy. You don’t need luxury soap, home brand does just fine. The cinema is great without the trappings of gold class. You can have a great holiday without being in a 5 star money hole. You get the picture. Next time your being sold luxury, think about what you’re really getting. Think about your long term future.
There’s an old proverb in the bible that reads like this,'one man pretends to be rich, yet has nothing; another pretends to be poor, yet has great wealth (Proverbs 13:7).'Click To Tweet Don’t play the pretend rich person, you’ll end up with nothing. Better to chose the poor man’s option and find great wealth.