Sunday, December 23, 2007

Affordability

When the car salesman quotes your estimated monthly payment, when the , what is s/he really trying to do? Make the product seem affordable. After all, his job is to sell you the car!

It's your job as a smart consumer is to make sure you get what you want, at a price you can afford. This applies to big ticket items like cars and homes (case in point: today's subprime meltdown). This same principle should be applied to everyday things as well, with a range from household products, to clothes and handbags. In fact, I'd like to use the handbag as a prime example.

With the proliferation of luxury brands - and I mean the entire sliding scale of brands here, i.e. from Coach to LV to Herm├ęs- status has been conferred upon the handbag.

Recently, while vacationing in Colorado, some friends & I happened to visit the Denver mint, where no handbags are allowed. Our only option was to leave our purses in the trunk of the car or not go in. One girlfriend was stumped as to what should be brought inside and what could be left in the car. And dear reader, here's where the lesson in affordability comes in...

ME: "Take all the things you'd hate to lose, and all the things that could possibly get you home if your things were stolen from the car, like cash, debit & credit cards."
HER: "I'd hate to lose my $700 LV Speedy."

What I thought: "Then you probably shouldn't have brought the damn bag on vacation in the first place!"
What I said: NOTHING. Mom taught me that when I have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all.

What does "affordable" mean to you?

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