Did I sell the hat to someone else for $60? No. Did I go into the store with $60 specifically to buy that hat? No. Was I even planning to buy a hat? No. Would I ever spend $60 on a hat? No. I don’t see that elusive $50 anywhere. All I have is a hat and $10 less in my wallet.
You may protest, “But it’s a $60 hat.” Really? The fair price is what a willing buyer (that would be me) will pay a willing seller (the store) for the item. It’s a $10 hat.
So many otherwise sensible and frugal people will get sucked into the lure of Black Friday and the competitive shopping that goes with it. “I saved $400!” “That’s nothing, I saved $600!” Sorry, but neither of you saved anything. You spent some money and got some stuff. You can’t make money by spending money.
There’s a simple decision technique that helps to clarify things when you’re deciding whether to do something or not. Ask two questions.
What will I gain?
What will I give up?
In my case, I will gain a hat and give up $10 and I figure it’s worth it. Period. Nothing here about previous prices, or what other people think it’s worth or other hats. Nothing about past purchases I’ve regretted, or things I wished I’d bought, or the hat I liked that got ruined, or wishing I had more money. These two questions strip away all the baggage. It’s just this choice right now.
Take charge of your spending, your decisions and your life. Live intentionally.