Thursday, August 13, 2009

Cheap: The High Cost of Discount Culture

Our friend Mark Frauenfelder wrote a nice review of the book Cheap: The High Cost of Discount Culture.

Mark writes about how he has been putting Shell's recommendations into practice for the last couple of years:
"When I start thinking I need to buy something I first ask myself if owning it will truly make my family's life better in some way -- Will it save us time, or consume time? Do I have to learn a new user-interface to use it? What am I going to get out of it? What would happen if I put off buying it for a year? What else could I spend the money on that might be a better choice? Is it something I can hand down to my kids or will it break? Can it be serviced and repaired at home? Will it make our household environment more pleasant, or less pleasant? Will it clutter the house? how much storage space will it consume? These are then kinds of questions I now ask myself before buying something. The one thing I don't consider is how "cheap" something is. As a result, I don't buy nearly as much stuff as I used to (it turns out that my decision not to be cheap has made me more frugal and thrifty) and the things I do buy more often end up being well-made and improve the quality of my family's life.

We couldn't agree with this approach more. I think I'll check out the book if I ever finish Infinite Jest.

Link to the complete review on Boing Boing

1 comment:

  1. Eric: Did you finish Infinite Jest? David Foster Wallace is on my radar. Intrigued. Also, if I fly out, will we go sailing? john veldt


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