Apr 072011

I posted yesterday about how I always buy whole fish at Asian places rather than fish filets in American markets because it just cost so much more for the latter.  It got me thinking about what I consider too expensive and what I consider worth the convenience.  What draws the line, both for me and for others?  I mean, almost every service that I pay for I can do myself.  But, why do I choose to pay for those services, but consider others to be way to expensive?  What do people consider to be convenient, and what do people consider to be too expensive?

Examples of things that I pay for that I can very well do myself include paying someone to clean my pool, hiring a gardener, paying to get my car washed.  Examples of things that I think are too expensive and so refuse to pay for (unless there is a huge sale and the price comes down to earth) include the aforementioned filet of fish, getting my oil changed, music.  When looking at this, what do I notice?  It looks like I am lazy about doing stuff and willing to pay for things when it involves physical labor.  I can very easily tend the lawn and clean the pool.  The two gardeners at my place usually take 30-40 minutes (although it’d probably take me at least twice that) and the pool guy takes maybe 15 min (and this would probably also take me at least twice as long).  And both are not cheap.  But, I just don’t enjoy doing either, even though they are not difficult.  Just takes time and some effort.  Over the years, I’ve learned that me and physical labor just don’t mix.  I go outside to do work, my dad can do it all day taking little or no breaks while I am completely the opposite and get tired fast.  But, paying 3 times the price for fish that is already de-boned, skinned, and in filet form?  Just seems like way too much for something that I can do while eating.

The one thing that goes against this though is changing my own oil vs washing my car.  I’ve debated this many times with my friend, but paying 30 bucks for an oil change just seems so extravagant to me, for something that I can do myself in 20 minutes, and despite what anyone tells me, it is not hard to do, at least not on my car.  Yet, washing my own car just seems like a lot of work and I gladly pay 10 bucks to get it done.  It definitely takes me longer to wash a car than 20 minutes, and its more physical exertion than changing my own oil, which is practically none.  So despite what my friend says, its harder to wash your own car than to change the oil.  I will not, however, change my own oil the rest of this year as I did buy a Living Social coupon which gives me 5 oil changes for $15 bucks.  That’s a price that makes it worth it and one even I would pay.

So, I guess when it comes to me things that I pay for which allow me to do less physical labor is convenient.  Things that cost more but that I can “very easily” do myself without exerting myself physically is expensive!  Does that make me cheap or lazy or both?

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