I’m going to share an example that happened to a person I know, because I believe it will be very didactic about what I want to talk about today.
When my colleague’s wife got pregnant, they decided to buy a baby carriage. The cart was huge, practically a spaceship. They showed me super proud, and I was wondering how that GG sized baby carriage got into the trunk of their car. There was the problem: it didn’t enter. They exchanged it for a car with a bigger trunk. I imagine that the property tax has also become more expensive. If they used to stop on the street when they went for a walk, they started to pay for parking, after all, they couldn’t take the risk of something happening to the new car. I don’t know if they were able to associate that all these later expenses were due to a purchase not very thought out. How much did the baby carriage cost? By my reckoning, it was very expensive, if you think about the associated cost.
The associated cost of a purchase is often overlooked. And this cost, in my view, can come in two ways: TIME and MONEY.
For rental property payers (like me), I’ll bet they’ve even thought about leaving a property when the rent goes up. In some situations, the tenant, not wanting to pay the rent increase, decides to move after the end of the 18 or 30 month clause of the rental contract. But he doesn’t realize that it’s much cheaper for him to pay the new readjustment and remain quiet in his corner, than to decide to make a residential move, even for a slightly cheaper rent. Renting a moving truck doesn’t come cheap, and the work doesn’t end there. You need to paint the property you were living in; you’ll probably need to paint the property you’re going to live in, make adjustments to the clothesline, buy curtains of the right size, replace old sockets. Some furniture will need to be changed to adapt to the new size of the property, change light bulbs, pay double bill in the first month of moving…. A simple residential move (hire a moving truck) becomes a gigantic thing.
The same case applies to the owner of a property. If you have a good tenant, it pays much more to keep that good tenant for many years by offering a below-market readjustment than to vacate the property and face a vacancy for I don’t know how many months.
Moving to a larger apartment also has associated costs. We need to buy more furniture to fill the new house, pay more property tax, more condominiums, more electricity bills, more everything.
This also happens when we innocently decide to place our children in a school that is more expensive than our budget allows, thinking that the expense will only be in the monthly fee. But the expenses only increase, the uniform, the lunch, the allowance, the trips that the school children take, excursions, and when you see, the expenses exceed the allowed budget. Gifts from friends that before were just souvenirs now weigh heavily at the end of the month, after all, you can no longer give a R$50 gift to your daughter’s friend. This is a small example that the cost of school is not just tuition.
I have a friend who puts her daughter in a private school, and she said that the school requires the child to have an iPad. Yes, it has to be Apple, it can’t be another brand, the justification is because of the apps. Parents who do not want to buy must pay a rent of $1,000 per year.
I think the associated cost of a car is already more common, after all, it is not enough to pay only the car instalments, you have to pay everything that comes with a car: property tax, DPVAT insurance, optional insurance, gasoline, car maintenance, etc….
When my mother told me that she bought straight-line furniture so as not to gather dust, I thought she was a little crazy… until I started to have my own house and started dusting… and then what she said started to make perfect sense, especially when we don’t have someone to dust off for you. When I buy furniture, I prefer straight-line furniture, with a handle in a 45 – degree armhole, because I know that every wave, every handle, every detail, is one more place to gather dirt. If a person likes Provençal style furniture, retro, with details, they need to know that there is an associated cost afterwards: dusting.
If I’m going to buy an outfit, I assess whether it’s worth the work I’ll have to iron.
When I bought a coffee table for the living room, I decided to buy a washable material, a resistant acrylic (glass I didn’t want, for fear of breaking). I imagined the children eating at the table, playing with paint, pen, glue… and for that reason I discarded the wood option and opted for an acrylic table. The table remains firm and strong, and on days of a lot of dirt, I can even wash it under the shower if I want.
So, when buying something, always remember the associated cost. And this isn’t just about money, we’re mainly talking about time.