Mar 13, 2006

The Decision Teeter-Totter

Whenever I make decisions in life, I am always balancing one aspect against another, or maybe two or three, like a teeter-totter. There are generally four areas that I often try to balance, for instance, in the area of food: time, money, nutrition, and quality. I have to ask myself which of these areas outweigh the others? For example, I believe that raw milk cheese is the cheese that has the highest nutrition, therefore nutrition is the #1 factor for me in that one area. Now, since I now have access to raw, organic, fresh milk, at a very reasonable price, I could save money by making my own cheese. However, that would take a lot of my own time, which I am not willing to give up just to make my own cheese. Therefore time is more important to me than money in this particular case, so I will continue to buy my raw cheese for the time being, which also happens to be probably a better quality cheese than I could make anyway. So, on my decision teeter-totter of cheese, nutrition, time, and quality balance money to provide me with a good quality raw milk cheese!

Another way this concept of balance works is in buying durable goods. I took my children to the store once to buy a cover for an ironing board. They were conveniently marked with one to five stars, five being the best quality. Of course, five stars also was the most expensive, but five stars also lasted ten years, while one star would only last one year. So we added up the cost of buying ten - one stars (one each year for ten years) or one - five star. The one stars cost much more. The five stars had much thicker padding, had a much nicer material, were obviously stronger, and even had a much nicer design. It very often saves money in the long run if you spend more money up front to buy a higher quality item of something that is durable. It doesn't necessarily follow that you have to buy the most expensive item, or even the best quality item. Each purchase will need to be balanced carefully on the decision teeter-totter, and weighed to find which aspects of each decision are the most important, which aspects outweigh the others.


No comments: