Having grown up never worrying about it, I didn’t think money was going to be so important in my life. I have never got any pocket money when I was a child, but I could always buy what I wanted (provided that my parents think they are okay to buy). Growing older, I was allocated a fixed sum every time when the college semester started. It wasn’t a sum that was so tiny that I have to live frugally, but it wasn’t a sum that was large enough that I could forget about the price tags during shopping.
However, when buying things or traveling to places, I began to realize that every organization/every individual maximizes the profit that they could to suck money from your pocket to the last drop. Why is that so? From a historical perspective, money had always represented the amount of work an individual has done; it is the work done manifested in the form of money that could allow the individual to then spend those work done on things that he/she desired for. An individual could only produce one type of product or service and he could only use that money to buy those goods or services that he could not offer himself.
This is in fact more true than ever. A person in the society is so specialized that he/she does not responsible for producing the good or service, but is only responsible for producing a part of that good or service. Without the society, without the market, that individual would last very shortly undoubtedly.
Why would you pay 10 times for a bag that has a specific logo or a design or buy a phone that costs 3 times more than another one just for the OS or the marketing of that product? If the utility of that product is low to you and the marketing means nothing, I think one is perfectly better off using a common bag or using a phone that performs just as well but costing 1/3 the price.
One may argue that there is an extra value in the product that provides the person with the social status. I don’t disagree, but that social status shouldn’t be the reason to spend your entire month of income on and living on a budget for the rest of the month. I once came across a story of a little girl who worked in a factory producing luxury bags in the factory in a rural city in China. This little girl was holding a luxury bag but her clothes and accessories were very typical of a rural country girl. A lady was curious so she began a conversation with this little girl. It turns out that the bag was taken out of the factory by this little girl and this little girl brought a few for her family. This lady asked her whether the girl know how much value these bags cost; however, the girl has no idea that each individual bag cost a few months of her monthly salary. The bags meant no more than any other typical bags to this little girl and she certainly don’t feel that these bags have any more utility value to her compare to other bags.
What I wish to express here is that don’t be pressured by your peers, or the society to buy things that you don’t find any extra utility values to yourself. If buying this item means starving for the next few weeks, then be prepared to endure those harsh times and be awarded with what is really worth.