The Price Of A Good Life
The meaning of the word “good life” varies from person to person.
“Find ecstasy in life; the mere sense of living is joy enough.” — Emily Dickinson
Ever pondered on what is meant by having a good life? Or, Have you ever thought about the price of having a good life? Well, Just so you know, everything you want in life has a price attached to it. There’s a price to pay if you want to make things better, a price to pay just for leaving things as they are, a price for everything. So, One of the indisputable facts of life is that everything has a price. Make no mistake about it. When I say everything, I mean everything. There is a cost involved in the words you are reading which were created on my laptop that was sent to me by Apple. But they only sent it to me when I allowed them access to my credit card for the necessary cost of buying the unit.
A handful number of people in this world have never come to understand this business of each thing we receive in our lives having a price (or attendant cost). King Edward VIII of England gave up his throne to marry his commoner wife. Price had to be paid. Draupadi had a condition of demonstration of the highest form of archery (to hit the eye of a fish looking at the reflection) for anybody who wanted to marry her. So marrying Draupadi had a price tag.
So in a materialistic world, we are now conversant with this fact that a price has to be paid for something; the bigger the need, the higher the price. And, of course, luxury goods or any high-ticket items eat more money. Luxury is actually about quality and living your best possible life. It is often more a mindset than something you can drink, something you can touch, or having the shiniest bling; luxurious living is a feeling.
We all strive for luxury in our lives, and especially in today’s age of social media, where we’re so prone to comparing our lives to other people’s lives, it can be quite disheartening when we think we fall short.
Typically, The affluent consumers( The consumers with net wealth between US$100,000 and US$1 million) move their spending with the financial markets. These types of consumers make up an important consumer group than habitual or impulse consumers. I’ll brief you on habitual and impulse consumers in a bit. Let’s say, The stock market is up by x% over the past Y months. This means the opulent group has plenty of money these days to spend on luxury goods and services.
According to Unity Marketing’s Luxury Consumption Index, a measure of affluent consumer confidence seems to be the case as expectations for future spending levels. The study also shows a sharp increase in the percentage of affluents spending more on luxury now versus twelve months ago (+5%). An upturn in affluent consumer confidence shows growing confidence in the financial direction of the world.
As the wealthy are willing to spend more, it will cost them more to live it up. This will affect habitual & Impulse consumers. A quick brief on what’s a habitual and impulse consumer: A habitual consumer has low involvement in purchase and is perceiving very few significant differences between brands in a given product category whereas an impulse consumer is involved in an unplanned decision to buy a product or service. Alternatively, impulse buying can occur when a potential consumer spots something related to a product that stirs a particular passion in them. If you say you’re not one of them, I’ll tell you something:
Let’s assume you’re a bigtime lover of Blancpain wristwatches and you constantly follow new models released by them. Assuming you’re a need-based consumer, you don’t generally buy things unless you need them. Now, Blancpain launched its limited-edition Villeret watch and one of your colleagues just bought that. You then started to Google more about this watch. Your Instagram, Facebook, pretty much all social platforms, oh, and this, your email, everything will be filled with discounts and different buying options for that watch. Dawn till dusk you’re constantly being told and targeted with this watch’s ads. Some day, you’ll end up buying that watch. Now you’re no more a need-based consumer. You’re an Impulse consumer.
So, I’m repeating, As the wealthy are willing to spend more, it will cost them more to live it up because of the increase in the price of those items. It might not be a big deal for affluent consumers but it’s a real big deal for consumers with under $100,000 in annual income. No one notices the increase in the price of these products and there’s no common scale to measure as well.
To measure the amount spent on luxury goods, Forbes came up with an index called CLEWI. It stands for Cost of Living Extremely Well Index. This tracks the prices of 40 ultraluxury goods. According to Forbes data, The price of these ultra-luxury goods went up by 2.5% over the past year, while the Consumer Price Index is up 2.0%. This index of the price fluctuations of items that are affordable only to those with very substantial means provides a useful barometer of economic forces at the top end of the market. The CLEWI has outpaced inflation for the third consecutive year and by an average of 2.5% per year. But America’s richest can more than afford their lavish lifestyles. The net worth of Forbes 400 has grown twice as fast as our index. This year the Forbes 400 are worth a record $2.02 trillion, double the sum of a decade ago.
A total of 18 CLEWI items saw price increases from last year. What went up? The price of a one-day stay in a VIP deluxe private room at one of the nation’s best hospitals, the MedStar Washington Hospital Center in Wash. D.C. is up 14%. A Chateaubriand roast at Lobel’s of New York is up 13%. A Russian sable fur coat at Maximilian at Bloomingdales, up 11%, has risen double-digits in price each year since 2009. A pair of Gucci loafers are up in price (10%) for the first time since 2009.
Twelve items were held at the same price as a year ago. Among these items; a clay tennis court, flower arrangements by N.Y.-based Jerome Florists, a face-lift by a well-known N.Y. plastic surgeon and a Patek Philippe watch. Five items went down in price. A classic Bill Blass silk dress is down 5% to $1,900. The average price of a thoroughbred at the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga summer select sale is down (1%) for the second consecutive year.
Alright, Let’s get back to our crux. So, What is a good life?
A good life is when you are really happy with whatever you do and you are willing to take the risk to achieve the goals you planned.
A good life is when you have your family by your side to hold your back whenever you fall apart.
A good life is when you are able to take out time for yourself and enjoy the small pleasures of life.
A good life is when every day teaches you something new, something that cheers up your soul.
A good life is when you readily accept criticism and work towards improving yourself.
A good life is when you feel that it is more important to life than just to merely exist when you able to understand that life can’t be sweet at all times and still accept it.
Basically, there is no such thing as a good life. It’s just what you make of it. It’s your life and you are the one who gets to choose the kind of life you want to call it a good life. Every day, every moment is an opportunity to shape your life the way you want it to be because you only live once!
With all these being said, I want you to understand what is the price of a good life. Think twice how much it would cost to live a good life according to you. If you think deeply, most of the things that you buy today is not a need-based product. So, I’m gonna give you three good one-liners that helped me to move my life smoother than ever(financially & Personally).
- Every time you buy a new item, get rid of one old one.
- Allow 3–4 days for your brain to digest and think before you pour your money on buying a product.
- Give more.
When I tied up myself to this rule, by the end of that year, I had more liquid cash with me, regularly went to the gym to get rid of this buying thought and most importantly, I spent extra more hours with my family. Donated more than ever. When I started this journey, I hoped everything is for good and it worked. Man is moved by hope. It is hope which sustains life and aids the human effort. Follow this rule for one year or at least for 6 months.
By the end of your journey, ask yourself — Are you happy now? Will you be happy if you continue doing this? If Yes, Then that’s the price of a good life.