I wanted to share a little secret that is helping me on my route to financial freedom… and still enjoying the little splurge that everyone needs. After all, as would say Paul from “Afford anything”, this is about affording anything, but not everything.
You see, the principle quite simple and let me summarize it here:
For EVERYTHING you buy, if you have TIME on your side, the chances of a BARGAIN increases exponentially. This is due to the triangle principle of Quality, price or Time.
In other words, this means that, except on very rare occasions, you will have to make a trade-off between the quality of products you buy, the price you pay for them or the time it will take you to find what you wish for.
The more patient you are, the better it is for your finances and it applies to everything. Let’s take an example that would talk to everyone: You’re on the market for a new mobile phone.
Quality: It is essentially the “what” you buy. I don’t know anyone who likes to buy something that will break down straight away. I could count on one hand the number of my friends who have not got an IPhone, Samsung or a known brand. Usually, when you chose to buy something, you’re usually looking for a long lasting experience, a warranty that goes with it, and also customer service if something breaks down. Choosing a well-known brand will guarantee that for you… with a price tag associated to it. Just have a look at the price of the latest I-Phone.
Price: This corresponds what you’re ready to pay for of your hard earned dollars to acquire the desired phone, car, watch, etc… And as much as everyone likes a bargain, you either can pay full price for it, finance it (yerk!) or wait for a second hand item. But you would agree that finding the bargain might take you a lot of…
Time! And this is the most important point. There is a lapse of time in minutes, hours, days, weeks, months or even years before you buy this specific item you have been dreaming off. Back in early 2000’s and when I was living in Paris, everyone was “investing” into GPS technology, for around $200 to $300. It took me time, but I finally got this piece of technology for free thanks to Google and smart phone. Sure, it took some time (years!) but I have survived… and saved a few hundred dollars in the process!
Now, how to use this triangle?
1/ You need it now and you don’t have a great budget? Your trade-off will be the quality
That’s probably the most typical problem. You need this new phone, you need it now because yours was thrown into the toilets by your 2 years old and unfortunately your Vodafone contract end only in 12 months. But you have only $100 budget…
You might end up buying on ebay one of the really bad ones. I can hear the sceptics of the issues that appeared with Samsung S7 batteries: At least, you had warranty coverage and a proper backup to Samsung cloud to get all your data back!
2/ You need it now and you like to buy quality products => Your trade off will be the price you pay for it
If we take the same example as above, you acknowledge that you have to pay for a brand when you buy your new mobile phone, this will then come to a cost as you most probably will have to pay full retail or a high price for a second hand… Quality usually handles quite well value over time. But if you need to buy NOW, then you’ll have to pay the price tag.
3/ You want to buy good quality but you want to grab a bargain => You will have to trade-off your time
That’s where you will find most of the financially independent people.
Delay: You can delay to buy that stuff and find that you will either pay less, or not pay for it at all.
Sure you want that awesome IPhone. Right now, this will cost you a fortune. Wait a few months and you might pay twice or three times less for the same technology. Have a look how much IPhone 5 trades for these days.
Time to research: You can rock in the Tesla dealership and buy on finance your brand new car or you could take the time to do research, subscribe to forums, put alerts on ebay and carsales.com until that bargain comes. It will come, this is just a matter of time.
Hope you found this useful!