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Just because it’s expensive, doesn’t mean it’s good.

by J. Money on Friday, May 14, 2010

While we were out last night celebrating the keeping of our jobs (yay!), we started reminiscing about the glory days of yesteryear.  It seems pretty ridiculous looking back at all the ways our company used to blow through some of our money (I had no say in the matter, mind you), but I must say it made for a rather interesting experience.

If there was one thing our company was good at, it was partying ;)  And partying in a way where we felt invincible – no matter the cost. But just because something costs a lot of money, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s actually worth it.

  • Example #1) Kobe Beef. At one point, we started taking trips out to Vegas and the fixation at dinner time came to this extravagant plate which ran about $250 a PERSON. Now at first I wasn’t going to try it because there was obviously no way I could justify *anyone* spending that amount of money for a slab of meat, but after a few nudges I decided to just go for it and see what the fuss was about.  And boy was it a let down. It was literally like pouring warm melted butter & gobs of fat down my throat, I couldn’t even finish it. Call me crazy, but I prefer to chew my meat thank you very much – not slurp it. FAIL.
  • And then you have example #2) Cristal – Hip-hop’s drink of choice. These range anywhere from $300-$500 in clubs (a bottle), and anyone who’s anyone downs them as if it were the greatest champagne on earth.  It’s very possible it could be an acquired taste, but I gotta admit it tasted like ass….the only redeeming quality it had was the fact that it made you feel like a certified baller ;)  And a baller who can apparently waste $400 bucks at the drop of a hat. FAIL Again.

These may be extreme examples here (or bad cases of taste, I’m not sure), but the point is that not everything that costs an arm and a leg is necessarily *worth it*. I think a lot of times we can get caught up in the hype of it all, where we end up justifying a 10-20x mark up just because our friends or people on TV are doing it. That’s not to say you can’t enjoy a little splurging every now and then and live it up a bit, just that it’s probably best to be more aware of why exactly you’re spending so much. For me, these $600 meals were all about the experiences. But you better believe the next time around we’re going straight for the PBR and Five guys!


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{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Impulse Magazine May 14, 2010 at 8:58 am

That is definitely the way that a lot of people think know a days. They think that if they pay more for something then it will be better than something that was of lesser value. This is always not the case

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2 Kim at MMI May 14, 2010 at 9:51 am

Got to love a guy who admits he isn’t all that impressed by the “latest and greatest.” Being honest about what’s important and what isn’t is something we should all try hard to do. After all, you’re the same man whether your drinking PBR or Cristal! And congratulations on keeping the jobs!

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3 Megan May 14, 2010 at 10:02 am

Hooray for keeping your job! Excellent news.

I think it’s all too easy to get tied up in the expensive = good thing. I have family members who absolutely love expensive restaurants. They love multi-course meals and fancy wine pairings. And while I have no problem with that (I figure if you can afford it and you like it, go for it), it’s definitely not my thing at all. I’m much happier with a great meal and a good beer at a pub.

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4 Brandi May 14, 2010 at 10:09 am

I am very relieved to see you are keeping your job!! But I do hope you eventually find a way to make money working for yourself online. I think you’ll be splendid at it!!

I hope your celebration was a great one :)

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5 Sense May 14, 2010 at 10:23 am

Yay!!! Congrats! You should be proud that you handled it so well, did all of your research and were fully prepared no matter the outcome. Did you get a chance to make your pitch to the Bobs? .

Very, very happy and relieved for you! (Though I think I speak for many of your fans when I say that we are teeny tiny bit disappointed that we won’t see more of you online. I celebrate your entire collection.)

p.s. Thanks for the Kobe beef and Cristal reviews. Not that I ever have a chance to consume those, but now I feel like I know what I’m missing…and I’m happy about it!

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6 Sarah May 14, 2010 at 11:49 am

I agree. sorry to hear that you did the whole splurge and wonder what it’s all about hoo ha. Call me a GRANDMA but i’m so much more content snacking on some left over risotto and an $12 bottle of penfolds shiraz than the mega extravaganza. and I don’t regret doing the full works at a grande restaurante to measure the experience and compare the square etc. but my Dad, Mum, Grandparents, great and ancestors had excellent lives without lining the retirement funds of expensive chefs, and I do believe my life will actually be richer if I never dine out again!
ps. I got food poisoning from an unknown dining-out source and that would never happen from eating at home.

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7 jessica w May 14, 2010 at 11:50 am

OK, I haven’t had kobe beef or Cristal, but one thing that lives up to the hype is Copper River Salmon (I’m in Seattle). It is good. I mean, makes you cry, damn good. I HAVE purchased a salmon for $200. And I think I will again (one day when I’m richer than I am now. ;-) )

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8 VFTL May 14, 2010 at 12:04 pm

I’m so glad I’m not the only one that feels this way about Kobe and Cristal. It’s like the Emperor’s New Clothes, but with food!

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9 Tim May 14, 2010 at 12:06 pm

Congrats on keeping your job!

And yeah this story sounds a lot like the Wall Street parties of yore. When I started out in 2004, our parties were legendary, and Yankees playoff games and trips to Vegas on someone else’s tab were frequent indulgences.

By the time I left a couple years ago, our holiday parties were tamer than a knitting circle.

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10 Favor May 14, 2010 at 12:26 pm

Praise God that you get to keep your job :)

And 250….a person….I think I’m crying inside.

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11 Laura May 14, 2010 at 1:07 pm

J- I am so glad to hear your job situation is working out!

My company used to spend on ridiculous stuff as well and I always thought “Huh.. this is going to jump up and bite you in the ….” Lo and behold, I now have to get managers approval to buy toilet paper. :)

If only our companies were as good with their money as we try to be. Sigh.

Congrats and enjoy your upcoming trip!

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12 Donna May 14, 2010 at 3:14 pm

J-so glad to hear the blessing of job keeping! Yeah!!!! As for the other, are you kidding me? I have never had that kind of money to spend like that and, considering where I have come from, I don’t think I could do it. I believe in personal choice. As for me, I choose to live simply, give all I can and spend my time with family. In the end, isn’t that what it is really about? Give me a use gas grill, yard sale finds and the pleasure of a warm spring day on the porch swing with my mate . . . . . . that’s heaven to me. :-)

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13 Online Discount Grocery May 14, 2010 at 4:14 pm

I think this applies especially to food, which only get to enjoy once. It’s amazing how much money gets spent on food and beverages.

Buying quality products that will last for many years can pay huge dividends in the long run.

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14 FB @ FabulouslyBroke.com May 14, 2010 at 5:36 pm

Hey J have you ever heard of that super expensive coffee called Kopi Luwak (Kopi = Coffee) where they make civets eat coffee beans and then they collect the..er..fecal remains and sell THAT to consumers to drink? :P

For big bucks too apparently. It’s super expensive civet crap. Literally.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kopi_Luwak

What I wouldn’t mind trying is the $100 truffle burger. But I heard there’s a $5000 burger out there as well, except I couldn’t afford to drop more than $100 on a burger, so that’ll remain a mystery.

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15 Fred May 14, 2010 at 10:58 pm

I just don’t understand why people pay to go eat a steak. It is not terribly hard to cook with a bit of practice and you can buy it easily and costs a heck of a lot less. You can buy kobe for around 30-40$ a lb on sale. I did try it once, but did not think it was worth the cost. I would rather pay the 4-5$ for Ribeye or the occasional 9$ for Tenderloin and have it wrapped and cut for free of course I am in Texas.

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16 J. Money May 14, 2010 at 11:22 pm

Thanks everyone! I’ll admit a little piece of me wanted the meeting of the Bobs to go sour too ;) BUT all that means is now I get to leave on my OWN terms. And I’m starting to put together a 4-6 month plan to make this happen so I’m 100% ready to roll… all this thinking and wondering makes me just want to DO. I’ll grow the balls soon enough, don’t you worry. And it’ll be a lot easier knowing I’ve got you all backing me up too! haha….you guys are awesome.

Be sure to enjoy yourselves this weekend, okay? I’m off to Jersey for a wedding and some relaxing….all this job talk has worn a brother out.

@Sense – Yup, I pitched myself to the Bobs (well, actually there was only one) and it worked out really good. I don’t think I’ll be able to do the financial stuff I wanted to get my hands on, but I’m def. going to be busy with other fun projects!
@Laura – That’s pretty $hitty! haha….sorry, couldn’t resist ;)
@FB @ FabulouslyBroke.com – No, never heard of that but you’ve got me sold! haha….and i’m afraid I would also try that $100 burger too ;) Not the $5,000 one, but perhaps when I actually win the lottery for once….although i’ve played enough to have gotten to $5,000 I’m sure!

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17 Forest May 15, 2010 at 6:32 am

That is some serious overspending! I hate spending on that kind of stuff so never have but have been treated to a few big spends and I always feel guilty!

Good on you for putting your thoughts out there…. What expensive item is worth your money?

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18 J. Money May 15, 2010 at 3:46 pm

Nice cars and traveling the world ;)

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19 Anthony May 15, 2010 at 5:41 pm

Funny you mentioned liquor. Expensive vodkas are a waste. All vodkas as supposed to be odorless, colorless, and TASTELESS. So why are there so many vodkas that expensive?! Even if you can tell a difference, if you’re gonna mix it, don’t mix the expensive stuff.

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20 J. Money May 16, 2010 at 10:35 pm

haha…hadn’t ever thought of that ;)

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21 Stephan May 17, 2010 at 5:42 pm

so true, marketing and society makes many of us think a certain good is worth teh markup, perfect example, any apple product. while they are sexy, easy to use, and reliable, the huge difference in price is not indicative of a much better product. but, the apple marketing machine is very good at making people believe that an apple product is a lot better

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