It is an all too familiar image: students are poor and so perpetually on the short end of the stick that the beavers in the areas around the Rhine are put to shame. Europshopper olives, single-ply toilet paper and private label dishwasher tablets that require you to meticulously rinse everything before depositing it in the dishwasher. Not to mention the financial micromanagement that has been elevated to an art form using WieBetaaltWat app (who pays what). I prefer not to join. As far as I’m concerned, that one extra euro really adds to the flavour of dinner, and managing all these pennies is simply not worth the stress. I feel people should look at money differently.
Stop thinking: “how much does this cost” and start wondering, “what is this worth to me?”
The value of things may also be expressed in time. In how long you can enjoy it. An expensive bottle of drink will buy you about two hours of enjoyment in a bar, while the same bottle will provide you with pleasure for much longer at home. That one painting you really, really like may be just a little too expensive, but it may also be the first thing you see when you wake up every morning. After a while, you seldomly remember what something cost. The monetary value something had, is automatically replaced by the value it has to you every day.
I, for example, am delighted every day for having paid more for a wireless keyboard rather than the cheaper version with a wire. I use it every day, and what little I paid for the extra convenience is hardly noticeable. The reverse is also true. If you think a shirt looks nice but it doesn’t really fit well, “but it is only ten euros” is not a valid reason to buy it. The chance you will change your opinion about the fit is very small.
All in all, I prefer to buy a few valuable things I really enjoy than a whole bunch of budget items that aren’t quite “it”. As my grandfather would put it: ‘Beautiful things cost money, except your grandmother, she came free with a coupon.’
Oscar Delissen is a third-year bachelor’s student in Food Technology. He enjoys cooking with sharp knives and colourful festival shirts.