Late of last year, I decided to purchase the most expensive belt I have ever bought. I’ve been looking at this belt for a very long time, but always hesitated because of the price tag – USD40 or RM175. To put things in perspective, you could easily get a ‘normal’ belt for less than RM50/USD11. Being a natural saver, I was like, “No way I’m paying triple the price for a belt”

But I did. Here’s why.

Value is What You Get. Price is What You Pay.

It wasn’t that the belt was super fancy or made of some exotic animal skin (no to animal cruelty!). It’s also not a specialty belt that holds 2 torchlight and a gun. If anything, the belt looks much ‘lesser’ than a ‘normal belt (see picture below).

The factor that sealed the deal for me was it’s Unlimited Lifetime Guarandamntee – the company would repair/replace the belt for free if the buckle or strap ever spoils for whatever reason. In other words, I don’t need to buy another belt for the rest of my life. Ever! Considering an average lifespan of 75 years and that men’s belt needs to be replaced usually within 1.5 years, here’s how I envisioned it:

I’ll save over RM1,500/USD345 (before inflation) in my lifetime and never have to worry about a belt with peeling leather ever again! Not only that, I actually feel really good every single time I wear this belt – maybe it’s because I think I got a superb deal or maybe the minimalist design is starting to grow on me. It’s also more environmentally friendly – that’s 30 less belts in the landfill.

That’s value! Not just in terms of money saved, but also time to shop for belts every 15 years, plus the peace of mind and ‘good feels’ every time I put it on. In contrast, I could have saved upfront money by purchasing a ‘cheaper’ belt, but I’ll have to get it replaced every 1.5 years, but not feel quite as good about the belt I’m wearing. In the end, I got a combo pack of 2 straps + 4 buckles for USD83/RM360 during their Christmas promo. For those of you wondering, yes, that’s a Grip6 belt.

OK, maybe you’re sitting there going ‘Loo Han is seriously overthinking about belts’ – what’s the point of all this? Granted, it’s a small example and RM1,500/USD345 probably won’t matter much over your lifetime. It’s the principle that matters.

What Do You Value?

Just like how I’d save a few bucks for belts, I would also pay a premium for flowers, great food, convenience and a unique experience. It depends on what you need at that point in time. Here are 3 (valuable) ideas for your to reflect on:

1. What free things could you have paid money for?

There are many free courses, videos, coaching, e-books, performances and products being given out these days, especially during this global pandemic lockdown. Sometimes, it’s done out of kindness and wanting to help and sometimes its done as part of a marketing funnel (i.e. there is a paid program being offered after the free one). Whichever it is, majority of these free things have provided some value to you.

The problem is, we tend to devalue something that is given away for free compared to something we paid money for. But make no mistakes, a lot of thought, research & effort was put into creating these free things which we can benefit so much from. So, value the value you get, not the price you paid.

2. What things can’t you buy, even if you had the money?

There are free things and then there are priceless things. Time with loved ones. Opportunity to pursue what you love. Freedom of religion. Sunshine. A loving partner. Being at peace with yourself. Opportunity to rectify and learn from your mistakes. A chance to discover the truth. Real friends. Being in awe with nature. Making amends with your parents. Learning from a great teacher. Good music. Seeking forgiveness from people you have hurt. Bravely upholding your principles.

These are things that bring you a deeper sense of meaning and fulfillment in life. A sense of peace. A sense of doing the right things. And these cannot be bought with money. It’s the reward of living true to yourself and right principles.

3. What are you overpaying for?

Maybe it’s something that you paid a lot of money for and you thought was going to make you the happiest person on Earth – but it didn’t. But for some reason, you’ve hung on to it and not willing to let it go. You may not know it, but you could be paying a hefty price of guilt and shame every time you look at it and think about it. You made mistake once – stop paying dividends over that one mistake.

The value of holding on to your past is far outweighed by the value of peace in moving on.

Hey there! Thanks for reading 😃 Some of the best ideas come from the discussions below. If you have a few moments, join me in the comments section!

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