November 28, 2012

Price vs. Value

Credit: digitalart
My Georgia Bulldogs recently clinched a berth to the Southeastern Conference (SEC) Championship Game to be held in Atlanta on December 1, 2012. I, like many of my Bulldog brethren, am very proud and excited that they have the honor and opportunity to play in such a game. Since I’ve been a true Georgia fan, I’ve only seen the Bulldogs actually win one SEC Championship. The game on December 1 is not a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, but it’s a very valuable and rare opportunity to say the least. That is what got me thinking about the value of the $90 ticket to the game.

Don’t get me wrong - $90 is a lot of money for a football game, but when it means I’ll have the chance to see my favorite team win a championship in person, $90 doesn’t seem that expensive anymore. Why is that? It’s because price does not equal value, and that’s what I’d like to talk about today.

Price can be defined as the sum or amount of money or its equivalent for which anything is bought, sold, or offered for sale.

Value can be defined, in this case, as the usefulness or importance to the possessor, the utility, the merit.

In the case of $90 SEC tickets to see the Georgia Bulldogs, the value of owning tickets and the thrill of being able to go to the championship game greatly exceed the money I will spend and the sacrifices I will have to make going forward to cover my unplanned and unbudgeted expenditure.

If the $90 tickets were to see another team that I don’t passionately root for (and wear lucky garments for) in the SEC Championship, there would be no way I’d pay that price to go to the game! The value of being at a championship game that my team isn’t in is easily dwarfed by the money I would have to fork over.

Price and value decisions are part of our everyday lives, and everyone needs to understand the differences. The price of a manicure and pedicure may be worth it to you, but for me, the value of such services is minimal. The price of a really nice bottle of wine may be worth it to you, but for me, the value that I would get out of a glass or two just isn’t there. You might be perfectly content with a serving of apple cobbler at a lower price, but the value of that ice cream a la mode deliciousness is worth the extra cost to me! No one is right or wrong as long as they can afford their price and value decisions, but when it comes to living within a budget and cutting back expenses, you need to take a close look at all of your expenditures and make sure the value of each of your purchases justifies its price.

As MasterCard might say, “SEC Championship tickets: $90 a piece, parking pass: $30, seeing my Bulldogs win a championship: priceless.” Well not priceless, but in my book, worth a few sacrifices over the next couple of weeks to make happen.

Go Dawgs!



  1. I really like this. I especially like the comment about pedicures, because I do my own; the price isn't so much if you think about it, but I can spend the same amount of time doing it myself and it's not a whole lot of work. Thus, the value isn't worth the price. Or, bringing lunch to work/eating at home. If it's a food I am REALLY craving that I can only get at a restaurant, the value of what I am getting is worth the expenditure. But, if I'm going to a sandwich shop because I'm lazy, but I could make a great sandwich at home, what's the point? Save the extra spending for an experience, not for conveniences that can be substituted.

    Case in point: I bought a former boyfriend a new ergonomic seat for his bike. I didn't really see the point in spending so much when they had similar ones for half the price, but it's what he wanted, so I did it. 6 months later, he's been on the bike once. The price definitely wasn't worth the value of the experience, since he hasn't used it. What is the point of spending money on "extra" things if you aren't even going to get the experiences out of them? Our culture is full of people who buy more stuff just to have more stuff. I fully support your decision to attend the SEC game because it is truly an experience that cannot be substituted that you are really excited about. Go Dawgs!

    1. Thanks for your comment! Great advice on a way to easily save money by bringing in food or leftovers from home. Food from home will be faster (and hopefully allow you to spend less time at work), can be cheaper, and can even be healthier.