Monday, January 7, 2008

Big Spending

Today I spent a lot of money. When you buy many items, you have to decide whether the basic model meets your needs or you want extra bells and whistles. In most cases, add-ons aren't really worth it, but sometimes you find that the money you could save doesn't compensate for the frustrations of using something that doesn't quite do everything you wanted.

I got glasses the summer I turned eight. My vision has finally stabilized, but my myopia and astigmatism are pretty severe. When you go to price glasses, clerks ask to see your prescription so they can tell you what the lenses will cost. Often, the response after they look at it is, "Oh. Oh, wow." I can't function without my glasses, and I wear them pretty much every waking minute.

I'm willing to spend more to get glasses I like. Shatter resistant polycarbonate lenses and Transitions lenses that get dark in sunlight are a priority for me. I tried going back to ordinary lenses, and I spent a year wishing I hadn't. The less expensive lenses were a daily annoyance, and I resolved to stick with the pricier but superior option. Is this lifestyle inflation? Sure. Does that bother me? Nope. When I consider the cost per wearing, getting the glasses I want is the only sensible choice.

I've been wearing my current glasses for two and a half years, probably for an average of sixteen hours a day. Since my vision is no longer changing much at all, I'll almost certainly keep the new pair for at least two years. Getting polycarbonate and Transitions instead of basic plastic added $110 to the costs. I'll gladly spend an extra fifteen cents a day.

4 comments:

Mrs. Micah said...

I understand. There are some basics in life which we use so often that it's nice to invest in something which will make our daily lives better.

Jim ~ mydebtblog.com said...

I'm lucky I no longer require glasses with my vision. I was born with nystagmus and one eye is 20/20 while the other is 200/20. The eye doctors are surprised at my range of vision, well over 180 degree field of view with one eye. No problem driving however I do lack depth perception so night time is a little difficult.

My wife wears glasses and we spend the extra on higher quality lenses. She got some nice frames too since she is going to have this pair for awhile. At the same time she wears contacts and those only last about 2 weeks per pair. She can go 2-3 months at a time. Vision is important though and I'm glad I at least have some vision insurance to help cover the costs.

Ms. MiniDucky said...

It took me a while to understand the same choice that BoyDucky made about his glasses, but it's such a frequently used item that it makes sense now.

E.C. said...

Jim-
Vision insurance is very handy. This is the first year we've had it, and our total out of pocket cost for the eye exam and the glasses was $160. My mother insisted on reimbursing me for that.