“Albert – you know what should happen when people make more money? They spend more. You make six figures and you’re using a cell phone plan from the 90s.”
This was a greeting comment from my friend after I was delayed in responding to a What’s App conversation regarding dinner plans. (Rationale? I don’t have push notifications. It consumes your data plan unnecessarily.)
I took my first ever improv class in the summer of 2016. As someone with a theatre degree working a menial public sector job, it felt right. At work there were so many rules, so many “nos”, and a culture of conformity, not individuality.
Humans love the idea of a deal. It triggers a strange part of our brain that makes us feel like we’ve won something. Like a “HA! I got product X at such a bargain. Those poor suckers who paid full price!”
The thing is, you didn’t really win if the sale was advertised. The retailer wanted you to know about it. If anything, you did them a favour by clearing out old inventory that they might have thrown out anyway, or they simply tricked you in thinking it was a sale when the sale is actually just a price point that’s always there.
Frugality and efficiency go hand in hand. Us frugal folk – we’re weird, you see. We overbuy discounted things in bulk to save money and time in the future. We frequently talk the shortest route walking anywhere because any additional step would be inefficient. We are minimalists with little clutter (or at least we aspire to to be).
But one area where efficiency is simply difficult to achieve is when we shop elsewhere – specifically in other currencies. Left and right, the ability to transact in a currency other than the Canadian dollar is provided at sometimes ridiculous premiums of up to 10%.