How many things do you pay twice for?

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Only recently I was able to come across a very interesting article, discussing that everything you buy actually needs to be paid for twice, otherwise that’ll be wasted money — and that this should be a finance lesson taught to anyone in school.

And I couldn’t agree more, even though this made me reflect very deeply on how many things I buy but don’t pay the second price for.

There’s the first price, usually paid in money. This is the usual price you have to pay if you wish to gain possession of whatever that is that you desire to have, be it a book, a new software or a game.

But the thing is, only after we pay the second price will we see any return on the first one. And this second price consists of all the initiative and effort required to gain its benefits — a price that could prove to be much higher than the first one.

In that sense, I quote this passage from the article:

A new novel, for example, might require twenty dollars for its first price — and ten hours of dedicated reading time for its second. Only once the second price is being paid do you see any return on the first one. Paying only the first price is about the same as throwing money in the garbage.

I had never in my life seen things this way. This has made me feel bad and terrible ever since, because — taking only books as an example — I have bought many, many, many of them during my life yet I haven’t had time to read half… no, a quarter of them, and this is all my fault. I know I have linked this post many times here, but, yes, tsundoku. That is an addiction, and maybe I’ll have to live and deal with it, because I love books, even those I haven’t read yet, although bought.

But wait, there’s more. After reading this one article I stopped to think how many streaming services I pay for monthly, even yearly, only to go weeks in a row without watching a single movie or series episode. How many online courses have I bought at Udemy, Coursera or the likes of them, without ever finishing them — without ever starting some. How many games did I buy in Steam and never played (the number would have you scared) only because I thought it would be a good idea to take advantage of their semiannual sale, never finding the will to start a single match.

This is me examining my own conscience aloud. This is a public confession, where I state that I should do different from now on: enjoy what is there to be enjoyed, yes, but cancel services, subscriptions and recurrent expenses whenever although paying for them I’m unable to reap the full benefits because the time to pay for the second price never comes, never presents itself.

I hope I can remember this self analysis later in my life and then be able to say that I’m paying twice for more of the things I wish to possess.

Have you ever considered this? Have you been paying for your acquisitions twice?

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