3 Highly Overvalued Things We Spend Our Money On

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By Mike Sygula / Truth Theory

Let me start by saying that these are my personal views. I know there will be people who will support my views and those that won’t. This is all fine. The idea here is also to see what people think about it and what others consider “overvalued”. 

The way capitalism and marketing work is very peculiar. The value of items and services varies so much. One person might spend thousands of dollars on an expensive meal or a designer bag and while the same amount of money could save the life of a person who can’t afford a medical procedure or is dying of hunger in Africa. 

Below I listed 3 things that I consider to be overpriced. 

Designer Clothes

I think that some of the luxury brands and some of their products are highly overrated. The value is not worth the money. I actually used to know someone whose family-owned factories in China working for these brands. I would learn from them that the same people who make the clothing for the most expensive and known brands in the world, make clothing for brands that are considered much less luxurious and their products sell at 1/10th of the price. Often similar or the same materials were used, only the logos or designs would change. What it means is that the actual reason why something costs 10x more is the marketing. I’m generalizing here of course. Some of the top luxury brands might have designed new trends in fashion, use much better fabrics, etc. However, the overall point I’m trying to make is that often $500 shirts will be made in the same factory, using the same or similar materials by the same person making a $50 shirt. This is not the rule or anything, but this is what I learned from someone who owns these factories. The reason why luxury brands can charge high prices is the marketing. They just make people believe there is some value here. Celebrities promote it, etc. 

University Degrees

I know some people will find it controversial. Once again, personal view. In places like the US, the cost of tuition fees can reach even hundreds of thousands of dollars. In the UK for example, the costs of one year of undergraduate studies changed from up £3000 to £9000, it was the government’s decision that brought a lot of backlash. The value did not change, the degrees did not get “3x better”, the change in fees was just a decision of the government. The problem is that the degree does not guarantee anything, many people go to universities, end up with massive debt that they can’t repay for the next few decades, and end up working in jobs that they could get without these degrees. 

In such a quickly changing landscape, often the stuff you studied in your first year is not really relevant anymore when you graduate. I studied at two different universities and I worked with students tutoring them and sometimes I just can’t believe how anyone is willing to pay that money for what they are getting in return. Let’s take business studies for example. Elon Musk said, “Drug dealers know more about running a business than 95% of college professors.”. I couldn’t agree more. What people often learn during their studies is how to write essays or look for some information and put it together in an essay or learn some stories about businesses. This won’t help you much in running a business. You can read 10 good business books and you will learn more. The main things in running a business are to solve problems creatively, attract and manage talent. This is the stuff that you learn when you hustle on a day-to-day basis while running the business, the university degrees won’t help much here. Maybe there are some that can prepare you a little but most won’t.

Let’s take another example – programming. There are tons of materials online on how to program, you just start working on a project and you learn as you go. You don’t need to spend tens of thousands of dollars to get a nice piece of paper. 

Of course, not everything you can learn from books or online for free, etc. If you want to become a medical doctor or a surgeon, you need specific training and you need to go through a university. However, again the costs are inflated in my opinion. Some countries offer free degrees for example. 

Expensive Restaurants

Again, personal opinion. I recently wrote an opinion piece about how someone can charge ridiculous money for “mediocre food”, just because of online hype. $1000 steak wrapped in “golden tin foil”. The prices in such places are just made up and often do not reflect the value. I think the main thing about eating at the restaurant is the quality of the food and taste. The second most important is the vibe of the place. The costs of raw ingredients are sometimes so low in comparison to the final price of the dish, that most of the other costs are unjustified. And you would be surprised how you can sometimes get better-tasting food for a fraction of the price in some independent family-owned restaurants, rather than “luxurious” overpriced ones. Same thing as with designer clothes. The “value” is created by marketing. I think that paying $1000 for a dish is overvalued in my opinion (in most cases). 

There are many other services, products, and things that I would consider overvalued. I’m curious to know what are your thoughts about it and what other things you would consider to be overvalued? Let us know in the comments. 

Follow me on Instagram for more: @mikesygula

Image credit: 123RF

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