We live in a world that is both very superficial and very judgemental – it’s the reality of human nature and there is not much we can do about it. But it is important to take note of these human foibles and to mitigate accordingly. In other words, when you seek to compare two things together make sure that you are doing it properly. For example it is very easy to look at the price on the packet, and to suggest that the cheapest price is the best price, but is it really? Ask the right questions and don’t be fooled by the obvious. Here are a few pertinent questions to ask when shopping around.
Think about the world
Just because something is cheap doesn’t mean that it is good. Sure, it might be a short-term fix but that is probably not the way you should be thinking. The environment is critical and you need to factor things like sustainability and ecology into the real costs involved. For example if you were to compare electricity companies with each other you might find that the outfit using wind or solar power is more expensive than the old-school coal fired plant. But just because it is cheaper to buy coal based electricity in the short-term is it really the right solution and what are the long-term effects and costs. It’s not always as obvious as a few dollars saved on your monthly bill.
Repayment plans are deceptive
If you are looking at a situation where you are going to pay off a loan or a higher purchase agreement, always ask the question, once all the payments have been made, how much will I have paid in total? The truth is that the smaller the monthly repayment amounts are, the more you are actually paying in total. It might seem convenient to keep the monthly instalments as low as possible, but objectively all you are actually doing is staying in debt for longer and handing over a bigger amount of your capital to somebody else. Rather don’t get into debt at all, wait until you have the cash saved and then make the purchase.
Try and buy products that are produced locally and if possible try to support the small business owners or farmers who cannot afford to export their produce. The truth is that the damage to the atmosphere that happens when produce is flown around the world is significant. It also adds horribly to the cost of the product which means it is only viably produced on a large scale which generally means wholesale environmental destruction. Support local business, it creates a healthy economic ecosystem from which you, as a local, will ultimately benefit.
Read the labels
It is important to know what goes into the products that you buy and how they are created. Palm oil is very popular these days but its production is coming at the expense of mass destruction of indigenous forests and unique habitats for animals like orang-utans. The same applies to a lot of fish that is caught on long-lines, terrible set-ups that result in the deaths of countless albatross birds every year. So while on the surface there is nothing wrong with fish or palm oil, make sure that the products that you are buying are harvested properly in an above-board fashion. If not the price that you are paying is significantly higher than what it says on the label.