25 Jan

How many cups of coffee do you drink?


 

Commercials. Charities. Heck, charity infomercials. Newspapers. Car companies. They all do it. Persuading you to fork over your money by breaking things down to the lowest common denominator. You've seen/heard it, I'm sure:

For the price of a cup of coffee, you can get the piece of mind knowing your home is protected 24/7 by the good friends at You-Really-Think-We-Sit-In-Front-Of-Our-Computer-And-Watch-YOUR-House Corporation.

Or how about your favorite credit card company saying you can get identity theft protection for a price of a cup of coffee a day?

Those who help people manage money must be cringing right about now.

Listen, this is not a campaign against home security or identity theft protection. It's a simple blog highlighting another commercialism game that's being played: Do whatever is possible to make your product seem basically free.

Ever notice that most car commercials state the price in "per month" instead of the actual price? (e.g. $299/month) Sure, because in the fine print, the loan is over a greater period, many now being 6 or 7 years. But to the average person watching the commercial, they think "Wow, yeah I can afford $299/mo!" ignoring the fact that they'll be paying that a lot longer than they did before. And then that same person will go around moaning and cussing becuase their $1 double cheeseburger went to $1.20.

Ever watch the commercial about sponsoring a child? For the price of a newspaper a day...

Even some politically-correct (i.e. not being honest) person at work who was perfectly satisfied paying the Obamacare Reinsurance Tax, because she said (and I'm not making it up) that it only meant she had to give up her coffee habit to pay for it and she was happy with that.

I can't help but wonder: If I rationalize every decision and every expense based on giving up coffee, how many freaking cups of coffee must I possibly drink a day?

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Do I want identity theft protection? It's juuuust the price of a cup of coffee! Sure... there goes one cup of coffee.

Newspaper? Why not. Oops, there goes another cup of coffee?

Donate to ASPCA to help animal cruelty? It's just the price of a newspaper, just $0.60/day. Oh wait, but I just ordered a subscription above! Ohhh mannnn... well, bye bye newspaper.

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I mean, where does it end? It's fine to rationalize that way... once. After that, are you really making two trips to Caribou? Maybe so, ok, fine. Three? Ok, now the term "addict" is entering my hea.. FOUR?! Come on, now you're just toying with me, I mean can you possibly function throu... FIVE?! Are you kidding me? Are you twitching when you wake up? I'd hate to see...... TEN?! Whatever.

But I get it... it's easier for a person to digest a smaller number. Moreover, it's easier to put into perspective knowing that you can do something simple like giving up your coffee for an entire year, to help/protect someone/something else.

If someone was trying to sell you home security for a cup of coffee a day or $39.99/mo, which sounds better?

But the question remains... how many cups of coffee do YOU drink a day, and how many do you have left?

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