Why a bargain is not a bargain if you don’t actually need it

Do you find it difficult to resist a bargain? Here’s a little story to bear in mind next time you feel tempted to buy a discounted item you don’t need.


The difference between necessity and a bargain

There once was a man who lived in a remote location and was travelling home on horseback. He’d been on a long journey and both he and his horse were tired and thirsty.

Just when he was beginning to worry, he came across an old man sitting by the roadside selling large vats of water. The old man’s asking price was four times more than the usual price. But the rider knew he and his horse wouldn’t make it home without water to drink so he agreed to pay. It was the only thing he could do.

A few weeks later, the man set out on another journey on the same horse and came upon the same old man. This time the old man offered to sell him water at half the usual price. It was a real bargain. But this time the man and his horse weren’t thirsty. They didn’t need any water so they rode on by.

A bargain is only a bargain if you actually need it

What this story illustrates so well is that water at four times the usual price can be worth it in some circumstances. But water at half the price is not worth it if you don’t need it.

How this translates into modern life is that you need to be willing to pay whatever you have to for something that makes a real difference to your life, such as expert help for an urgent health issue. But learn to walk away from enticing discounts for things you really don’t need and will probably never use, including freebies.

When you’re shopping in a store or online, if you come across a bargain you had no intention of buying before you saw it, you’re probably about to buy clutter. Don’t be lured into thinking you’re saving money. If it costs you $10 to buy an item that usually costs $20, the truth is you’re wasting $10, not saving $10, if you never actually use it.

And if you accept a gift that costs nothing at all but you don’t actually need or use it, it will cost you in other ways. It will take up space in your home, which can stagnate the energy, and it will eventually cost you time (and possibly money) when you come to your senses and decide to let it go.

Copyright © Clear Space Living Ltd, 2019

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About Karen Kingston

Karen Kingston is a leading expert in clutter clearing, space clearing, feng shui, and healthy homes. Her two international bestselling books have combined sales of over three million copies in 26 languages and have established themselves as "must-read" classics in their fields. Her best-known title, Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui, is now in its fifth edition. She is best known for her perspective-changing insights and practical solutions that enable more conscious navigation of 21st-century living.
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