My latest silly scenario:
I needed a new wallet. Last few I bought cost about $20 and fell apart in a month or two, not thrilled with that. I'm constantly pulling my wallet out rushing to make trains and so forth, not liking the idea of my stuff slipping out and getting lost, etc.
I have a store credit card for a swanky mens store. They are overpriced (some items - like their wallets - are far worse than others). They give reward cards for their store when you use the card and because we just went on a vaca and i used the card to buy holiday gifts I got a few decent ones, total about $120.
They had some decent dressy wallets for $150* but also- the mother of all wallets, made of cordovan leather which should last a decade or more, for a whopping $388. I'd always wanted one of these, and I know which company makes the leather - it's the best (Horween).
I normally wouldn't spend anything like this on a wallet (the most I've ever spent was about $40) but I figured I had the gift cards and a $25 off sale card so why not?
I applied the sale and the gift cards and the total was $265.
Before i bought it I checked a local shoe store which sells some cordovan accessories to see if they carried one just like it (I could have sworn I saw it there years ago). Their web site and others that sell that brand indicated they had other cordovan accessories, but not the wallet, hence my decision to go ahead and splurge at the swanky store.
Of course, after buying the pricey one my curiosity got the better of me and I visited the shoe store - sure enough they have it, and it's $250! Same exact thing, minus the swanky store's logo. With tax I'd pay about $270.
I don't mind spending the $265/270 on the wallet but I feel like I saved $5 at the swanky store - and threw away $120 of free stuff.
I double checked with the swanky store - I could return the wallet and use the $120 for exchange store credit (I'd lose the $25 sale but I just got another $20 gift card, which is what got me thinking and visiting the shoe store - so I'd have $140 and a refund of the $265 to my credit card). That means I could get some free shirts and socks and stuff I could use but don't really need right now, and go get the nice wallet for $270 at the shoe store.
*While an obvious solution would be to just use the $140 in gift cards towards the swanky place's so-so wallets I'd rather just buy clothes from them and get another $30 wallet someplace else, because that's all they're worth, minus the swanky logo. I don't wanna pay $150 for a wallet that will last two years or so. The cordovan model may be overpriced but the leather is good enough where it could last many years - you could have a cobbler re-stitch it a few times.
Or, I could just say F-it and rationalize by saying yes, the swanky place is way overpriced, but I got what I really wanted/needed - a nice wallet - and saved $5 to boot. I confess, I have a problem letting go of free stuff.
Thank goodness for foo....Thoughts?