One of my mom's pithy aphorisms is 'the enemy of the excellent is the good'.
That is, spending resources on 'good stuff' and 'good enough' stuff is likely to prevent you from being able to get the excellent stuff. Certainly more of a block to excellence than spending resources on cheap junk. The junk just doesn't cost that much. The good stuff costs enough that you end up not being able to afford the really great stuff. Getting the good stuff sucks the resources dry faster.
There are many times when 'good enough' really IS good enough. Ikea furniture is good enough when it is appropriate - the Ikea dining room table is appropriate - big enough, solid enough, and I really don't care that much when someone marks it up with Sharpie by accident. Keeps my stress level down, solves the essential job, serves for this part of our lives. The 'excellent' version isn't appropriate until the kids are older. And that's the right choice. Effective, Prudent, True, there - fits all the filters.
But there are times where the Effective and Prudent filters are wide open - and all you've got left to go through is 'True' - true to self, true to need, true to that deeper esthetic sense, all the way down. Figuring out how to track that, and work it out, not ignore it or do the half-assed version or even take 'good enough' when what is wanted is that-which-I-truly-want, the thing that resonates in my soul, that's a bit tricky sometimes.
This is a discussion we're having with Mr G and Mr B right now. Both are fixated on COOL WEAPONS and OTHER COOL STUFF (swords, walking sticks, historically accurate costumes and such). All that is okay. We're kind of a sword-oriented family (the fencing, watching The Princess Bride, etc.), and the rest of it we're geeky enough to recognize as fine things.
But. They keep going 'ooh, that's the one I really want! Dang! It's $140! Hmm, I'll just get this here $14 junky one instead.' (Not that they're ordering anything without a lot of guidance, input, and management from us - just to be clear there, Mr G has a set of woodsman's blades for hacking through brush, and that's it - and most of their cool-weapon choices get nixed on 'deadly weapon' grounds - but they're okay with that, since they have, er, experience accidentally injuring their siblings, and really don't like that feeling.)
We're working them hard on figuring out what it is that they really, truly want, and then developing earning and saving strategies for those, rather than buying something just to have something, using what they already have saved.
Because seriously, they won't be happy with the 'good enough' option, in the end. It will be cool for a bit, but the deeper hum won't be answered. And the chance of the 'good enough' option breaking, or not having a good feel to it, much higher.
This is a beckon-vs.-hum thing, as well. I should bring that in as a construct, too.
For those who don't know that term set, a beckon is something that calls you in the moment, but has no deeper layer - it is the candy bar at the checkout stand. A hum is something that's already vibrating at a deep level in you, that gets you up to go seek it out. It didn't just get noticed as a 'ooh, pretty', you went looking for it. A beckon is the cheap thing that is calling out 'eat me!' or 'buy me!' A hum is worth waiting for, is something you'll come back for later if you walk away now.
And a hum is also something you'll still want, even if you buy a cheaper 'beckon' version first. If you really really want the Godiva chocolates, if deep down that would satisfy your soul, your sense of indulgence, your need to feel pampered, etc., buying the Hershey's Special Dark will put it off for a bit, but it will just come back again later. It is a hum.
Mr G and Mr B have hums for complex tools that are both physically and esthetically pleasing. Mr B wants a walking stick that has a hidden telescope in the handle. It's $140. When he heard that, he immediately said, 'I'll just look for something I can afford.'
Whoa, there boy.
My immediate response to that strategy was: At 7, Mr G saved up $140 from birthdays, Christmas, allowance (plus investing with us), and so can you. Don't go for just the cheap thing you can afford and that is 'good enough' - go for what would really satisfy your soul. Go for what you really, deep-down, want to own. Let's find a solution, not mis-identify the problem and hope the urge goes away.
Okay, so one part of the problem is 'I want to buy something NOW' - but that's not the real problem. The real problem is 'I want something more costly than I think I can afford'.
We've been saying the same thing over and over for a while. Mr G tends to get it eventually - the urgency once put off enough times settles into 'okay, okay, I really can wait long enough to get the thing I truly want.' The challenge is teaching him to hold himself back when the impulse to just get something, anything, if it can be had now hits.
But it's coming. For both of them.
Mr B, last night, looked up from his search for 'something/anything' when I suggested that it was indeed possible to save $140 at his age. He thought a moment, and then ran off from the table... and came back with one of his money collection jars - the one marked 'Saving'. He showed it around, pointed out that he'd even grabbed the Right One, and set it on the table. He then began frantically looking for the dollar he'd put down, somewhere, right over here, is it under Miss M's stack of art? Where? I need it! Must. Start. Saving. NOW. No wasting money on the 'good enough', nuh-uh!
Because, well, the walking stick with the spy-glass hidden in the handle is just really, really, EXCELLENT.