Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Deferred Consumption

I've just returned from having new tires put on my truck. Timing between Home Care and getting the tires was tight, turning my morning into a squeeze. My wallet got squeezed too, but thanks to some financial help from Katherine and my daughter Kate, I managed to make it. Although I wonder if new tires on my truck were the best possible investment. It gets even tougher when I consider that I likely won't be driving anymore after some point within the next few months.

I think of a lot of things that way these days. I look at the potential life of the object versus my potential life for using it. Then, as with the truck tires, I look at the risks of not having a particular thing in places, as well as the utility of the object. With my tires, for example, safety is an important factor. We are headed up to Edmonton on Saturday to see my brother Jim in a play; driving on Alberta roads in the winter with worn tires does not seem like a good idea. Safety beats out the desire to spend the money on something else.

My TV is another example of this. One column of pixels has failed on the left side of the screen. It's easy to see when there is a white background, but more difficult to see if there shade and or colours in that area of the screen. It doesn't make a lot of sense to spend $500 to $1,000 on a new TV, just because of one column of pixels. Especially since my usage amount and usage time for that TV is limited.

There are more examples, things like buying a new mattress or looking at a new TV stand or should I buy new towels. There are shorter term decisions like this too. A friend asked me recently if I was still buying green bananas; no, but not because I am afraid of them timing out. I don't buy green bananas because I only buy bananas when I want to eat them, and I don't like having them hang around on the counter or in the fridge.

On the other hand, my wine making is an excellent example of deferred consumption decisions. When I make wine, it often has to be left for six months to a year before drinking it. Given my expectations, should I be making a wine that won't be ready to drink for a year? Probably not. I can barely see past three months, the amount of time it takes to make the wine. Then, I'll have to wait a couple of more months before drinking it. That puts it out there a ways, out past my certainty date.

Not making wine will be a tough decision, but it will have to happen someday. Once that happens, you'll know the clock is ticking loudly.

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