How Much Is Your Vision Worth?

You Just Might Be Asking the Wrong Question About Your Eyes

The high cost of health care is a common topic these days.  But what about the higher cost of not caring for yourself?

What Should You Really Ask?

Years ago I bought a motorcycle on a whim.  Another doctor at LaFollette Eye Clinic rode one, and I thought it might be fun to have one myself.

But I did not ride on a whim.  As soon as I got it, I enrolled in a motorcycle training academy.  I wanted to learn the rules of the road and more importantly, how to ride safely.

During a classroom session, the instructor reviewed different types of helmets.  After discussing the pros and cons of each type, he finished the lesson.  He never mentioned how much any of them cost.  After class, a man wanted to know how much he should spend on a helmet.

Immediately, the instructor asked, “How much is your head worth?”

A Different Approach

The instructor had a good point.  The man asked the wrong question.  He wasn’t concerned with what the helmet did (protect his head from injury) as much as wondered how much it would cost.

Now, I can be frugal.  I don’t like to spend unnecessarily.  But I’m rarely in search of the cheapest option.  What I prefer is value.  There’s a difference.

Cheap = I spend as little as possible.

Value = I get the best for the most reasonable cost.

Many people make the same mistake as my classmate when they ask about the cost of eye care and eyewear.  Instead of considering what eye care actually is (and what their eyes do for them), they seek cheaper options.

And yes, cheaper options exist.  Free eye exams, free glasses, cheap products and services have flooded the market.  Now ask yourself: Is this really what you want for life’s most precious sense?

Check out the following examples where cheap actually meant worthless:

  • Roofing: I knew a man who bought the cheapest of everything.  When he needed a new roof, he only considered price when he decided who would get the job.  You can guess what happened next: the roofer didn’t install flashing, and his new roof leaked terribly.  It caused thousands of dollars of damage to the interior of his home.
  • Accessories: Rather than save up for a luxury handbag she wanted, a friend decided to buy a knockoff.  She found a man willing to sell her a fake bag for a cheap price, but when she took her money out, he grabbed it and ran.
  • Air travel: Some airlines charge lower fares yet still provide value.  Others, not so much.  Once, I decided to fly a bargain airline that promised lower fares.  They delivered, but only on the fare.  Additional “service fees” quickly added up.  And, I had the worst flying experience of my life.
  • Eyewear: I know a lady who hates her eyewear.  This is something she wears on her face every day!  I noticed she had chosen a basic frame and lens set.  But when I suggested she buy a new (and better) pair, she refused on the grounds that her vision plan wouldn’t pay for it.  See this post to find out what happened next.

I understand the need to save on costs.  But I also know the pitfalls of choosing low cost over value.  So the next time you wonder about the cost of eye care and glasses, ask instead: How much are your eyes worth?

If you’re living the visual lifestyle, you already know: bargain basement prices are great if you’re buying a pair of pants.  But not so much if you’re talking about clear vision and healthy eyes for a lifetime.

Question: When did you choose cheap and regret it?  Please tell me about it in the comments below.


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