Before Christmas I went down to Gran Canaria with my gorgeous partner Sue for a few days away from cold, damp England.

It was a short break and we wanted to do it on a budget, with Christmas coming up.

And it was working out brilliantly - everything booked, and all at low, low rates. We even got a hire car for only £37 (about $50) for the five days - what a bargain!

I was feeling pretty pleased with myself.

Then I got to thinking...

...What does this say about me?

...Do I really see myself as this small person, driving around the island in the cheapest, most basic car I can get?

...Am I worth so little?

So I decided to upgrade!

For an extra £95 ($150) we got to drive a super Mini Cooper Countryman - perfect for all the twisty mountain roads that criss-cross the island.

It transformed the whole holiday experience!

Every time I got into that car it reinforced my self-image as someone of substance and of value.

We can always...

...go for the cheapest option, but it's rarely the best - it reduces every experience down to its basic utility value.

To illustrate:

If you want to make a cup of tea, you can...

a) put a tea bag in a cheap promotional mug, add hot water and pour in some milk direct from the bottle, or

b) make the tea in a beautifully crafted pottery tea-pot, pour it into a lovingly made pottery mug and then add milk from a hand-made jug.

The first option gets you a cup of tea and quenches your thirst vs. the second option brings an enriching experience where you get to connect with all the love, devotion and attention the craftsman has put into creating the objects - an experience that nourishes the soul as well as the body.

And holding a beautiful and substantial mug helps you pay greater attention to the act of drinking, making it a delightful pleasure rather than just something that has to be done.

I always choose option (b).

Another example:

I write with a £300 ($500) Mont Blanc ballpoint. I bought it about 12 years ago, and every time I use it, I get that feeling that what I'm writing is of real value.

And when you spend that kind of money, you never lose it!

The difference in thinking between using a cheap 'dime store' pen, and my beautiful, smooth and substantial Mont Blanc is simply incredible!

What are you doing...

...on a daily basis that either undermines or reinforces your shelf-image and worth?

Are you guilty of "bargain basement" thinking?

Money is energy:

When you spend the least, you'll get the minimum in return.

And, as one of my favourite quotes goes:

"What we acquire too cheaply, we value too lightly."

Use your money wisely: invest in quality.

Value yourself.

Believe in yourself.

I believe in you.