The Cost of a Chess Set

By Joel Salomon, Founder of SaLaurMor, LLC

Are material things important to you? Or do you prefer to spend your money on experiences?

Recently, I was cleaning my daughter Morgan’s room and we came across an old chess set. It was made of silver and gold pieces in a small 6×8 brown leather case. The board was made of hard plastic but came off from the leather case—and it was not supposed to😊.

I immediately thought that we should add it to the tag sale we were having. But Morgan (and Lauren, my other daughter) thought differently. “Dad, this has family history with it! Did you play on it with your grandparents growing up?”

Actually, I had. This was my dad’s father’s chess set. I had learned chess in Mrs. Chanda’s class in 3rd grade. If we finished our assignments early, she let us play chess. I was usually pretty quick with my work and got to play most days.

Then, a few years later, I started playing my dad and grand-dad. And when my grand-dad passed away in 1985, I was given his traveling chess set.

I had forgotten that I had given it to Morgan when she started playing chess when she was about 8.

Morgan hadn’t actually played on the set since it did need repair, but she didn’t want to give it up nonetheless.

As a Prosperity Coach, I find it interesting what people want to spend money on—and what people want to save money for. Yes, saving for retirement is critical, but what about saving for a fancy sports car, like a blue convertible Maserati Grand Tourismo, or a dream house on the beach on the island of Maldives?

For me, I’d rather spend money on experiences like taking them to an exotic island like Maui or bringing them to a Zach Bryan concert.

This chess set reminded me that sometimes material things can create sentimental value for a particular family.

How much is this chess set worth to us? At least $100s—and my daughters might say “priceless!”

And would anyone else really pay that amount?

What do you think?

Joel S. Salomon, CFA, FSA is a Master Prosperity Coach, who helps entrepreneurs generate more income in their business and teach early-stage investors stock market and real estate investing. 

5 thoughts on “The Cost of a Chess Set”

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