When it comes to frugality, many think that the best answer is to spend as little as possible on whatever it is you are buying. However, the cheapest item isn't always the best item. You know the saying: “You get what you pay for.” Sometimes, when you purchase the cheapest item, you are simply setting yourself up to make another purchase in a few months.
Over time, repeatedly buying low-cost items to replace broken and worn out items can add up. In many cases, if you had spent more and purchased something of a higher quality, you can save more in the long run.
What Items Should You Spend More On?
There are a few items that it might be worth it to spend more money on. If you are careful about what you buy, you can get a higher quality item that lasts longer, and that can result in long-term savings. Here are some items that you should consider spending more on:
- Shoes: Better shoes will last longer than cheap shoes. Consider: If you spend $40 on a pair of cheap shoes, they may not fit right, and they may wear out quicker. You could easily buy more shoes in four to six months, depending on how much walking you do. Plus, your feet could be sore all the time because of the low-quality shoes. Instead, consider spending $100 on good shoes that fit well. Your feet are happier, and you could even save money in the long run. Instead of buying new shoes every four to six months, you might be able to get away with buying them every 18 to 24 months. In the long term, that could save you money and time.
- Tools: Low quality tools break and wear out faster than high-quality tools. A decent drill that costs $50 is likely to work longer and better than a $20 cheapie. Plus, cheap tools can present a safety hazard. If your tool, whether it's a screwdriver, hammer, or nail gun, malfunctions while you are using it, it could cause harm to you or a bystander. Pay a little more for something that is up to the job.
- Appliances: If you want your appliances to last longer and work better, it can be worth it to pay a little more. A good washing machine can be energy efficient and last 10 to 15 years — or more. A low quality appliance, though, might only last five to eight years. Then you have to spend hundreds more to purchase a new one. You're already spending hundreds of dollars; another $50 to $200 can get you a better quality appliance that will save you in the long run.
Paying Extra for Convenience
Another consideration is whether or not it is worth it to pay extra convenience. How much is your time worth? Is it worth it to save $50 on a plane ticket that routes you through extra stops? What about the red eye, and the hassles that come with extra jet lag? For some people, saving time by paying a $1.50 convenience fee to buy a movie ticket online, rather than wait in line for an hour or more, is worth it.
Sometimes, it is worth it to spend more for a better experience, such as buying good quality dark chocolate, or paying extra for a better hotel room. Consider what you are willing to pay for, and consider that it might be worth the extra money.