money management

Cheap isn’t always better

MoneyWhile saving whenever possible is a great goal, and something I certainly advocate, there are some things that are worth paying a little more for. It’s the whole “quantity vs. quality” thing…Do you want to buy a ton of cheap items that won’t last very long, or one or two higher quality items that could last you years? Do you want to save money on something now, only to have it give out on you shortly thereafter, causing you to spend even more?

Sometimes, investing in better quality is worth it. Here are some of the areas I personally think are worth a little extra cost:

Clothes and shoes. Especially if you’re like me, and you like simple, basic pieces that won’t go out of style any time soon, it makes more sense to buy some really quality pieces you can wear season after season. I like to mix things up by adding different accessories I pick up from time to time to keep things trendy, but for the most part, I don’t buy any clothes based on trends. They’re just going to be out of style next season anyway, and then where has my money gone?

The same thing goes for shoes. I don’t own a million shoes, so the ones I do own need to last. And I am own of those girls who will pass up those adorable heels if they’re not comfortable enough!

Contractors. I’ve heard way too many horror stories from friends and fellow PF bloggers about what happens what you go with the contractor that gives you the lowest quote. Sometimes it’s worth going with a big regional company, with a long history and great customer reviews, than some unknown jack-of-all-trades who happens to be advertising a Living Social deal for his services.

Seeing as your home is something you literally have to live with for many, many years, investing in work that’s done well will more than pay for itself. (It could even save you from some potential safety hazards.)

Car repairs. I am driving my ’Bee into the ground, so I want to make sure that any work I get done on it is reputable. The Hubby gives me grief sometimes for still taking my car to the dealership for service, but you know what? I know they aren’t the cheapest around, but they know my make and model and all its various certified parts, and they know best how to diagnose and troubleshoot it.

For little things, like replacing the side mirror some jerk hit when I was parked on the street, sure, I’ll take it to the cheap local shop down the street. But I don’t want Joe Schmoe shop owner working on my baby’s engine or brakes and potentially causing some issues I’ll just have to pay to fix later on. (Plus, it’s a safety thing again for me. I will pay a bit of a premium to know that safety-related jobs are done as professionally as possible.)

Healthy food. We eat organic whenever possible, and we skip a lot of the prepackaged, frozen, and highly processed foods I know I could get great savings on if I couponed more. But for us, feeling well and taking care of our bodies is much more important than saving a few bucks on our grocery bill.

We make up for the expense by cutting back in other areas that don’t matter as much to us. Not to mention, keeping ourselves in shape could save us hundreds down the line in avoiding medical problems!

What things do you feel are worth spending more on?





photo credit:  401(K) 2013 by

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  • I’ve learn’t the hard way that getting things done cheaply is 90% of the time a waste of time. Clothes for instance I find work like this. I still have Armani Jeans going strong from 4 years ago whereas my ones from Next fell apart within 10 months!

  • I love scoring deals- especially on clothes- though I also feel it’s important to invest in items that will get my money’s worth!

    I do buy trendy clothes and mix them in with higher quality pieces so I can have fun with my style and not pay a lot.

    One thing I really like to do is browse for high quality clothing at thrift stores- then I get quality and save money!

    I also take good care of my clothes- even the lower quality items. I wash in cold water every other wearing (or every third or fourth wearing depending on the item), and hang items up to dry or dry them on a low heat setting. It’s amazing how a little care can make clothes last and save money on laundry detergent and electricity. And it’s not like I’m doing hard labor in my work clothes- they really don’t get *that* dirty with each wearing.


    • That’s a good idea, checking out thrift stores for high quality clothes! We have a consignment shop in our area that specializes in brand name and designer clothes, especially young adult and junior’s (which, sadly, I’m so petite I fit into!). It’s great, because the kind of people who really care about labels usually only wear “that season’s” fashions…so when they sell them to the store, they’re very lightly used, and I can get some really nice stuff for a fraction of the price. (And I could care less if I’m wearing “last season,” lol.)

      I do the same thing with clothes I hardly wear. I hate wasting water and putting the extra wear and tear on my clothes unless, like you say, they’ve gotten REALLY dirty.

  • I always buy quality shoes that I know will last for several years, and when it comes to jackets and winter coats I tend to buy more expensive, quality items that can endure season after season.

    • Shoes and outerwear are definitely worth the extra investment. You wear them so much, and it’s so important that they be warm and comfortable. And jackets are easy to update each season with new accessories like hats and gloves.

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