It’s tempting to constantly buy the cheapest items available, particularly if you’re on a tight budget. After all, getting a pair of shoes that cost less than last night’s dinner certainly seems like an appealing idea.
However, the cheapest choice isn’t always the best. When we say “best,” we’re not referring to the crème de la crème. We’re referring to getting the best value for your money.
Here are four reasons why spending a little more might be a wiser choice than buying from the bottom of the barrel.
A Quick Note on Cheap Items
Before we launch into this list, here’s a quick disclaimer. We’re not necessarily stating cheap items are the worst. There are times when it makes sense to buy cheaper products.
We’re just making a case that you should think critically about each item before you purchase it. Make spending decisions based on overall value rather than the price tag.
With that disclaimer out of the way, let’s begin.
You’re not actually saving money if you buy a cheap item that needs to be replaced fairly quickly.
Over the long term, you could save more money by buying a slightly more expensive and durable item.
Let’s go back to the example of shoes. Buying a very cheap pair of shoes that wear down after a few weeks and cause you knee pain aren’t worth it. Why not spend just a little more on a sturdy pair of shoes that will last 6 months to a year? They’ll be more comfortable and ultimately more cost-efficient.
Another example is house paint. There are very cheap brands of paint out there that are so watery, three or four coats are required. By the time you’ve finished applying all of those coats, you’ve spent just as much money and more time.
A higher quality paint that requires only one or two coats saves you time, lasts longer, and requires less material. The sticker price may be higher, but you’re getting more value.
2. It Saves Time
There’s a major difference between buying a convenience item due to poor planning versus buying an item that genuinely saves you valuable time.
For example, pre-chopped vegetables at the store are a convenience item. They cost significantly more and don’t save you a lot of time. It’s an unnecessary expense.
However, paying a fee to get a major appliance delivered rather than borrowing a truck is worth the convenience. You’ll save a huge chunk of time by not having to drive to the store and you won’t have to bother with all the heavy lifting.
This is an example of when paying a marginal fee for appliance delivery and installation is genuinely a good use of your money, assuming that the fee is reasonable. Letting professionals handle everything is worth the cost.
3. You’ll Save Money Down the Line
An ounce of prevention is truly worth a pound of cure.
You shouldn’t skimp on preventative maintenance. Dental cleanings, eye exams, vehicle inspections, veterinary appointments, and other forms of recommended preventative care are important. Even if everything seems okay, it’s better to spend a little money now than it is to spend thousands of dollars in the future.
Likewise, you don’t necessarily want the cheapest possible insurance coverage. While you shouldn’t over-insure your assets, you should have adequate coverage to protect against damages. You don’t want to find yourself in a financial emergency should a tree fall on your house, or vandals break into your car.
4. It’s a Conscious Mood Booster
If you find yourself becoming worn down by constant frugality, allow yourself to indulge in an occasional splurge. Buy yourself a cappuccino or treat yourself to a monthly restaurant dinner.
View this as an investment that helps you stay on track. Even people on strict diets are allowed to have a cheat meal now and again because it helps them maintain motivation.
It’s okay to indulge in tiny splurges every once in a while, even on a tight budget. This will help you refrain from making a massive splurge once you grow fatigued from so much frugality.
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