Posted by Tim Stobbs on May 12, 2011
Last month during our grocery shopping run I decided to switch to a new coffee and am now paying almost double the price. Did I hit my head or something? No, I decided I wanted to drink a better cup of coffee in the morning and I was frankly willing to drink less coffee overall to do it. Overall it is still costing us more, but I’m ok with that. You see despite the fact this blog has lots of posts on how to reduce your spending on food, housing, insurance, and tax, there are points in your life when spending more is really worth it either for a personal reason like my coffee or to invest in quality.
The problem with spending more is it isn’t always obvious that paying more means you are getting better quality. In some cases you pay more to just get ripped off. So when does it makes sense to pay more? Here are a few places you should consider looking at:
1) Your Bed – You will spend more almost as much time on your bed as you do at your job. So please take the time to do some research and get yourself a good bed. A good bed will actually help your health if you have issues with your back. But be carefully here as a lot of beds are very similar and there is a price difference on brand names that won’t always give you quality. Personally, I happened to inherit a foam mattress when I moved out that had barely been used and I’m still sleeping on it 13 years later. I just have to rotate the mattress every six months or so and regardless of the price when I buy a new one I’m going to get another foam one.
2) Your Cookware – Cheap non stick pans and crappy pots aren’t worth it is they must be replaced every few years. Suck it up and invest in cookware if you are using it daily. Think more in terms of cost per use. If a pot costs double or triple your previous one, but lasts 10 times longer it is a bargain. Pay the money and take care of it. For example, never put a post on full power on your stove top…you don’t need that much heat to boil water. Most often 3/4 power will work just fine. Also just because you can put something in the dishwasher doesn’t mean you should. We never put our pots in the dishwasher and guess what…they never warp on us.
3) Your Coat and Boots – If you live somewhere cold in the winter, please for the love of your fingers and toes invest in some good outerwear. Trust me I’ve tried the cheap boots method and I didn’t like the results as all, so my next pair I’m sucking it up and investing in a good pair of boots again. Also the same applies to a coat, get what will work best for your climate and don’t worry if you have to pay more. Think again of cost per use.
4) Your Business – About five years ago I bought a good laser printer for my writing work. At the time it cost about three times the cost of a cheap inkjet. I recently just paid over a $100 for a new toner for my printer (since it finally was running out), but that should now last me another 4 to 5 years. So yes it was expensive, but given what I use it for it pays for itself nicely and it does a much better job. Depending on your business, it pays to invest in good quality things that you will use a lot or if it will save you a lot of time.
So as you can see a good place to invest in quality and pay more are things you will use often. Paying more for something you only use once a year is a questionable investment. Also you have to change your mindset when shopping for quality to cost per use rather than the initial price tag. If you can buy a solid hardwood table than you kids can use once you die, it might be good idea to spend some money up front and then never replace it.