Sometimes the cheaper option isn’t actually the cheaper option. There are some things that are worth spending the extra money on when it comes to buying something well-made rather than something cheap that will fall apart. While you might think you’re saving money by always buying bargains, it might not be worth it if you end up having to replace stuff over and over. Instead, you have to know when to shop for quality not price.
Here are some examples of items you should buy to last:
When shopping for big items like a washer and dryer or a refrigerator, consider how long you plan to own them. If you plan to own it long enough, you might want to consider how much the appliances will end up costing you to run over the years. In this case, spending a little bit extra on a more energy efficient machine that will be reliable will save money in energy costs in the long run and will be less likely to need replacement as soon.
You should also still opt for quality even when buying smaller appliances like a blender, a microwave, a coffee maker, or heat tools for hair styling. It may seem silly to spend extra money on a higher-end toaster oven, but replacing cheap ones every few years would waste more money.
Your feet take you everywhere you go, so you should invest in a pair of shoes that will support them. Well-made shoes that fit well will carry you farther too. A few durable pairs of shoes are worth a whole closet of 20 dollar shoes. Men and women’s footwear trends come and go, but there are some classic styles that are ageless. You know these; they are they the leather lace up boots, the oxford, the loafer, the chelsea boot and more. Even if you don’t know these styles, you probably know a well-made pair of shoes when you see one. They’re typically canvas or leather—and yes, expensive. But, if you spend the money now on a few pairs of good shoes, you might not need to buy a new pair for years.
Bags and Luggage
Because handbags, duffels and suitcases and more are used for travel, they can get a lot of wear and tear. And when you’re on the go every day, you need a purse, a backpack or workbag to be dependable. It’s important to have something that can handle your life’s hustle and bustle without falling apart. Cheap goods will rip sooner rather than later, so you’re better off buying one expensive bag that you will use every day for years, instead of a new one every other month.
Cars, bikes, etc.
When it comes to transportation and machines with friction parts, it is always a bad idea to buy cheap for the sake of saving money—because you won’t. All cars need work, but cheaper and older ones tend to need the most. The real cost of a car is much more than what you buy it for. Maintenance, fuel, repairs, parking, insurance and more all go into how much a car costs. A newer, more fuel efficient model will seem more expensive, but is it really when you think about how much it can save you on gas? And sure, the price is low on that car with almost 200 thousand miles, but soon it’ll probably start needing expensive repairs. It’s better to spend more on something reliable to save money later.
Fast fashion is a very common area people waste money. These are the stores that sell clothes that are trendy and cheap (that’s price-wise and quality-wise). This stuff is mass-produced become more affordable, but it becomes disposable as the clothes go out of fashion and get worn out quickly.
Instead, it’s more financially (and environmentally!) conscious to buy staples for your wardrobe that are quality and classic, so you can wear them for years. Having a few blazers, shirts, sweaters, and pairs of dress pants and denim made of good, substantial materials are a staple to your wardrobe. Better fabrics and more quality brands will cost you upfront, but in the long-run, getting stuck in the fast fashion cycle is way more expensive.
You can still buy trendy and cheap items to stay in style, but mix and match these pieces in with your staples to keep your outfits fresh. As these cheap things come to the end of their lifespan, the rest of your closet won’t.
Computers and Laptops
In this day and age, we spend a lot of time on our computers for work, school and for entertainment. So, when you use something this much, you want it to work well and last a long time. There are some very cheap notebook computers, laptops and tablets out there, but with electronics, you definitely get what you pay for. In most cases, the difference between an okay laptop and a great one is a couple hundred dollars. That may seem like a big price difference, but it is one that will make your computer use much faster and efficient. With so many people spending a significant part of their lives using their laptop for success at work or at school, this upgrade can make a big difference in productivity.
When to Go Cheap
Unlike the stuff above, there are some types of products where you don’t necessarily need the highest quality option. Paying more is not worth it for things that are constantly lost (socks), broken (sunglasses), used up (shower products) or quickly grown out of (kid’s shoes). And, there are a lot of goods where buying generic vs name brand makes almost no difference, so you should go with the cheapest option. Here is where it makes more sense to skimp and go cheap:
- Common groceries
- Cleaning products and supplies
- Over the counter medications
- Personal care products
- Seasonal decorations and party supplies
- Home décor
- Kid’s toys
- Kid’s clothes and shoes
- Fashion accessories and jewelry
- Paper products