I know, I know. The saying is “Quality vs. Quantity” but for today, it’s Quality vs. Crap. I am a cheapskate. A money hoarder. A bargain hunter down to my very bones. I’ve hidden behind the excuse of needing to save or “not having enough money” to justify my habits. I know what you’re thinking, that these aren’t bad habits. Isn’t savings always better than spending?
Well…… Not if you end up buying five crappy items that end up costing more than one quality item.
I am really really really bad at this. I’ve gotten to the point where I avoid spending money so much that I will buy sub-par items many times over rather than initially spending a little more on a quality item. Case in point: shoes. I buy lots and lots of cheap shoes. I’m not saying you should always spend a lot of money on shoes. But what I am saying is that if you wear black flats or black pumps almost every day to work. Why buy a $30 pair every six months when you could buy a nice quality pair that might cost you $100 that will last you a few years? I am guilty of this exact scenario and have yet to buy a quality pair of work shoes. *slaps own wrist* However, I am totally in favor of buying cheap, trendy shoes that you probably won’t even want to wear next year anyway.
What if the “cheaper” item just doesn’t do the job as well? Then you should definitely spend some money on a better one.
Case in point: our snow blower. We spent a nice bit of change on our snow-blower. Truthfully I was against the snow blower purchase until I used it for the first time. When we bought it I was annoyed because I’d been shoveling snow myself for most of the winter. Then Manny came home, a snow storm hit, and he wanted to buy a snow blower. So, naturally, out of stubbornness I was against it since I had made do with a shovel all winter. Did I like getting up an hour earlier than usual just to shovel snow? No. Was I too stubborn to admit this was probably a good investment? Yes. Anyway, I finally conceded and we purchased the snow blower. To my (slight) dismay, the snow blower was awesome! We used it for the first time during a storm that unexpectedly dumped 10 inches on us. Clearing the driveway and sidewalk took about 1/3 of the time and it was so. much. less. strenuous. Seriously, when I would come in from shoveling I was soaked with sweat and exhausted. Not anymore!
But now you’re wondering whether I could have bought a cheaper machine that would do just as good of a job. Not really. I’ve spent all winter watching people blow snow. (There’s a lot of time for observation when it takes you an hour to shovel your driveway and sidewalks.) I watch some of my neighbors with their small, inexpensive snow blowers and, honestly, it looks like it’s just as much work as shoveling. Because they’re smaller and not as powerful the little ones get stuck a lot and the owner is forever pushing and pulling to try and clear the driveway or sidewalk. Most of the time, I was finished shoveling before they were done. So in this case, the money investment is well worth the time and effort I’ll save next winter.
So what’s my point again?
I know, I ramble. But my point is that sometimes you have to invest a little money on the front end to save in the future. Buying the cheapest option possible is not always the most cost effective decision in the long term.