During the lean, early years of my marriage, saving pennies was a necessity. However, as my spouse and I got older and our financial situation improved, I continued to pay as little as possible for anything and everything.
I could afford more, but I just didn’t want to spend more.
However, my shopping philosophy eventually began to shift. After years of being surrounded by poorly made stuff that never worked as I had hoped, I decided that just because something is cheap, it isn’t necessarily a good value.
Some of you may be saying “duh,” but it took me a while to accept that simple truth.
Now, I value quality over price, especially for certain items. Following are seven things that are often worth the higher cost.
1. Good quality tools
Whether we’re talking about power tools or kitchen tools, you want the best items you can afford if you’ll be using them regularly.
Thin pots and dull knives will have you running to the takeout line rather than cooking at home. Anemic power drills and flimsy hand tools will leave you cursing and make your weekend projects all that more of a chore.
If you need an item for a one-time use, you can probably get by with a cheaper version, although renting might make even more sense in some cases.
2. A vehicle that goes beyond the basics
Remember the Yugo? There was a reason it was so cheap. Low-end cars come with low-end parts. They are uncomfortable to drive and may end up needing multiple repairs before dying prematurely.
Rather than buying the cheapest vehicle possible, look for one with a reputation for reliability and safety. It will likely last you longer and need fewer repairs.
You’ll spend more on a better car, but it doesn’t have to put you in the poorhouse. Because cars tend to hold up for many more miles than they used to — with a fair number of top models likely to last for at least 200,000 miles — go ahead and find a used car that combines quality and a slightly lower price.
So, think “affordable,” not “bargain basement.”
3. Services from competent professionals
It would really stink to pay someone to do your taxes and then find out he or she filed the paperwork all wrong. And yet, that’s the sort of thing that happens when you go the cheap route for professional services.
From financial advisers to auto mechanics, you want to spend extra to get someone who knows what they’re doing. It could cost more upfront but will save money in the long run. You’ll also save yourself the aggravation and stress from scrambling to clean up the mess created by a cut-rate professional.