Do as I say, not as I do. I am frugal cheapskate, and I hate spending money. I always try to get the cheapest item of whatever I need, because I think I’m saving money. But do you know what always ends up happening? The item breaks, or it doesn’t do everything that I need it to do. Then, I end up buying a better product later, which means I end up spending more than if I had bought the right product in the first place. This is why you should pay up to get the best value, the first time.
Look for the Best Value, Not the Cheapest Product
Sometimes you need to spend more to get the best value. The goal is to get as much as you need, but nothing more, ideally at the lowest price possible. And remember, just because something is more expensive doesn’t mean that it’s actually better. That gold-plated toilet will look pretty awesome, but is gold-plating on your toilet really what you need? This is why it always pays to do research and read reviews (ideally unbiased ones) before buying anything.
Quality is Important, especially for Tools
When it comes to tools, it’s especially important that you spend on quality. Anybody that has spent time working on cars knows that cheap tools strip bolts. And when a bolt is stripped, you’re going to be spending a lot more time and money fixing the problem than if you had paid up for quality in the first place.
Another example is when I first moved out on my own and needed knives. I didn’t go for the cheapest ones, because cheap knives are flimsy and you can’t sharpen then, meaning they don’t last. Also, dull knives are more dangerous than sharp ones since they tend to slip and you could cut yourself. But I also didn’t get the most expensive knives either, since I was just starting out in my career.
I ended up getting a good set of forged knives. I still have the knives to this day and they do everything I need them to do. If I had gotten a cheaper set, I would have probably gone through a few sets by now. I doubt my life would have been better if I had gotten a more expensive set (although it’s possible I’d be better looking because of them).
Think about Future Proofing
Things get old and outdated. This happens a lot with electronics. Given how fast technology moves, it can make a lot of sense to buy the newest of something so that you’re not dealing with antiquated technology soon after. For example, when computers with 64-bit processors came out, it would have been cheaper to buy a 32-bit computer. But since it was a given that everything would move over to 64-bit, the savings isn’t worth it if it’ll make your computer obsolete that much faster. Another example would be buying a HD TV right now. 4K is going to become the standard soon. Yes, you’ll save money buying a TV that doesn’t support 4K, but in a few years, you’ll regret that decision.