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Could it be worth it to spend more money?

Could it be worth it to spend more money?

When it comes to frugality, many think that the best answer is to spend as little as possible on whatever it is you are buying. However, the cheapest item isn’t always the best item. You know the saying: “You get what you pay for.” Sometimes, when you purchase the cheapest item, you are simply setting yourself up to make another purchase in a few months.

Over time, repeatedly buying low-cost items to replace broken and worn out items can add up. In many cases, if you had spent more and purchased something of higher quality, you can save more in the long run.

What items should you spend more on?

There are a few items that it might be worth it to spend more money on. If you are careful about what you buy, you can get a higher quality item that lasts longer, and that can result in long-term savings. Here are some items that you should consider spending more on:


Better shoes will last longer than cheap shoes. Consider: If you spend $40 on a pair of cheap shoes, they may not fit right, and they may wear out quicker. You could easily buy more shoes in four to six months, depending on how much walking you do. Plus, your feet could be sore all the time because of the low-quality shoes.

Instead, consider spending $100 on good shoes that fit well. Your feet are happier, and you could even save money in the long run. Instead of buying new shoes every four to six months, you might be able to get away with buying them every 18 to 24 months. In the long term, that could save you money and time.


Low-quality tools break and wear out faster than high-quality tools. A decent drill that costs $50 is likely to work longer and better than a $20 cheapie. Plus, cheap tools can present a safety hazard. If your tool, whether it’s a screwdriver, hammer, or nail gun, malfunctions while you are using it, it could cause harm to you or a bystander. Pay a little more for something that is up to the job.


If you want your appliances to last longer and work better, it can be worth it to pay a little more. A good washing machine can be energy efficient and last 10 to 15 years — or more. A low-quality appliance, though, might only last five to eight years. Then you have to spend hundreds more to purchase a new one. You’re already spending hundreds of dollars; another $50 to $200 can get you a better quality appliance that will save you in the long run.

Paying extra for the convenience

Another consideration is whether or not it is worth it to pay extra convenience. How much is your time worth? Is it worth it to save $50 on a plane ticket that routes you through extra stops? What about the red-eye, and the hassles that come with extra jet lag? For some people, saving time by paying a $1.50 convenience fee to buy a movie ticket online, rather than wait in line for an hour or more, is worth it.

Sometimes, it is worth it to spend more for a better experience, such as buying good quality dark chocolate or paying extra for a better hotel room. Consider what you are willing to pay for, and consider that it might be worth the extra money.


  1. Daisy

    I soo agree with the shoes sentiment. I have a pair of $90 shoes (but I worked at the shoe store so got them for $45) and a pair of $12 Walmart shoes. They look similar, but the Walmart shoes I bought in July and are coming apart. The other shoes I bought three years ago and are still going strong!

  2. krantcents

    I always spend more on shoes, but I keep them for a very long time. I had a pair of dress shoes I used with suits for nearly thirty years. They a conservative style that stayed in fashion.

  3. John @ Married (with Debt)

    I hate shopping more than I hate spending money, so I try to opt for the item that has value, but will last. I get more satisfaction knowing that I made a smart choice rather than a cheap one.

  4. Sharp

    What timing. I just started my blog about men’s style on a budget and I absolutely agree that CHEAP SHOES are the WORST way to waste money on clothing.

    I’ve bought a fair share of high quality gently-used shoes off of eBay for ~$50. After some sanitizing (essential), shoe conditioner and polish, I expect these to last for at LEAST 4 years. Best part? They look like they’ve been mine for years…in an awesome way.

    Excellent insights, Tom. Way too many succumb to frugality tunnel-vision and burn too much money on low-quality items.

  5. mycanuckbuck

    My mother has always said the same thing. And it’s true – if I’ve gone cheap on shoes, I’ve regretted it. And I think it’s well worth paying money for things that make you happier or feel better as long as you don’t go overboard.

  6. Mary

    Sad to say though, even the more expensive things today are being made to be replaced a LOT sooner than they were before. I agree with the shoes and there are still brands you can count on lasting but as a rule, nothing lasts like before. Unfortunately, we’re being programmed to become a throw-away society these days, whether we like it or not….:-(

    • Sharp

      It’s true that our disposable consumer culture has made
      caused many of us to forget about “classic” approaches to clothes…

      For example, I recently found that by installing plastic taps on the toes and heels (~$5/pair), I can make my shoes last quite a while. After years of going through taps, I find that a visit to the cobbler for new heels (~$20/pair) is enough to keep ’em going.

  7. Canadian Debt Consolidation

    I think it all comes down to personal preferences. Everyone has different items they put higher value on and are ready to spend more money on. For some people it’s shoes, for others a watch and for some women it’s a purse.

  8. Michelle

    I think paying more money for better quality is almost always a good idea. It’s always best to analyze HOW much longer it will last though. If it will only last a tad bit longer but costs twice as much, then it’s probably not worth it.

  9. Bob

    While it’s true for some things that it is worth paying more price is no indication for reliability of items such as washing machines or other appliances. I would spend more money on furniture made from solid wood rather than buying crap form Ikea, for instance.

  10. Pete

    All of these points make good sense, and I already follow these items of advice. You could easily extend it to buying good shirts, for example, but I want to speak specifically about tools.

    I am not a daily user of tools, but a long time ago decided to buy in the upper range in quality. As a consequence, I have wrenches and pliers 40 years old, and power tools that just keep on working. These days, buy good quality Lithium Ion power tools – they might cost double – but they are lighter, the batteries last longer, and they will not need replacement for a very long time – so long run value for money and very much better convenience in use are major plusses.

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