How to Spend Money Wisely » Shopping

Sometimes, you get what you pay for

Sometimes, you really do get what you pay for. When you are making purchases, and comparison shopping, sometimes it makes sense to stop and think about quality, and not just focus on the price. There are instances that paying more actually makes sense in the long run.

Sometimes cheap = low quality

There are some things that, when you buy them cheap, they cost you more over time. Consider shoes. If you spend $50 on a pair of cheap shoes, they might be completely trashed within six months. You’ll have to buy another pair of cheap shoes at that time. On the other hand, you might spend more and pay $150 for higher quality shoes that last you two years. Instead of buying four pairs of cheap $50 shoes over the course of two years and paying $200, you save $50 over time when you buy better shoes.

The same thing can apply to certain tools, kitchenware, clothing, and other items. While you don’t want to get something expensive just for the sake of paying more because you assume that it must be better, you do want to look for quality. A lot of the time, you don’t even have to get the most expensive item to get a step up in quality. You can buy something with a mid-range price to get solid value for your dollar.

Do your research, and realize that if you are paying a really low cost, you might not actually be getting a true bargain. If you are paying a cheap price, chances are that the construction of the item is cheap, too. You are getting just what you paid for. And it isn’t much or a good value.

It can be worth it to pay more

In some cases, it really is worth it to pay more. Yes, you could save $75 by booking a red-eye flight. But maybe it’s worth it to pay that extra $75. You are better able to cope with the inconveniences of travel, and you might feel better upon landing. Plus, it might be more convenient for you to pick up your rental car, or have a friend pick you up if you aren’t coming in at an odd time.

There are other reasons to pay more. If you are having someone provide services for your business, it can be worth the cost to have it done right. If you want a quality job done, whether it’s getting a haircut or having the roof replaced, often you need to pay more. If conveniences are important to you, then you might have to pay for the privilege. Just make sure that you are getting good value for your money. There is nothing wrong with paying more as long as the value is good.

It shouldn’t always just be about price and getting what’s cheapest. The focus should be on value. Are you getting a good long-term value for your dollar? Comparison shop, and take the time to think about what’s important to you. On the less important things, you might be able to cheap out a little bit and not suffer too greatly. But on the matters of greater import, make sure that you pay a little extra for the better value.


  1. mike

    Good piece, Any applicability to mutual funds, and if so, what are the categories where that applies?

  2. John Helfrich

    I consider ‘getting what I paid for’ a huge success these days. It seems all too often we’re disappointed with the quality of the products we buy. Getting a ‘good deal’ only applies when you can compare the details and be sure you’re getting the same product for a lower price.

    That applies when you’re buying Real Estate as well. But since it’s nearly impossible to find identical resale homes, it essential to have a Buyer Agent. He/she should provide you with impartial advice – and back that up with comparable sales from the TREB database.

    Like anything else, if the price seems too good to be true – it probably is.

  3. niterainbow

    A lot of people talking about value, time and so on. If you could not convert that time into something else – it better go for the cheapest option.

    For example, red-eye flight costs $75, for $150 you could get a more convenient. Why would one think that s/he worth? Only because the money are there? It could be a pure coincidence.

    One have to be careful with the money until you will find reliable way how to convert that spare time into money.

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