It’s almost like a default approach for many of us who prefer not to spend money, where we try to search for the cheapest alternative for a given purchase. Give me 3 choices, and my eyes will first scan for the prices and I’ll be most interested in the option with the lowest price. The burden of proof will be on the more expensive options to demonstrate that they’re worth the extra money!
While this can be the case, I’m realizing that there are times when it is worth shelling out a little bit of extra money for a more expensive alternative with value. Here are 5 examples of this:
Let’s say you could buy canned veggies for $0.75, or get the same food fresh for $1.50. Which would you choose?
Or, you could buy a fast food value meal for $4 – with the alternative being a freshly made, healthy meal at home that would cost you $6 and an extra 30 minutes. In this case, which would you choose?
If you choose the cheaper options, the amount you save can really add up over the course of the year. Who knows, maybe you could save over $1,000 annually by selectively choosing the more inexpensive choices. Over 20 years, when invested, that can really add up!
But it’s not worth it. The long-term effects of choosing less healthy foods just might be there for your health, thus inhibiting your quality of life. Why deliberately negatively impact our lives just to save a little bit of time or money? Honestly, I have done this too many times in the past, but am glad that I look at things differently now. Without health, what’s the point? Besides, being unhealthy can inhibit the ability to make money, as the role of money in life is one of interdependency of money, health, and relationships.
There are people that don’t like to pay others to do things for them. There seems to be a large contingent of folks out there that take pride in being self-sufficient to the point of wanting to take a DIY approach to as many things as possible.
Well, I think that when considering the choices of DIY or professional, it’s important to be realistic in assessing our own limitations and shortcomings. We aren’t all jack of all trades, who can do everything well. There are times when we simply need to hire a professional. I’ve talked about hiring a pro to do taxes, but it could also apply to certain legal advice, plumbers, electricians, mechanics, and even health care professionals! The latter should be obvious, but may not always be!
Basically, there are times where you may have to spend a lot more money up front to use a professional, but it could end up saving you money and maybe even help mitigate some risks.
Home or Car Maintenance and Repairs
A lot of people, I’m convinced, don’t think about the importance of saving money in order to do basic maintenance. We do need to regularly save money for home repairs and maintenance. It’s also important to save money (and yes, spend) on car repairs and maintenance.
If we neglect these basic needs, things can fall apart. It’s best to plan ahead for such expenses, and budget for them. When we have already resigned ourselves to the reality that we’ll need to spend money, it becomes easier to avoid being too cheap. Plus, if we do cheap out on these types of periodic expenses, we may end up cost ourselves a lot of money in the future.
Surprised to see this one here? This wasn’t on my original list of 5, but then I thought about a person I know who is an acquaintance that works with a friend of mine. This acquaintance is supposed to be a very smart guy, very analytical and bright in business. However, he dresses without much thought. He doesn’t put any time or effort into looking professional (while working in a professional environment), and basically just buys cheap stuff without a second thought. The guy is known for tropical shirts!
He also has a haircut that looks like he just came here from the 1980’s. While I realize that the question of how much to pay for a haircut is one where I’ve supported low costs, this guy literally looks like he cut it himself. There was talk about him cutting his own hair, and I’d like to assume it was a joke!
Just spend a few bucks to look like a professional. One need not splurge to excess, but appearance matters to some degree.
Want to know a good example of penny wise and pound foolish, as the saying goes? I know someone who did not buy his wife anything whatsoever for Valentine’s Day. Nothing. She bought him nothing either, but as we all know (if we’re being genuine with each other and ourselves), it’s the guy that is the one who really needs to be the gift-giver on Valentine’s Day. Yes, I know not all couples give gifts, but in most cases, if the guy buys or does absolutely nothing, he’ll be in the doghouse. That’s just the way it is 🙂
Yes, I do think that it is critical to save money. And yes, I personally would much rather see money saved, rather than have my money spent on me for a Valentine’s gift. But that’s my male perspective, and I realize that my line of thinking may be practical on one dimension, but it’s not something one could actually do. That’s where my friend misses the mark. Sometimes it’s better to be generous and happy, instead of being right!
My Questions for You
Do you think the 5 categories above are worth spending more money on?
Are there any other types of expenses that are worth not pinching pennies on?
Do you have an example of a time you spent more money on something and it was worth it?