Your Money: When to Spend

With all the talk about saving money and cutting back, you may find yourself thinking that spending more than the bare minimum is never a good thing. However, that’s not the case. There are many instances when spending a little — or even a lot — more makes the most sense.

When it comes to certain items, durability trumps cost. As such, when you’re shopping for something you plan on getting a lot of use out of — a car, furniture, clothes, etc. — shop by quality level, not by price tag. While spending a lot does not necessarily mean you’ll be getting the best quality, it’s not often that you’ll find the cheapest item to be, either. Do your research to determine which item will give you the most bang for your buck. Even if it’s not cheap now, it may still save you money in the long run: you won’t need to replace it as often, it will require less maintenance, and you’ll spend less time dealing with hassles. Of course if you only plan on using something a few times, by all means go cheap! And if you’re able to find a great deal on a high-quality item, don’t let a low price tag deter you.

I’m all about shopping around for the best deals. And it can be very tempting to go to a million different stores because each one has the best deal on something. But keep in mind not only the cost of your time, but also the cost of gas and wear and tear on your vehicle. It doesn’t make sense to go across town to save a little if you’re eating up the difference in gas! Weigh the pros and cons and determine what is truly the most cost effective option. You may end up spending a little more up front but saving more in the long run.

Perhaps most important of all — at least in my humble opinion — is the memory factor. Material items come and go, and any money spent on them will go as well. But memories last a lifetime, and money spent on them will, too. When it comes to experiences, vacations, events, etc., consider spending a little more. You don’t have to go all out to make great memories, but you don’t want your memories to be tainted by the fact that you were too cheap to do anything, either. Think about what you’ll really remember, and let that be your guide. The result can be the best use of your money yet.

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