Quality over quantity: Why sometimes it pays to invest

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Finding a great bargain can feel pretty satisfying. We’ve all felt the thrill of stumbling across an amazing BOGO deal, or of dropping a few bucks on the latest trend-du-jour (Stanley cup, anyone?). But killer sales and fast fashion aside, there’s something to be said about being thoughtful when you shop, too. Is that $5 t-shirt going to last more than a few months? Will that discounted barbeque really go the distance?

Sometimes it actually makes the most financial sense to invest in a quality piece rather than spending less money on something that will need to be replaced much sooner. Not only could you end up with more cash in your pocket over time, but there are other benefits that might surprise you.

Shop smarter and save.

Being budget-conscious isn’t always about being thrifty and spending as little as possible. When it comes to your finances, sometimes you need to spend wisely on the things that matter. This can apply to everything from the clothes in your closet, to the items you keep in your home, to the car you drive. A well-made, reliable product means you only have to buy it once.

It’s all about thinking about the essential purchases in your life and asking:

  • Will this product or service offer long-term value?
  • If I don’t invest now, will I end up paying more in the future to replace or maintain this item?

If the answer to these questions is “yes”, it might be time to consider investing in quality.

Simplify your stuff.

It’s easy to fall into the “more is better” trap or to believe that buying more will make you happier. But retail therapy is temporary, and recent studies are actually proving that a more minimalistic style of living can lead to a happier, and healthier life. It’s not a new concept. Steve Jobs, for example, famously touted the benefits of the workweek “uniform” (in his case, a black turtleneck and a great pair of jeans). By streamlining his closet, he also cut down on his decision-making in the morning. Reducing clutter to focus on good quality essentials means you change your relationship with the things you own—taking better care of them, and getting more mileage.

Be a thoughtful consumer.

The power and privilege to purchase things also means we have the ability to control how much and how often we’re doing it. From an environmental standpoint, more stuff equals more pollution. When we waste less, we reduce our environmental footprint. And a quality-over-quantity approach can be applied to so much more than what we wear and the products we keep in our homes.

Thoughtful consumption can be practiced when we shop for groceries or plan for our leisure time. Take food waste for instance. It’s one of the leading causes of our increased environmental footprint. But beyond being bad for the environment, it’s also bad for your wallet. When you buy more than you need, you’re literally throwing your money away when food spoils before it can be consumed. Being thoughtful and only buying what you need means you’ll be wasting less and saving more.

In conclusion.

There is power in how we choose to spend our money and in asking questions before we even get to the checkout. This means considering where the products you’re buying come from, how they’re made, and ultimately, what their real value is. You might find that goes beyond just what’s on the price tag.