It may seem counter-intuitive, but you will often save money in the long run by spending more in the here and now. This is because cheaply manufactured goods need frequent replacement, whereas a higher quality item can last you for years — sometimes even decades!
Buy from a company with a lifetime warranty, and you’ll have the possibility of purchasing something that lasts as long as you do!
When a splurge is worth it
Of course, not all purchases have the potential to last forever. Take shoes as an example. I’m a labor and delivery nurse, and as such, I do NOT scrimp on my footwear. I’m on my feet 12-1/2 hours per shift, and would quickly regret buying inferior shoes.
Instead I splurge on $125 Dansko clogs, which give me the support needed to tend to my patients and continue in my career. However, my shoes last at least seven to eight years. This is because they’re manufactured with quality in mind and are almost infinitely repairable. I save the cost of buying multiple shoes by spending more on my initial purchase.
Buying high-quality used items is a great way to save on products that will last
What if you can’t afford to pay more for your belongings? Don’t worry, as you can always buy higher quality items on the secondhand market. Thrift stores are packed to the rafters with like-new used stuff, many of which are the quality items for which you’d normally pay top dollar. But if you’re the type that doesn’t enjoy the thrill of the hunt, eBay’s massive marketplace simplifies the scouting process.
Unfortunately, buying a more expensive item doesn’t guarantee higher quality. And for that reason, many people choose to patronize companies that offer full lifetime warranties. That way even if their purchases fall apart, the company will guarantee replacement or repair.
These companies offer full lifetime warranties:
I can attest to the Jansport warranty, as I recently mailed in my son’s ten-year-old backpack, which aside from having two broken zippers was still in excellent condition. Although I had to pay the shipping to mail it to California, they repaired both zippers and quickly sent it back to my son.
I reached out to fellow money savers to ask how their experiences of spending more meant buying less.
When spending more means buying less
Shelly: “My son’s school backpack. He went through two or three a year when I used to buy the cheap ‘back to school’ ones. I broke down his sophomore year of high school and spent money on a quality brand name pack. He is a junior in college and still uses that backpack. It was well worth the higher cost.”
Kori: “I still have my Jansport from my freshman year of high school or maybe even before that. I’m 34 now and it’s still in great shape.”
Marianne: “I will pay more for a good quality piece of clothing. but I do like to look at thrift stores in “better” neighborhoods to find these name brands at thrift store prices.”
Sandra: “I live in Ottawa and it’s really cold here in winter so we do not cut corners on winter coats and boots.”
Jane: “Good supportive shoes. One good pair is worth spending money on. Cheap pairs can lead to knee and foot pain, which costs more in the long run. And cheap ones don’t last.”
Eileen: “Shoes — but specifically well-constructed, repairable shoes . . . not just expensive designer shoes.”
Lisa: “Suitcases. I once had a handle snap clean off, meaning I basically had to carry it in my arms like it was a child. Ridiculous.”
Sarah: “Suitcases! The last thing you need while traveling is for the cheaply made handle of your suitcase to quit on you, or the zipper to break, or wheels to fall off and make lugging around your stuff any more stressful!”
TIP: If you’re a member of Costco, you can get great quality luggage for a fraction of the price you’d pay for designer brands.
Rachel: “Pans! My sister saved hard when she got her first job and house and purchased a set of Le Creuset pans. She’s had them now for 30+ years.”
Gloria: “I paid much more for a set of Cutco knives in 1990, I have had them all sharpened once, they are guaranteed FOREVER and they stand behind that no matter what. A knife that was great grandma’s got a broken tip, it was replaced at no cost.”
Donna: “LED light bulbs. We replaced every compact fluorescent and a couple of incandescent ones in our house, and our electric bill plummeted to less than half of what it was. Those LED light bulbs will have paid for themselves in about two or three months, and then we can sit back and enjoy the monthly savings.”
Jennie: “American made products. I bought a USA framing hammer about 12 yrs ago – the Chinese version was $10 and you could see the head wasn’t as secure. Quality vs. quantity.”
Read more: Best LED bulbs for your money
It might pain you to pay more at the checkout counter, but buying better quality can save both money and the time spent repeatedly shopping for your belongings. Plus it helps our landfills, which already bulge with broken and unrepairable consumer goods.