I normally buy lower cost items if I have a choice.
It has served me well and, in many cases, has saved me a ton of money.
Unfortunately, there have been other times in which the cheapest option hasn’t been the best deal.
Here are a few things you may want to consider before buying the cheapest version of your next purchase.
When Cheaping Out Causes You To Buy Something You End Up Hating
Have you ever debated between a slightly more expensive option and a cheaper option that seemed to serve the same purpose? If you did, have you ever hated the purchase when you got home?
I’ve been victim to this exact scenario before. But how do you know when you should buy the more expensive version?
If you’re going to use the item frequently or the more expensive item appeals to you more, go ahead and get it as long as you can afford it. The key is being able to afford it.
Here’s another thing to keep in mind. You can’t choose the more expensive item with every purchase or else your budget will explode. That said, don’t just buy the cheaper option out of habit.
When Cheaping Out Means You Won’t Enjoy Your Purchase As Much
Another time where I often buy the cheaper item is at the grocery store. When there are two similar items sitting next to each other I compare the price per unit and normally go with the cheaper one.
Unfortunately, this practice has ended up with me buying food that isn’t quite what I was expecting.
I’ve learned which cheaper foods are good replacements and which ones aren’t. I don’t mind spending a bit more money for the better item, which is a matter of opinion.
Recently, I bought some off brand candy corn. I love candy corn, but the off brand was nasty.
So will I buy it again? Nope, I’ve learned my lesson. Only Brach’s candy corn for me.
When Cheaping Out Causes More Spending Down The Road
Ever get that feeling that the cheaper alternative isn’t going to hold up as well as the more expensive counterpart? Sometimes it will and sometimes it won’t.
It usually takes some experience to figure out when to go for the more expensive option here. It’s worth figuring out, though, because simply buying the cheapest item can cost you a ton of money.
To show you what I mean, I want to share a purchase I vividly remember, purchasing jeans. When I started my last job I had the luxury of being able to wear jeans instead of khakis and other dress pants.
I went out and bought 3 pairs of Arizona jeans because they were the cheapest jeans in the store. I never really thought about the fact that some clothes are just cheap because they are poorly made.
Those jeans were definitely an example of poorly made clothes.
On the first pair of jeans a belt loop just popped off within a week. Then, about two weeks later, another pair got a hole in a random spot at a seam. Thankfully I was able to exchange those jeans because they wore out so fast.
Sadly, about three months later all of the jeans had holes where the back pocket attached to the jeans. Needless to say, I won’t be buying Arizona jeans anymore.
When Dealing With Durable (Long Lasting) Goods
This is the category that can cost you the most. Your dishwasher suddenly breaks. What do you do? You could afford a nicer model, but don’t really want to dip too deep into savings for a new dishwasher.
Instead you buy the cheapest version that will match your kitchen. Sadly, it breaks a couple years down the road or you end up absolutely hating it. Guess what happens next? It gets replaced with another new dishwasher. Ouch!
When you’re dealing with durable goods go for quality first but still keep price in mind. Don’t go buy the absolute best version of an item. Many times, the best versions cost ten times more than a reasonable model.
Instead, perform cost benefit analysis and buy the best of what you can afford within your price range.
It’s easy to cheap out on a purchase to try to save money. That said, you could easily regret that decision a few months from now. Carefully consider your purchase before picking the cheaper option to make sure it really is the best deal.
Do you ALWAYS go for the cheaper option? When has buying something more expensive benefited you and what are your rules of thumb about when to go for the more expensive item?