Welcome to My Personal Finance Journey! If you are new here, please read the "About" or "First-Time Visitor" pages to find out more about us. If you would like to receive free updates on articles like this by email, then sign up here or you can subscribe to the RSS feed. Also, check us out on Twitter or Facebook. Thanks for visiting! Keep on learning!
The following guest post was written by Aloysa from My Broken Coin as part of a “Yakezie blog swap” where members of the Yakezie Personal Finance Blogging Network pair up and exchange guest postings on a common topic. The topic of this blog swap was to discuss a certain thing or category of things that we absolutely refuse to go cheap on in our lives. Hope you enjoy! You can view my guest post over at My Broken Coin today as well! My Broken Coin is a personal finance blog of a big spender and a shopping addict who is trying to save, budget, set up goals and still have fun along the way.
Stop Being Cheap and Invest In Yourself
I am a spender. But even big spenders like me have their limits. Sometimes, I decide to make an effort to be frugal and save money. I start looking for bargains. I have to admit that my biggest mistakes were caused by me trying to save a buck or two on things that should not be settled for because of the price. Believe me or not, sometimes expensive means quality, style, and comfort and cheap means….crap. In the end, my attempts to save money cost me more.
I am not telling you to follow my excessive shopping habits and go shed unreasonable amounts of money on stuff. Think for yourself and be smart about your spending. But, I would advise to not look for bargains when it comes to the following:
Hair StylistsMy hair defines me. It gives me style and a distinct look. I never let anyone cut my hair using a razor, but for some unexplainable reason, hairstylists in cheap parlors are obsessed with razors. Maybe scissors are too expensive. Maybe they like to slice and dice people’s hair. I don’t care! I ran away from them a long time ago and never looked back. I settle for expensive salons for one reason only: I get what I pay for. In the end, I am not paying twice: once for a cheap color and cut, and later, for an expensive salon hairstylist who desperately tries to fix my mullet like, razor shaped haircut. I save money by choosing to pay more.
ShoesShoes are not all about the looks. I am a shoe snob who doesn’t believe in striking a balance between comfort, quality, and affordability with cheap footwear. Every time I go for a low price and breathtaking looks, I end up in pain, misery, and with a health issue. I walk a lot during the day, and if I don’t get the appropriate support, my feet and back hurt. I don’t want to be in pain every day. Do you? I consider shoes one of the best investments we can make. Good quality shoes won’t bring you any monetary gain. However, they will definitely benefit your health. Is there a better investment other than investing in your health?
BedI love to sleep. I love to rest. Preferably in the comfort of my big bed. Most of our waking hours are spent either flying above the pavement in our expensive and comfortable shoes (see above) or sleeping in our beds. I always ask myself how much is a good night’s rest worth to me. Believe me, it is worth a lot! In fact, a good night’s sleep is priceless.
Work ClothesThis is very simple. If you work in a professional environment, do not settle for bargains and sales when choosing a suit for the following reasons:
- You will look cheap in substandard quality fabric.
- You won’t look professional.
- You won’t look sophisticated.
Remember a saying “Dress to impress?” It applies in the office, especially if you want to move up the ladder one day. Invest in your professional looks. It will pay off, trust me.
How about you all? In what areas of your personal finances/life do you draw the line at being cheap? Why do you feel this way about these areas?
Share your experiences by commenting below!
Jacob's Thoughts - Listed below are my random thoughts as I was reading this article.
- Very good post here, Aloysa, and thanks for being my blog swap partner! You bring up some very interesting points and some good areas for where NOT to be cheap.
- Personally, I would classify myself as a "saver," so it's interesting to read a "spender's" take on the issue of where we draw the line of being cheap.
- @ Cheap sometimes meaning low quality -
- It really resonated with me in particular when you mentioned above that some of your biggest money mistakes involved you buying something cheap, only to find out that quality of the product was very low.
- As someone who is VERY frugal myself, I frequently am tempted by cheap products and have fallen in to this trap as well.
- What will happen with me is that I'll find out that I need to buy something new, and upon investigating the full retail price of my "first choice" product, I'll find out that the item is quite pricey. Being a very frugal person, I then start to look for ways to obtain the same sort of product at a cheaper price. Often, this has resulted in me buying stuff from eBay, Amazon, or other various discount-priced outlets that HAS been cheaper, but has also been of much lower quality.
- Since the product is of lower quality, I will often have to either buy another one immediately to upgrade (wasting time and money), or the cheap product will break and will need to be replaced.
- I've decided to devote an upcoming post to this topic since there is only so much room in this comments section. However, listed below are some of the various "cheaper-version" products I've purchased over the years that have probably cost me more money in the long run than simply buying the more expensive version from the start:
- Hiking poles
- Road bike
- Laptop battery (the one I purchased on Amazon didn't interface correctly with my Toshiba laptop and would switch my computer's power on and off unexpectedly!)
- Heart rate monitors
- @ Investing in your self -
- I am a big believer in not being cheap when it comes to investing in your self growth.
- Each month, I set aside a small portion of my income to save to be used for one of the following ways to invest in myself: 1) continuing education classes at a local community college, 2) books, 3) seminars, and 4) conferences.
- @ Why hair salons use electric razors vs. scissors -
- I've also noticed the trend in recent years that hair salons have started to almost stubbornly use the electric razor to cut as much of your hair as possible. This is especially true at many of the discount hair cutting operations that you see in Wal-Marts and shopping malls.
- I'm pretty certain that the reason that this shift is occurring is because using the electric razor is 1) quicker, 2) easier, and 3) less awkward (they don't have to grab your hair and cut it with scissors).
- Since my hair is VERY easy to cut, I actually started noticing back in 2009 that the hair salons were starting to only use the electric razor (on one length setting no less) to cut my hair. This simplicity prompted me to buy an electric razor kit at Wal-Mart and use it to cut my own hair, which I have done since and couldn't be happier with! I've calculated that this has saved me $300-$400 so far!
- As a whole, I think that probably the majority of guys (at least the ones with fairly simple hairstyles) could in fact cut their hair at home using an electric razor. On the other hand, women have more complex hairstyles, and therefore, I think it still makes sense for them to visit a hair professional.
- @ Dress with high cost clothes
- I have to respectfully say that I somewhat disagree with the idea that you have to spend big money on fancy dress clothes for work.
- Thus far in my working life, I've worked in multiple settings (casual manufacturing plant and semi-formal corporate headquarters) in multiple locations (big city and small farming community), and not once, was I ever looked down upon for not having fancy designer dress clothes. All of my dress clothes were either bought from Wal-Mart, JC Penney's, or Target.
- In fact, I often got compliments of how well/nicely I dressed for someone of my young-ish age in the workplace.
- Of course, I suppose that this attitude towards "level of style" all depends on the nature of your job.
- All of the roles I've had involved working with other scientists, pharmacists, or engineers (even at the corporate level). And, as a whole, I'd posit that these people place less importance on style, provided that someone looks presentable to some degree.
- If you worked somewhere such as a fashion firm or as an investment banker, it might be different.