Part seven in the ‘Fix Your Money Problems Forever' series.
My dad always said, “When you buy cheap, you buy twice.” For me, it was more like, “When you buy cheap, you buy three or four times and pay through the nose for it!”
In recent years, I've learned the wisdom of my dad's words. When you buy cheap, you always end up paying more. The reason is, you try to save money buying, say, a cheap dishwasher but inevitably, it shits itself after a year or two, so you end up biting the bullet and buying an ASKO or BOSCH.
I've learned that when you opt for quality gear, the benefits are three-fold.
- You eliminate the frustration of an inferior product that doesn't perform and doesn't last.
- You enjoy the benefits and inherent pleasure of owning something of quality.
- You spend less because you only buy once.
Nowadays, I scour the Internet for reviews on just about anything I plan to buy. I determine what the best brand/model is for my needs, and then I search eBay, Gumtree or other sources for a good second-hand version.
Sometimes I buy new but most times I'm happy to let someone else take the depreciation hit for me.
I'm also a fan of contra deals. The way it works is, I do a job for you and in exchange, you supply me with something I want. I've done this with services, with car parts; even a whole car!
Recently, I've done this with three cars, and it has allowed me to drive $450,000 worth of vehicles for $75,000. All are one-owner cars with full-service histories, and they still present like new.
Other notable purchases include a $1,000 BOSCH dishwasher for $300, a $600 Montblanc pen for $200 and a $1,100 Nikon DSLR lens for $350.
Stop kidding yourself. Buying new is a mug's game.
You only have to see how quickly consumer goods depreciate to realise that buying new is a mug's game. That new car smell isn't worth paying double or triple the price of a well cared-for pre-owned example. I don't care how you justify telling yourself a new one is better (tax breaks, etc.), it just isn't. Sure, you may be the first person to fart on the driver's seat, but a good detail removes many sins.
If you need further convincing, look at it this way. A new Mercedes-Benz C250 will cost you $77,000 in Australia. A 5-year-old example with just 40,000kms on the clock will cost you less than $33,000. That's $44,000 you can put towards your kids' education. Alternatively, you can put that towards a $350,000 property that will increase in value and support your early retirement plans (while reducing your tax burden as well). It's entirely conceivable that in 10 years, that property will put another $300,000 into your freedom fund – even if you don't reduce the loan by a single dollar!
My message here is simple.
Going cheap costs you a lot more than going premium. In the short term, it also enhances your life with better things that are a joy to use. Long term, it means more money in your pocket and a faster trajectory to the life you seek.
Purchase fewer things but better things.
It will actually save you money. You'll live a better life, and you'll earn your freedom sooner.
This post is part seven of a series called ‘Fix Your Money Problems Forever'. Check out the others in this series.
1. Know WHY you’re Spending
2. Don’t do a Budget
3.Good Debt, Bad Debt and Ugly Debt
4. Trapped by debt? Go on a killing spree!
5. Pleasure-seeking may cost you your freedom.
6. Eliminate Crap from your Life
7. To Save Money, buy Premium
8. Create a Business From What you Know
9. Invest Well and Sleep at Night!
Thanks for stopping by and I hope we get to hang out more in the future. And in the meantime, please feel free to share your own experiences. You can also email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. I respond to all emails.
Disclaimer: I'm not a psychologist and I'm not a financial advisor's elbow. This material doesn't constitute financial advice but it is a collection of my personal opinions, based on my own experiences.
Also published on Medium.