The defining Ah-Hah! Moments of my Life – Part 2

Read about my first Ah-Hah! Moment here.

Second Ah-Hah! Moment: Buying quality & not always quantity is not so stupid after all.

There was a time when I thought: more, is more is more. Right?

Heck if someone gives me a choice of eating 2 ice cream cones instead of 1 for the same price, I am damn well going to eat two ice cream cones!

More is more!

But over the past couple of years, I’ve realized that there is a fine line between buying too many items for too cheap, and buying items that are too expensive.

Buying too many items for cheap

As in my ice cream cone example above, I run the risk of getting a bellyache, or worse, having to throw up from eating too much sugar, fat, cream & dairy. (True story.)

It’d be a waste. And I now, I really hate wasting anything.

But on to safer subjects, depending on the item, sometimes it’s better to spend the entire amount on a single purchase.

Piggy Bank Shopping BagsEvery year, I used to buy a pair of new winter boots for $50.

(What a waste, I know!)

But I was sick at the thought of purchasing boots for more than $50.

Why do that, when I can get more boots for less money!?“, I reasoned.

I also accumulated many cheap pieces of clothing, as well as a cheap external hard drive that ended up conking out on me and losing all my precious data.

Buying cheap items was a problem. It wasn’t useful or saving me any money in the long run.

So here is my golden rule for shopping: Cost Per Use.

Instead of purchasing $50 boots that will wear out in a winter, save up your $200 and buy the best pair of boots you can purchase, but only ONCE.

Then, take great care of them so they will be able to last through at least 4 winters or more.

If you can make those $200 boots last for 4 winters or more, you are now decreasing the cost per use.

$200 / 4 winters = $50/winter

$200 / 5 winters = $40/winter

$200 / 6 winters = $33.33/winter

..and so on.

It also cuts down on the stress and agony of trying to find the perfect pair of boots, each winter — you won’t need to buy the perfect pair, you already own them.

And you can save or spend your money instead.

As a bonus tie-in to having too many cheap things in your home, Meg had made an excellent point in one of my posts about how having too many things makes a room look less expensive, rather than more.

Meg

There you have it.

You don’t need a lot of expensive items to make a room look expensive.

In fact, the more you clutter the room with those items, the cheaper it looks. As if your decorations are plentiful and therefore cheap to buy and display in your home.

Even if you only display a single decoration that couldn’t have cost more than a $1, but you give it a clear place of honour on your mantlepiece or in your home, it is going to have more value than fifty $100 items scattered all over your mantlepiece.

Buying items that are too expensive

Naturally after I had that revelation, I almost fell head first into the trap of buying the most expensive, most amazing item out there on the market.

But when I winced handing over my credit card to purchase something I was hesitant about because of its high pricetag, I snapped back my hand from the salesgirl’s claws and said: “No. No. I’ve changed my mind.

Cost-per-use had come in handy again, and my instincts told me it was just too high to be justified.

I would only use the kitchen appliance once or twice a year if that, and for $300 I couldn’t do it.

It would just clutter up my apartment & punch me in the wallet to boot.

Not to mention the heavy dose of guilt every time I look at it.

It is better to just buy the best item for the value that it represents to you and your lifestyle.

And this varies for each person. Just stick with your instincts and you cannot go wrong.

About the Author

I'm a 20-something year old girl who lived out of a single suitcase in 2007, and now I'm living with less, but only with the best. You don't have to get rid of everything to become a minimalist! Minimalism can help simplify and organize your life, career, & physical surroundings. You can read more about me as a minimalist. Or come and visit my other blog Fabulously Broke in the City where I got out of $60,000 of debt in 18 months, earning $65,000 gross/year.