A great question sent in by a very sweet reader Tammy, to ask me to please explain the concept of ‘quality over quantity’, and to apply it to minimalism.
WHAT ‘QUALITY OVER QUANTITY’ MEANS
The basic idea behind buying a quality piece over buying multiple pieces are that you get exactly what you want (or better) without spending more on cheap substitutes.
A lot of people think they cannot afford the high quality item, but then they go out and spend almost the exact same amount on multiple cheap substitutes.
At the end of it all, they feel unfulfilled and unsatisfied because they’re still lusting after the high quality item but are buying cheap duplicates to fill that “void”.
It’s false economy because rather than spending $100 on one amazing item, you’re spending $80 on 4 items that don’t measure up (or fall apart) before the $100 item would.
Even worse, you’re out $80 but then you finally give in and buy the $100 item you had originally wanted.
HOW IT APPLIES IN MINIMALISM
Well we want less stuff, right?
So if we want less stuff, it makes sense to adhere to the Quality over Quantity principle because we will have items that last longer, are exactly what we want, and we don’t need many of!
For instance, I really wanted a pair of knee-high brown boots. I researched all the price points from $50 to $300.
In the end, the only pair that looked well made and had the classic look I was going for, was the $300 pair.
I spent the $300, and I have never needed or wanted to buy another pair of dark brown, flat boots since.
Yep, these are the boots!
In contrast, my sister wanted this amazing bathing suit for $100.
She refused to spend the money, so she bought cheap substitutes to the tune of $15 or $20 each, until she had 5 bathing suits that looked like the one she wanted, but…. wasn’t what she wanted.
She’s still looking. And spending.
IT ALSO APPLIES TO SERVICES
I’d also like to propose that it doesn’t apply to just items either, but also to services.
For instance, I mentioned in my post about going to Asia for 45 days that I want to stay in a hotel, not a hostel.
This may not make a lot of sense to some, because a hotel room is just a place to sleep in (and normally I’d agree), but I want to ensure my belongings are as safer, not out in the open for thieves and to have my own bathroom rather than to share one.
I could certainly stay longer (QUANTITY) in Asia if I saved 90% of the cost of a hotel just by staying in a hostel (QUALITY), but it isn’t worth it to me.
IT ALSO APPLIES TO “LIFE”
How about quality over quantity for your work life balance?
If you are making $100,000 a year but working 80 hour work weeks getting burned out and stressed out, why not consider $50,000 a year as your salary and work only 40 hour work weeks?
You’d have more time to spend with your family, and improve your quality of life, rather than choosing money (QUANTITY) to pay for all the bills or buy things you don’t need.
Ultimately, where you spend your money and your time indicates where your priorities lie in life.
Whether you decide it’s your hair, spending your free time in the office, or buying a great laptop, it is YOUR CHOICE and YOUR PRIORITIES.