People Share The Products And Services To Never Cheap Out On
You work hard for your money, so it’s only natural that you want to be responsible with it. Whether you’re living on your own or have a family to take care of, being smart with money is one of the best skills you can learn in life. But some of those lessons you have to learn the hard way. It makes sense to try and take every opportunity to save money. Spending wisely is an essential part of maturing and your bank account will thank you for it. However, there are times when shelling out a little extra cash on items is more worth it. Here are some of the products and services you should never cheap out on.
#1 Quality Clothing
Although you can always buy cheap clothes, buying well-made pieces that cost more upfront will last you longer if take care of them. I have bought clothing from Target that works well enough but wore out super quickly. Conversely, my quality designer pieces (well-taken care of and not overpriced trend-setting brands) have yet to wear out.
#2 Leather That Lasts
Leather. Buy a leather briefcase from a place like Saddleback leather and you’ll never need to buy another one again. “Buy once, cry once” has NEVER been so accurate before in life. Other items to include: shoes, tires, hardback books, baseballs, baseball gloves (extremely important). Good leather is and always will be a good investment.
#3 Buy It Nice Or Buy It Twice
Anything that you don’t want to dispose of right away, basically. Buying very cheap products might lead to having to replace them more often. This is a real issue poor people have to face: not only can they only afford the cheapest products, but they also lose out on the fact that such products wear out so easily and don’t last long enough.
#4 Seeing The Clear Value
Lasik. They are supposed to do tests beforehand to screen for people who are susceptible to catastrophic complications (like a corneal tear). If you are going someplace that is suspiciously cheap (less than $1,000 per eye), they’re probably skipping those tests. I went from 20/700 to 20/15 right after the surgery. After one to two years, I was 20/20, and today I am 20/30. So there’s been some backsliding, but I’m still miles ahead of where I started. It was the best money I’ve ever spent.
#5 Full Support
Underwear, especially the bra. It makes a whole lot of difference. There’s nothing worse than a cheap, bad-quality bra. A good tip is to look at the materials used—are there any wirings that may end up being painful? Is the material of the bra itself durable and well-stitched together? The better quality your bra is, the longer it will last and the more comfortable you will be.
#6 Charging Forward
Phone chargers. Seriously, don’t. They are filled with cheap components and they can easily burst into flames, and even if they don’t they’ll charge your phone very slow. Your home, possibly your own life, is worth much more than a $20 dollar phone charger. Go with the official product rather than the knock-off version from the dollar store.
#7 Keep It Rollin’
From most important to least important (but all still very important): Shock absorbers, tires, and brakes. Good tires are useless if they won’t stay in contact with the ground, and good brakes are useless if the tires can’t fully take advantage of them. All of those things work in tandem together. Keep regular maintenance on them for better peace of mind.
#8 Sense Of Security
Anything meant to protect you. Helmets, work boots, sporting equipment, etc. If the purpose of the item is to reduce or prevent injury, then don’t cheap out on it.
#9 Comfy Seating
New couches. Save up, do a payment plan, but do not get the cheap or even moderately priced ones. Too many new couches are made cheaply and fall apart quickly. A good couch should last decades. I’ve gone through two sectionals in six years. Spend a few thousand (at least $1,500) and get quality ones that will last you a lifetime.
#10 Trashy Quality
Trash bags. They’re one of those items where you can really tell the quality difference. Trust me, you don’t want the regret of lugging a bag full of rotten produce and cat litter to the dumpster, only for it to tear apart in your hands on the upswing into the dumpster. It’s a horror you will never forget. Buy better trash bags. You’ll save yourself the mess.
#11 A Mile In Uncomfortable Shoes
Shoes. I can’t tell you how much money I’ve wasted buying cheap shoes only for them to break in like a month. Spend money on good shoes and you won’t have to spend more later. That means avoiding the stock products at big box retailers and going for the trusted brand names. In other words, go to a Nike store instead of the accessories section at Primark.
#12 What A Tool
A set of tools or power tools. If you buy a great set once, you’ll have them for a long time and they will (almost) never fail you. Plus, using a quality tool is so much better than a cheap alternative.
#13 Helpful Home Builders
Hire a trustworthy home builder. We didn’t build our home, but the previous owners did. It was their retirement home, and they paid cash. From customizations, light fixtures, etc., it’s clear they weren’t going super cheap. But their builder was awful. There were windows where one side was an inch higher than the other. There was no gravel under the foundation in an area where it really matters for radon removal. The house was fitted with the world’s worst toilets.
This week, we discovered that we don’t have enough air return vents for a house of this size, and that was what caused problems with our AC. All this stuff is so much more expensive to fix after the fact. Get a builder who will do it right, to begin with. It will save you a whole lot of time and money. The peace of mind is totally worth the price.
#14 Picture Perfect
Photography. Professionals know what they are doing, have great reaction time, and own a ton of equipment to get exactly what you need. Your cousin Betty on her iPhone is not an acceptable substitute. So if you have an important event coming up in your life, whether it be a wedding or a baptism, hire a photographer instead of opting for cousin Betty’s iPhone work.
#15 Furry Friend Food
Hear me out: Pet food. A lot of people just buy whatever food they pick up on the shelf, but so many of those foods are just full of filler product and aren’t healthy for your pets. We fed our dog Beneful for years, only to find out the hard way it has ended loads of dogs. Spending the extra few dollars on a higher-end and healthier pet food can save you thousands of dollars in vet bills later, and keep your pet healthier and happier for way longer.
#16 The Cost Of Moving
Hiring a professional moving company. We get paid much more than Two Men And A Truck, Busy Beaver, etc. The hourly guys don’t pay damages so they will throw your stuff in the truck and not care if it breaks. Allied, United, and North American Van lanes require their OTR drivers to pay damages. If I only got paid $15 an hour to be a mover, you bet your bottom dollar I wouldn’t do anything but chuck stuff in the truck not caring at all what happened to it.
#17 Perfectly Tuned
Headphones. Avoid cheap ones, but also buy smart. A good pair (Sennheisers, Bose) will offer you phenomenal sound, but also last YEARS longer than a fashion-set like Beats. The more you listen with good headphones, the more you will be able to tell the difference in their quality compared to cheap headphones. Hear music how it was made.
#18 Bargain Buying
Anything that you are buying just because it is cheap. It’s only a bargain if you wanted it anyway when it was full price. I can’t count how many times I have impulse bought cheap rubbish only to throw it away a few days later. Similarly, food that is on offer because it is going out of date. It’s easy to buy a week’s worth of food that will be inedible in two days.
#19 Suits You Well
A men’s suit. I’m a suit salesman and people come in expecting to pay 100 to 200 dollars. The only stuff that you can get for that price does not look good, which ruins the point of wearing a suit. Pay good money for a suit.
#20 Upgrade Worthy
Computer hardware and software. Upper management in businesses still have difficulties understanding that it’s not even worth having a discussion about upgrading from 8Gb ram to 16Gb. Or comparing the $1000 software vs $2000, thinking they do “the same thing,” when you pay the people to operate it x100! It just doesn’t make sense.
I’ve seen months wasted debating whether our 3D designers should have their GPUs upgraded. Meanwhile, they load a huge 3D model and walk around the office for ten minutes as it’s loading. If you’re reading this and you’re over 40 years old, in a management position with these types of decisions on your desk, you’re likely NOT QUALIFIED to be making these decisions. Please admit it and pass the task off to someone else.
#21 Sharp Cooking Knives
Kitchen knives. Dull and cheap knives are dangerous because they can often slip, cause worse cuts in your hand, and add to fatigue while cooking. I understand not everyone can afford high-quality knives, but you don’t need a full knife block with six different types of knives. Save and build up one at a time. Most people really only need a chef’s knife, a serrated bread knife, and a paring knife.
#22 Skin Savers
This is a bit of a controversial one, but face creams and products. As someone with sensitive skin, it took me about ten solid years of embarrassment before I realized that money equals clear skin. You also need to put in time and effort. Having a consistent skincare routine is just as essential as using high-quality, natural products.
#23 Fruity Foods For Fuel
Food. We don’t think twice about buying a high-quality TV or computer, but then we cheap out on the food we eat and wonder why, after a lifetime of doing that, we have poor health. You only get one shot at this life we live. Why would you cheap out on the fuel that keeps your body going? I’m not saying you need to eat truffles every day, but I get a kick when I hear people complain about how expensive healthy food is. What better place to spend your money than on good, healthy food? You are what you eat, as they say.
Also, try growing some at home. Sick of spending more money on organic food? Make a small garden and grow some of your own. It’s extremely rewarding. It also often tastes miles better to eat a piece of food that sat on the vine ripening and pushing nutrients into the veggie until the moment you ate it. Compare that to something picked early to ripen on the truck. What do you think the plant is doing as the fruit is ripening? Putting sweet goodness into it. What happens when you pick that before that process ends? The food we buy in the store is just hollow shells of the food you grow in your own soil.
#24 Deals On Wheels
A bike! I think a lot of people don’t enjoy biking as much as they could because they’ve never had a chance to ride on a really nice bike. The difference from a cheaper bike to something with real quality components on it is astounding. The ride is almost always smoother and you have fewer issues down the road in terms of parts breaking.
#25 Clean Clothes
Laundry detergent. The generic stuff never seems to get your clothes clean and smelling good.
#26 Home Work Outs
If you’re a weightlifter looking to put together a home garage gym, the two most vital pieces of equipment you cannot cheap out on are the barbell and the weight cage. Some of them for sale out there will literally bend and break under what even a casual lifter would consider a moderate amount of weight. Do your research and purchase a reputable brand with known dependability.
#27 Sticky Showers
Shower curtains. I bought one at the dollar store when I got my first apartment and I was infuriated by how it always seemed to want to drift towards me and stick because it was so thin. There’s a reason why shower curtains are so thick and heavy. Buy a real shower curtain. You’ll have a problem-free shower, without the annoying stickiness.
#28 Oil Always
Oil changes! Seriously, if you go to the budget oil change place your vehicle will not run as well and they can even screw up something as simple as putting your oil plug back on. Also, the quality of oil they put in your vehicle will be lower. If you learn how to do oil changes yourself, you can not only select the oil you want, but you’ll also save a whole lot of money every time you need an oil change.
#29 Safe Storage
Data storage devices. I had previous hard drive failures and it was the most stressful experience ever. It also costs quite a bit of money to try and recover a failed hard drive. Like, hundreds or even thousands. I don’t know how they do it or if it’s possible to do yourself. I’d imagine they try to compile all the bits or something and try to patch together missing ones. If you got family photos or lots of stuff you want to protect you probably want at least two drives that don’t turn on often.
#30 Smart About Smartphones
I’m going to add smartphones as one thing you shouldn’t cheap out on. If you’re an information worker, the amount of time savings you can get in addition to actual quality outcomes (things not screwing up or comfort to your eyes) is not worth saving a couple of hundred bucks for every two years in my opinion. You use and depend on your phone way too much for a couple of hundred bucks savings.
#31 Worth The Investment
I work in the beauty industry. I’m a color consultant at Sephora, a freelance makeup graduate from Blanche Macdonald Vancouver, Canada. If I will say ONE thing about what I’ve learned, it’s to not cheap out on skincare. Women especially want their makeup and skin to look awesome and flawless, but don’t want to spend the money it takes to achieve that.
I’ve been lucky enough to work in a business where I get free gratis from the brands, so I DO have a pretty great skincare routine. However, we’ve been taught from day one to tell our clients that skincare is an investment. Because if you want it to work and see real results, you do have to spend money.
#32 Something’s Fishy
Sushi. You actually taste the difference between cheap sushi from the supermarket and high quality, freshly made sushi from restaurants.
#33 Important Appliances
Appliances that you use almost every day. I’m talking dishwashers, washing machines, dryers, stovetops, ovens, vacuums, etc. If it is going to be used almost every day, you want something that is as easy as possible to use, as well as the most energy-efficient. In the end, it’s going to make life a whole lot easier for you, and you’ll save you money on bills.
#34 Healthy Situation
Your healthcare is something you should never cheap out on. Advocate for yourself, read hospital reviews, ask your friends and family about their experiences. Never be seen or treated at a CHI owned facility. I am not just saying that—my experience there almost cost me my life. Their re-admit and death rates are through the roof. Hindsight is 20/20… well, unless you are dead, that is!
#35 Clever About Computers
I’ve lived on both sides of the budget in PC building. The price isn’t the important part. You can find great hardware brand new at a low price if you do your research and find the right make and model. It almost certainly won’t be the cheapest, but it’ll be close and it won’t fail before the computer is obsolete. Power supplies are the prime example here.
The computer parts industry preys on people who are poorly informed and it rewards people willing to do consumer research to find the quality parts at any given price point. You need to know enough about the specs and requirements of your build to know what you need and what you don’t need to waste money on. For every company that’s willing to sell you a bad power supply that’s going to fail in six months, there’s another company that wants to sell you an overpriced power supply that has pumped up wattage ratings on rails where you’ll never use it.
Getting a good quality power supply at a good price means doing your homework and being a nerd— an actual “I researched all of this and I could write a forum post summarizing the various options on the market right now” nerd, not just a “Lol, I play so many video games. I’m such a nerd” nerd. You need to be more hard OCP than ThinkGeek.
#36 Home Sweet Home
Apartments. I initially thought I could cheap out for my first place after college and I literally have PTSD years later from dealing with the horror show that was that cheap apartment— cockroach-infested, black mold that gave me bronchitis, crime-ridden neighborhood. I’m in a ‘luxury’ complex now (which, where I am, is just a buzzword that means ‘safe and liveable’) and for every extra dollar you put in, there’s definitely a benefit.
Maintenance comes when I call and they’ve saved us during emergencies thanks to the 24/7 emergency line. We have energy-efficient appliances and lights so we don’t pay anywhere near what I used to for power. We’re fairly safe here and pest control comes when I ask for them to for any minor things like ants or millipedes coming in from outside. If you can, don’t skimp on your home. Being able to feel safe and comfortable is indispensable, and I feel so horrible knowing how many families don’t have that because they’re forced to live in places like the one I ran from.
#37 Head Health
Motorcycle helmets. Get yourself a full-faced, DOT-approved helmet. Replace every three-ish years or if dropped from three feet or higher. That is the only thing protecting your brain from the ground or a multi-ton car while traveling at high speeds. Don’t be stupid and never ride without a helmet. You’d just be gambling with your life.
#38 Parents Worth Appreciating
Your parents. You don’t need to buy them fancy stuff but make them feel that you are having a good life because of their sacrifices. Share it with them. Take them to a restaurant dinner or cook for them. Once in a while, send them on a vacation. That would mean so much to them.
#39 A Strong Foundation
If you wear makeup— your foundation. It goes on your skin for hours. Do the research and spend money on the foundation that’s right for your skin or face. I spent years cheating out on foundation as a young woman and now at 28, I will gladly spend extra to buy a brand that won’t suffocate my skin and make me look patchy as heck.
#40 Serious About Spatulas
Anything that’s a minor annoyance on the regular. When I moved into my new flat, I bought two spatulas— just cheap, plastic things that cost about fifty cents each. They’re okay for flipping eggs but other than that, they’re pretty much pointless. You can’t move anything with weight, because they’re too flimsy. Every time I cooked, I was constantly irritated by just how useless they are.
Then I did some research. Do you know how much a good, durable spatula costs? They’re at most $4. If you’d asked me at the time if I would have paid an extra $3.50 to avoid feeling vaguely annoyed every time I went to fry some food, I would have said yes in a heartbeat— but because I’d already bought them, and because they still technically worked even if they didn’t work well, I stuck with them for far too long.
#41 Catching Z’s
A good mattress. When my girlfriend and I first moved into our place, we were on a budget and bought a cheap mattress. It ended up causing us a ton of back and neck pain; so much so that I had to see a chiropractor for a few months. I ended up buying a Tempurpedic mattress and now I have zero back and neck issues. It’s awesome.
#42 Luxury Lawns
Yard or lawn equipment. Go to the dealer and get it there. The versions of the same brand you get at Lowe’s or Home Depot are made of slightly inferior materials to make them more profitable to sell wholesale. Example: My father and I both bought chainsaws (weirdly enough the same model). They get used for hard cutting wood for winter. Over the last three years, he has been to the dealer four times for wear and tears repairs, whereas I have not.
His: $400 + $78 + $78 + $78 + $78
#43 Time Worth Keeping
Watches. I’ve had a ton of cheap watches throughout my childhood and they always broke after a few months. I purchased a G Shock three years ago for about $100, and even though it’s an old model it still serves my purpose. Since it is built like a tank, I’ve never had to worry about damaging it. It is said to have a ten-year battery and if I can find batteries for it even after decades, I will probably pass it on to my children.
#44 The Sounds Of Music
Musical instruments. Please do not buy that $100 blue flute on Amazon. Please research make and model for any instrument. Sometimes even garbage is marked up. If it’s colorful or suspiciously cheap, it’s probably junk. These instruments are either broken out of the box or break very quickly. Repairs are impossible because the materials are too weak to manipulate and replacement parts are impossible to get. They also play terribly and have intonation issues.
If you need to go inexpensive, hit up a music store that sells used. Buy an older student instrument, preferably not made in China. Get advice from someone who knows what they’re talking about: a band teacher, an experienced musician, or even the shop employees if they have a good reputation. Usually, when we are trying to get you to pay more for an instrument or a repair, we are actually giving you good advice and want you to have a playable instrument. We’re not trying to rip you off.
The most common reason I hear for buying cheap instruments is, “Well I want to see if my kid even likes it before buying something good.” Your kid isn’t going to get a chance to experience playing if their instrument is basically a toy. They cannot be successful using something that doesn’t work. That’s like giving your kid dried up markers to see if they enjoy coloring, then not getting them a fresh set because they didn’t enjoy the process and got bad results. You don’t have to go crazy or anything, just get something that works and will hold up. Consider renting from a reputable shop that does month to month if you’re not ready to make a commitment.
#45 Three Rules To Live By
Never cheap out on any anything that goes between you and the ground: Mattresses, shoes, tires, etc.
Never cheap out on anything that stops you from hitting the ground: Brakes, parachutes, helmets, etc.