The key to financial success isn’t how much you make; it’s how much you keep.
Regardless of your income, you need to keep a close eye on expenses both big and small; from the size of your mortgage to how much you spend on a trip to the movies.
But while it pays to shop hard, there are some times when it’s OK to spend a little extra money for quality. Here are some examples, inspired by personal finance guru Dave Ramsey.
Running Shoes — Proper fit, support and durability come at a price. Invest in quality shoes to make exercise more comfortable and, more importantly, reduce the chance of a painful and potentially costly injury.
Bed sheets – Sleep is critical to our health and productivity. If your cheap sheets are chafing or otherwise impeding a good night’s rest, spend the money to upgrade.
Food — Fast food and cheap convenience foods may seem like a bargain, but they can take an expensive toll on your long-term health. Find somewhere else to economize. Anywhere else.
Desk Chair – If you work at a desk all day you are entrusting your back’s health to a chair. Choose wisely. As with running shoes, the bargain brand can lead to pain and financial suffering down the road. If you’re in the market for a new workspace situation, consider a desk that allows you to sit or stand. I can do both in my office and it’s made a huge difference.
Toilet Paper – Even Dave Ramsey splurges on TP. The cheap stuff just ain’t worth the savings.
Silverware – You use it all day, every day. It’s OK to buy quality stuff, especially if half the forks have gone a few rounds with the garbage disposal.
Trash Bags — The see-through-thin bags may seem like a bargain until you’re picking up mildewed strawberries, wads of cat hair, and liquefied lettuce off that rug by the backdoor.
Of course, you should still shop hard for these quality items. Top-notch running shoes, for example, can often be purchased online for much less than you’d pay at the mall. And some store-brand products do offer quality comparable to the national brands at a lower price.