For a long time I’ve been on the frugal or cheap fence. One day I think frugal accurately describes me, and then the next day I jump ship and find myself firmly planted in the cheap camp.
Here’s another question we can ask to help differentiate between frugal and cheap.
Do you buy things based on what they cost, or do you buy things based on what you get?
I think that cheap people buy based on what things cost. In my recent post How To Get A Good Deal When Shopping, I talk about the importance of value. As yourself, what do I get when I buy this item?
There are, for example, some things you can purchase that cost more money in the short term, but in the long term actually result in a greater money savings or additional money earning opportunities.
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t look for a good deal (like a $30 rebate on a fridge), but go for value.
Four Positive Examples of Expensive Shopping
I’ve been a Debt Goal affiliate for several months. Debt Goal is a product that helps people in debt get organized to pay off their debts. It is a subscription membership that costs $14.95. For that $14.95, you get access to a personalized debt reduction plan that tracks your progress and helps you make adjustments to your debt repayment plan.
However, when I’ve read Debt Goal reviews there is always the statement – people in debt shouldn’t be paying $14.95 per month for a debt product. In fact, I’ve had similar thoughts. But, that is evaluating Debt Goal based on what it costs.
What if we turned things around and evaluated it based on what you get?
If Debt Goal is the missing ingredient that finally helps you get out of debt then you could be saving hundreds of dollars a month in debt related interest rates. Sure, Debt Goal isn’t for everyone, but if you’re looking for a way to get out of debt, you should at least check out the free trial (click here for a free trial) so you can see if what you pay is worth what you get.
I’ve got a few pieces of high quality clothing in my wardrobe. Specifically, I have a pair of Columbia GRT hiking pants. I got those pants on sale and paid about $25 for them (that’s expensive shopping in my house since we buy second hand clothes:)). However, I’ve worn those things a lot and even in some very rugged conditions. Now, four years later, they are still in my wardrobe (but the sun has changed the color).
Had I been thinking about what I paid, I never would have bought the pants, but since I made the decision based on what I got in return, then I actually ended up with a great deal.
Blog Products – Market Samurai
Before I started blogging, you would hardly ever see me spend money. But, once I started my own small blog business I’ve been spending money like Donald Trump. Last year, I bought an eBook for $97. Crazy, right? So what cause the Scrooge to Trump transition? Well, it turns out that book saved me a ton of time, a bunch of hassle, and even resulted in some additional profits. If I was still buying based on cost, I wouldn’t have the book, but I also wouldn’t have the extra income.
A few months ago I purchased Market Samurai (here’s my Market Samurai review). I added that to the other blogging products I already pay for. So, why would I drop another $100 for one product? I certainly didn’t want to pay that money, but I knew that it was a product that would help bring value to my blog. Since search engine traffic provides over 75% of my traffic, knowing what I can rank for when I post is important. So important, that I willingly bought Market Samurai – not because of what it cost, but because of what I received. And, it was worth it.
We buy organic food, but the only reason is that everything we buy here in Papua New Guinea at the market is organic. However, my wife and I have been talking some about buying higher quality food products. Sure, you do have to spend more money to buy natural or organic food, but you also get something more valuable in return. Look, I’m not a health nut, but if buying more expensive food is healthier and makes you feel better, then you are getting something more for that money you spend. But, that requires a shift in thinking from what you spend to what you get.
Do you buy based on what you spend or what you get? What things do you think are worth spending more money to buy? When is expensive shopping good?