Here at Savingadvice, we know that cheaper isn’t always better. This may be a surprise, given most of our subject matter. Regardless, we know that there are some things that deserve a little more attention to quality than price. This balance is summed up by my favorite word: Value. Value is a principal that is built by comparing the quality of something, how useful it is to you, and how much it will cost. If you can snag something great for cheap, awesome; the reality is, though, that there are some items that make this pretty difficult. So in order to get the best value out of your purchases, here are 3 times when you should buy it nice, or buy it twice!
Cars and Trucks
First things first, do not read this as me telling you to go out and buy a new luxury car. New cars are a terrible value proposition, and luxury vehicles can struggle in terms of reliability. What I am saying here is that just because you “don’t mind bumming it” with a beater, doesn’t mean you should grab that $600 Altima with a blown head gasket. Consider paying around $3000 for a real reliable mainstay. As far as new vehicles go, if you just have to have one, don’t buy from brands that are known to break just because they are cheap. I used to work for a car dealer, and across the street was a massive Kia dealership with constant “blowout” sales. Don’t fall for this trap, which is common with brands like Kia, Nissan, and Chrystler. All of these brands have one thing in common: Their cars do not last. If you have to buy a new car, spend a little more for a reputable brand with a good warranty to get the most out of your money.
This one is a very circumstantial call. Now, I’m not saying I think cheap brands like Ikea aren’t as bad as everybody says they are. Although, I do think that there is merit in paying a little more if you plan to live in one place for a long time. That is where discretion comes in. If you are putting together a nice looking dorm for a couple years, go ahead and cheap out a little. On the other hand, if you plan to decorate your forever home, buy with quality in mind. Don’t be afraid to look on the used market for good prices,, just avoid anything that won’t last.
Whether it be an apartment, a condo, or your first real house, be picky. Low prices aren’t always good prices, and low-end homes can come with high-end issues. Some even come with severe health risks when bugs, mold, or water damage end up in the mix. Do your research, and if you aren’t experienced in doing so, don’t assume you’ll tackle a dirt-cheap fixer-upper. If you can snag a home for way under value, and have enough money to fix all the major issues in the home, go for it. With that said, do not buy too early and skimp out on a home missing major quality-of-life factors like solid HVAC systems or appliances, assuming you’ll “get to it later.”