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When Is It Worth Spending More Money?

by Miranda Marquit

In some circles, the last word in smart spending is getting something for the cheapest possible price. While bargain shopping is a good thing, and while you want to feel as though you are getting good value for your money, in some cases it’s worth it to spend a little more money. Here are some ways to figure out if it’s worth spending more:

Will it Save You Time?

Time is money. Even more importantly, time is life. Once time is past, you can’t get it back. As a result, it’s important to be careful about how you use your time. If you can save money, but it takes you a lot of time to do so, it might worth it to pay a little more to have that time to spend with your family, or to do something that you enjoy. There’s a lot to be said for spending a little extra to enjoy a little more time.

Is it Convenient?

I routinely pay $50 more for airfare so that I can leave at times that are more convenient. Yes, I can save money by taking a red-eye. But I don’t want to. I’d rather have the convenience of a flight that leaves at a more reasonable time. It’s easier for the person taking me to the airport, and I maintain a certain level of sanity.

Do You Enjoy the Experience?

when is it worth spending more money?

Did you bring the binoculars?

My spending priorities often revolve around the experience. I like to enjoy the experience. So, when I go to a play, I pay extra for box seats. It’s a much more enjoyable experience than being somewhere in the back. If I’m going on vacation, I save up enough money so that I don’t have to worry about pinching pennies while I’m enjoying myself. If spending a little extra will significantly improve the experience, and you value that, it could be worth it to spend a little more.

Is it Higher Quality?

Something of a truly higher quality is often worth paying a little extra for. The shoes that last 18 to 24 months, but cost more, are often a better value in the long run than the cheaper shoes that you have to replace every four to six months. From appliances to tools, take quality into consideration. Often, something that costs a little more up front, but that will last you years longer, is worth the extra money you pay up front.

Deciding What’s Worth it to You

Of course, what’s worth a higher price to me might not be worth the extra cost to you. It all depends on what you think is important. My parents have no problem taking the red-eye. The convenience that I think is extremely important (and that affects the all-important experience for me) is not thought of at all by my parents. They happily save the money and take the red-eye.

It’s important for you to take a look at your own situation, and figure out what is important to you, and your lifestyle. If you can afford to pay a little more for something (or afford it after saving up), there’s no reason to go cheap if it’s worth it to you to spend the extra.

Photo credit: Stacey Huggins


Published or updated April 12, 2012.
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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Krantcents

Quality is not just lasting longer! For example a better pair of shoes may not hurt your feet. I always spend more on clothes, they call it invest quality clothes. I would rather have less clothes, but better quality clothes. This does not mean $200 tee shirts, but I get the highest quality I can afford at a discount.

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2 Miranda Marquit

Great point! Better shoes can prevent problems related to your feet and back, and save you money indirectly. I like your phrasing of buying the best quality you can afford on discount. It’s always good to look for the best deals.

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3 Kurt @ Money Counselor

I agree, I tend to pay for convenience and time-savers, up to a point of course. Unfortunately some folks simply don’t have the financial option to make such choices.

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4 Chuck

Just last Saturday I decided to buy some new golf shoes. I usually like to walk nine holes 3-4 times a week and have warn out my 8 year old golf shoes. Anyway, I chose to buy a synthetic pair of Nike’s for $65.00. After getting home I started to think about them lasting for 8 years like my leather Oakley golf shoes did. I also thought about comfort and am taking cheap shoes back and trading them for the $129.00 model…

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5 Nick

When your wife makes you? Haha, half kidding. I have a really hard time opening up the wallet to spring for “quality.” My problem is deciding between good enough and top of the line. There’s a point where quality levels off, so I sometimes have a hard time deciding whether I’m spending too much in the name of buying quality that will last longer.

My wife recently had her mind set on an Amish dining room set. It’s definitely quality, but would it last longer than a non-Amish set that would be half the price? I wasn’t sure. But we had the cash for it and got it. I’m sure there was a cheaper option, but I also bought a lot of peace of mind… you know… happy wife happy life…

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