“The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.” Benjamin Franklin’s words ring as true today as they did in the 1700s.
If you’re a frugal shopper, it’s tempting to save money wherever you can. But some purchases are worth splurging on, if only so they don’t cost you more in the long run.
After all, a cheap car might not make a big dent in your budget today, but you could be sinking money into repairs before you know it.
If you have some wiggle room in your finances, here are six purchases worth (responsibly) splurging on the first time.
1. A low-mileage car
If you rely on a car to get to and from work, consider opting for a quality vehicle over a clunker pushing 100,000 miles. Although you can score a cheap used car on Craigslist, you might spend more overall on trips to the repair shop.
Heidi McBain, a counselor and therapist, said buying a new car was one of her best spending decisions.
“We bought a new Toyota 4Runner in 2003, and we still have it,” she said. “It has been paid off for years and is still going strong at 127,000 [miles].”
McBain said she plans to drive it for a few more years before passing it on to her daughter.
“I had no idea 15 years later that it would still be running so well and still be so dependable that we can take it on long road trips and not have to worry,” she added.
Of course, you don’t need to buy new to get a good deal on a car. But investing in a reliable brand with relatively low mileage could save you financial headaches for years to come.
2. A decent mattress
A good night’s sleep is essential for your mental and physical health. According to the American Psychological Association, most Americans would be happier and even safer if they slept an additional hour to an hour and a half per night.
That’s why J.R. Duren, a personal finance writer at HighYa, recommends investing in your sleep.
“When I was younger and going through college and grad school, the most I spent on a bed was $40, and I never bought one new,” he said. “After I got married, a good bed was a must. Don’t be afraid to spend at least $400 on a mattress — even more, if need be — to find a bed that helps you sleep well.”
Duren recommends direct-to-consumer online companies such as Casper, Leesa, and Tuft & Needle. Not only do they have competitive prices, but they also offer a 100-night trial. If you regret your purchase, you can return it within that period without penalty.
3. High-quality kitchenware
Alayna Pehrson, who manages financial blogs for Best Company, knows what it’s like to buy a cheap item only to have to replace it with a more expensive one a few weeks later. Now, she invests in items such as kitchenware.
“If you’re like me, then you spend quite a lot [of] time on a daily basis in the kitchen using a variety of kitchenware,” Pehrson said. “Having quality pots and pans the first time around will definitely save you money and save you from the hassle of going to buy more pots and pans.”
Pehrson also said good knives can be worth the splurge. “Knives can get pricey, but true quality knives will last you pretty much your entire lifetime,” she said.
If cooking is your thing, investing in high-quality kitchenware could make your life easier. Plus, you might save money by cooking more often.
4. Long-lasting furniture and appliances
Besides kitchenware, Pehrson also recommends investing in high-quality furniture and appliances.
“Furniture like couches and beds can last a long time if you make quality purchases and take care of them,” she said. “[The] same goes for appliances like washers and dryers and fridges.”
Instead of having to replace a rickety dining room set or uncomfortable couch, look for durable items. It could be worth shelling out a few extra bucks for furniture and appliances you can use for years to come.
5. A warm winter coat
Anyone who lives in a cold climate knows you need lots of layers to make it through a polar vortex. Investing in a warm winter coat will make winter a lot more comfortable, especially if you’re outside commuting to and from work.
“A good winter coat that will last you for more than one winter season may be a bit pricey,” said Pehrson. “However, it is definitely worth the spending money. If you think about it, cheaper-priced coats are often less warm, are made with lower-quality material, and will probably show wear and tear sooner than you would think.”
Ultimately, Pehrson said, function trumps fashion when it comes to justifying the purchase of an expensive winter coat. Get a good winter coat now so you don’t have to buy a new one next year.
6. Your go-to interview outfit
Interviewing for jobs is stressful, but getting dressed for them doesn’t have to be. Buying the right outfit can help you feel confident and do your best.
Brian Meiggs, founder of personal finance website My Millennial Guide, said a quality suit helped him during his post-college job hunt.
“When I first graduated college, the first thing I bought was a well-fitted suit for the numerous postgrad interviews I was going to face,” said Meiggs. “It is OK to splurge on this because you need [a go-to outfit] for your interviews or when you need to dress the part at work.”
Meiggs recommends getting a solid-color suit in either navy or dark gray since that tends to be most appropriate for a job interview.
“Expect to spend roughly $100 to $300 on this item, but it will be well worth it for years to come,” Meiggs said.
If you don’t already have a go-to interview outfit, consider investing in one. Instead of worrying about what to wear, you’ll be able to focus on preparing for job interview questions.
Weigh quality with price before you buy
Although kitchenware and furniture can be worth splurging on the first time, they’re not a priority if you don’t have room in your budget. Before anything else, make sure you can cover basic living costs, save for emergencies, and pay your bills.
But if you have some extra room in your budget, weigh quality with price before making a purchase. And remember that a high price doesn’t necessarily mean high quality. Read reviews and compare your options before you splurge.
Besides these big-ticket items, you also might benefit from spending a little extra on everyday purchases. Here are 10 smaller items worth spending extra on.
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