Have you heard of the Buy It for Life movement? My friends keep
talking about it, and it seems like it's just about buying expensive
things. Can you explain? - Liza
Hi Liza: I'm happy to explain this "movement," though it
seems like you've pretty much got it figured out. The idea is to
buy expensive things that will last as a means of avoiding constant
replacements and repairs that really add up. Great in theory, but
does it actually work in practice?
For some products, this is a no brainer, especially with bigger
purchases. Always pay more for good home renovations, a decent vehicle,
maybe a computer if you need it for work. Now, when I say "always
pay more," I'm not suggesting you have to pay for the most expensive
brand on the market. However, anytime you go with the cheapest option
for something like a new roof or a new laptop, you can expect to
be shopping for a replacement sooner than you'd like.
My issue with the Buy It for Life idea is that it doesn't stop at
big-ticket items. There's an expensive option for every type of
purchase, and that isn't always necessary. I bought a cheap sleeping
bag in a pinch 15 years ago and it's still holding up just fine;
I own a few second-hand tools that cost very little and still work
great; I've had friends pick up roadside couches that have then
stayed with them for years.
The point is, if you see yourself as part of a movement and get
too enamored with buying expensive things, I guarantee you'll spend
unnecessarily. You'll start paying more for accessories you don't
actually need, like coffee makers that also toast your bread and
salt shakers made of crystal. Sure, you'll have a durable salt shaker,
but you might not be able to afford the salt that goes in it.
Are some smaller items worth the extra money? Absolutely. Durable
jackets, sturdy mattresses, quality knives and dozens of other household
items can make great one-time buys that will save you money in the
long run. If you know you're going to use something forever, go
ahead and spend a little extra. That said, I would encourage you
to think long and hard before handing over your cash. Don't make
big purchases if you're about to move, and don't buy something you
don't actually need. A good, expensive cooler might last forever,
but what's the point if it's never going to leave your garage?
Those are my thoughts on the Buy It for Life concept. It's important
to buy quality products, but it's just as important to avoid overspending.
Keep shopping smart and thanks for writing in!