I love saving money. I even get a little bit of a kick when I manage to nab a bargain. But some things aren’t worth scrimping over. It’s ok to splash out and pay more – as long as you can afford it.
This doesn’t mean I’m an extravagant shopper. I still spend within my budget and I still hunt out special offers to spend less than full price where I can. But I’m happy to shell out a little extra even for the right reason.
So here are seven scenarios when I won’t go for the cheapest option or I’ll spend more than I intended.
1. Paying more when I really don’t like the cheaper alternative
There are a handful of things I buy where I won’t buy the cheapest option.
Most often it’s food and drink where I prefer the taste of certain pricier brands, especially when it comes to craft beer (as in the main picture) and chocolate.
Another is streaming. I could make do with the advert version of Spotify, or just stick with Freeview channels. But instead I choose to pay a premium.
It’s not just small things; the same goes for bigger purchases. I’m happy to fly with budget airlines, but I’d rather go to an airport that’s actually close to my destination rather than just bearing it’s name (hello “London” Southend). Likewise I don’t want to stay in dirty, run down hotels so I’ll pay more for one where I’m going to get a decent night’s sleep.
2. Paying more when I’m going to use something a lot
There’s usually a reason why something is cheaper than you expect, and often that’s down to quality of materials and construction.
So if there’s something I wear or use a lot, I’ll pay more. The most expensive items I wear are the things I wear every day – my glasses and my wedding ring (that’s the other thing I’m holding in the main picture).
Elsewhere I’ve spent more on electricals and white goods because I want them to be reliable and long lasting.
3. Paying more when the cheap option has questionable ethics
While travelling in Australia 10 years ago (!), I saw dozens of incredibly distressed cows crammed together in the back of a double decker trailer. The noise they made was terrible, and I knew I had to change the way I ate meat. So, since then I’ve only bought free range or freedom food approved meat. Likewise, I won’t go near a caged egg.
It can be tricky to adhere to all your ethics, but if you’re passionate about fair wages for factory workers and farmers, want to support local businesses, or hate the idea of your money being invested in companies with questionable practices, you will need to pay more. And I’m fine with that.
4. Paying more when it’ll save me money
Sometimes spending more can save you money in the long term. We bought a bread maker last year. You might think why do you need a bread maker, surely that’s a waste of money. Well, the amount we’ve spent on it and flour is already less than buying a loaf of bread each week. Plus we wake up to a fresh bread smell.
This counts for much bigger things too. I’m overpaying my mortgage by £250 a month. It’s not a huge amount but it will reduce the overall amount of interest I’ll pay by thousands of pounds.
5. Paying more when it’ll save me time
You can, and I have, spent hours finding the smallest savings. And most of the time it’s probably not worth it.
Yes, I do believe the small savings add up over the year, but if you’re short of time, don’t waste it trying to save 5p.
Plus you could be better off in the long term. The time you save could be used to make extra money, it could be used to think about new career (and a pay rise). And if not, you’ll probably be enjoying life a little more.
6. Paying more when I want to protect myself
So many people use comparison sites to buy insurance and just grab the cheapest option. But the cheapest option is unlikely to provide the cover you need. I’ll always pay more to make sure I’m buying what I need.
Safety is another concern. You often hear about cheap phone chargers catching fire. For the sake of £5 it’s not worth the risk!
7. Paying more when I’m treating myself
If you’ve got the money spare, you should feel it’s ok to treat yourself. This is something I generally struggle with as I’m wired never to pay full price, but I’ve always saved up for decent holidays, and I do have a couple of Apple products!
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