Intentionally Investing


"In order to make purchases that support our values, we must be willing to be conscious, thoughtful consumers—even if it means spending more on quality items...It’s about investing in products that are a reflection of what we really value."-Jesse Carey, Relevant Magazine

Saving money is good. Finding deals is good. Shopping sales and second-hand stores is good. But so is investing in quality, even when it comes at a higher monetary cost.

The question we must ask ourselves is "what matters more to me?" Do we want the bottom-of-the-barrel price and subsequently lower-quality product, or are we willing to pay a premium for organic, locally grown, sustainably resourced, environmentally friendly, well-made, longer-lasting alternatives instead of cheap imitations? If we truly value the quality of something and want it to last, we might have to be willing to pay more for it.

There is no shame in paying a higher cost for something when you have thought about it and decided that quality is something you place a high value on. At first glance, these might seem like splurges or unnecessary expenses, especially for people without much disposable income. But if we budget and plan for it, we might be able to incorporate more higher-quality products into our lives, even if we can't buy everything that we would like to right away.

If we invest more in these products, we're more likely to take better care of them and make them last as long as possible. For instance, if we pay more for expensive foods, we're more apt to make sure we store them properly to keep them fresh as long as possible, and ensure we use it all instead of throwing any away like we might if we knew we hadn't spent much money on it. In terms of things like cars, furniture, technology, or other high-ticket items, we treat them with greater care and respect when we had to save and shell out a great deal of money to buy them. Just think about how you felt when you bought your first car-- it was your cherished baby, not just your parents' car on loan.

I'm all about finding good deals and shopping second-hand stores when it comes to some things, although I have been more careful about taking my time to search for hidden treasures in those places-- pieces that are of good quality and sold at a lower price. It takes a lot of time, and sometimes I have to be willing to walk away empty-handed if I don't find exactly what I'm looking for, but in the long run, I know it's better than compromising and getting something that's not quite right, thinking it's "close enough," and ultimately being dissatisfied with it because I don't really love it.

For me, it's well worth it to bide my time and wait for the right piece instead of settling for something less. That way, I end up with fewer pieces over all, but I like them more and get more use out of them. It's a win-win. I have less clutter by way of unwanted stuff, and I'm getting more use out of the things I have, surrounding myself with the things I love.

When are you willing to spend more to get products of higher quality?


Further reading:

The Power of Buying Less by Buying Better by Elizabeth Cline, The Atlantic

The Case for Thoughtfully Buying Expensive Things by Jesse Carey, Relevant Magazine


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