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Thursday, September 4, 2014

Why It Doesn't Pay To Be Cheap

Wanda found a great article on Mark Hunt's Everyday Cheapskate blog.  We loved it because his points are very relevant.  We hear over and over again that if the price is too good to be true it probably isn't, but human nature is to keep hoping that this time we have finally found a true bargain.  How do we know when the cheapest is not the best?  Mark writes:

"There is a predictable progression many of us go through as we make a decision to stop living beyond our means.  We get cheap.  In fact, some even call us cheapskates-a label that personally I enjoy because it proves that I'm not the person I used to be-a credit card junkie and a totally whacked out spendthrift.

It didn't take long for me to adopt a mindset that if cheap was good, then cheaper must be even better.  As noble as that thought might seem-and it pains me to admit it-that is not always true.  Sometimes the cheapest option ends up costing the most.  It's a wise person who can see the big picture not just the cash outlay on the front end.

Case in point:  Our house was in desperate need of paint.  Spending thousands of dollars to have it painted made me queasy.  So when one of the bids came in much lower than the others, I jumped on it.  I figured paint is paint.  We'd get the house painted and still have money in the bank.

It never looked that great, and we were very disappointed from the start.  Before even two years passed, the paint job failed.  The trim cracked and peeled, making our paint look 10 years old, not two.  By the time we reached the three-year mark, paint was falling in chunks from the stucco.  It was truly pathetic and we lived with that mess far longer than I like to admit.  I know now that our cheap paint job cost us far more in the long run than if we'd gone with the highest bid from the start.

There are other times when buying the most quality you can afford is the cheapest way to go.  Buying a mattress, putting on a new roof, dental care, a decent pair of shoes-all of these are places where you are likely to pay less in the long run by opting for the most quality you can afford at the outset.

So how do you know whether you should go for the most quality you can afford or the cheapest price you can find?  Ask, "How long do I want this item to last?"  If the answer is "As long as possible," that's a sign that you need to buy the most quality you can afford.  If your answer is something like, "Until the end of the wedding reception," you don't need quality.  You need to shift your thinking to finding the best-looking wedding dress at the cheapest price.  Who cares if the quality is so poor you couldn't make it down the aisle multiple times?

Knowing when to buy the most quality you can afford, and when to go for the cheapest price you can find, is a learned skill.  The more you practice, the better you'll get.  And the better you get, the more you will enjoy some of the finer things in life that will turn out to be the cheapest way to go, after all."

Look Who Came To See Us Last Week
If you are a long time Enhance client, we know you remember Sandra!  Sandra was our favorite employee from the late '80s til she retired in 2011.  She made so many friends in her 20 plus years at Enhance Floors & More.  Sandra and her dog Chloe came by to visit last week and we greatly enjoyed spending time with her and catching up.  We'd love you to respond to this newsletter and tell Sandra hello.  
We will pass your message along to her.  We know she will enjoying hearing from you!

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