In January I wrote my first “Money Talks” post and it seemed to resonate with some of you. I’ve been devouring Dave Ramsey’s book “Smart Money, Smart Kids” and have been getting more and more excited about ways to handle our money. I’ve even been sharing the things I’ve been learning with the girls in my Sunday School class and they’ve been loving it too.
Have you ever heard the phrase by Vivienne Westwood that says “Buy well, choose less, make it last.”? I was at a kids’ consignment sale near our house today and the cashier was commenting that she loved my bag. It was a simple black leather Coach bag that I spent $120 on about 10 years ago. To some of you $120 probably sound ludicrous to spend on a bag. To others it’s about $900 less than you’ve spent on your favorite purse. Here’s what I’ve learned over the years: it’s worth it to buy the quality item if you know it’ll last and if it’s what you really want. I’ll even go so far as to say that I’ve spent less money by spending more. Let me explain. In the past four years I’ve bought two bags. So my bag rotation includes three really well made leather bags, including my black tote, that are classic in design and that I still I love even though it’s been nearly a decade since that purchase at the Coach outlet.Even though I would love to add to my collection I don’t feel the need to because I chose wisely with the style, color and quality of the bags I’ve already purchased. The same goes for when I’ve splurged on clothing items. I bought a couple of well made, and more expensive than I’d normally spend dresses from J. Crew when I was still working and wearing them regularly and 4-6 years later the classic designs are still working hard in my closet on special events or for church days.
This goes for home purchases as well. I’ve always loved the simple and classic stainless steel kettles. About a month and a half ago I had to throw our kettle away because the bottom rusted out and it was leaking water everywhere. I was in Home Goods shortly after that and spotted my dream tea pot (that sounds so silly to say that). It was $50. I’ve never spent more than $25. I mean, it’s just a teapot… So I didn’t buy it with the intention of thinking on the purchase for a while and deciding if that’s how I wanted to spend $50. I ran the options of what I could buy with the additional $25 I would be spending on the teapot and then kept coming back to the fact that this kettle was exactly what I wanted and it was at least half off everywhere else I found online. So a week later I went back and bought the Chantal tea kettle and haven’t regretted it for a day. It is incredibly fast boiling and looks sharp sitting on the stovetop.
These two little stories are just examples. I think everyone has their little splurges that it’s worth it to spend a little more on. With these few examples I’ve found that Vivienne Weestwood’s quote is right on… when I make a smart purchase, for something that I will use constantly and that is well-made, I end up spending less in the long-run on replacements or to get the item I really wanted in the first place. Do you have an examples like that?