More Money, Less Problems

Spend now to save later


Fourth Estate/Billy Ferguson

Unfortunately, life costs a lot of money. Every single day, we need to eat, put on clothing, get around and maintain some sense of personal hygiene. We have to spend money constantly, but in my opinion, it’s very possible to spend more money on high-quality products that you will love and save your cash down the line.

So in this week’s More Money, Less Problems, I’m arguing for a minimalist approach to life that focuses on a few items that are high quality. When everyone else is re-upping for the next new thing, you can be sitting pretty stacking your cash.

While they may be quite different from person to person, there are a few staple products that we all use on a nearly day-to-day basis. Examples are a favorite pair of shoes, a trusted water bottle or an impenetrable winter coat. By investing a few more dollars into these products, you can save money by using them over and over again. 

I think that quality denim is a perfect example. I have a few pieces that I’ve found second-hand from incredible denim producers that are impenetrable. They are never going to rip and are going to look awesome for a long time. 

Another great example is a fantastic pair of shoes. I have multiple pairs that are in great condition and I still wear today that I bought over five years ago. There is one pair of sneakers in particular that I truly believe will last forever. They are very comfortable and stylish and are aging so well that I hope to have them for another five.

On the other hand, I have shoes that I bought last year that have totally fallen apart (sometimes in public). The key difference is that I spent at least $70 on all of the shoes that I still have and much less on those that I don’t. 

As someone who loves a great bargain, this rule can be tough to swallow. While price and quality aren’t always the same, there is usually a correlation. Quality is often costly, but exceptions do exist. 

This phenomenon also occurs on a much more granular level. I “splurge” on things like pencils and water bottles that I know will last a little bit longer than if I decide to take the cheap route. It seems crazy to spend $10 on one pencil, but I know that it will last longer and I will get many enjoyable uses out of it.

It’s important to remember that with this approach, you have to take care of the things that you spend money on. That could mean not washing your jeans too much, making sure that you have a safe place for your pricey tech and knowing which shoes to wear to which occasion. You can still buy high-quality products and totally misuse them. The key is to manage a few things really well.

Most of the time, paying that extra 15 to 20 percent can get you a product that will last twice as long. I’m a true believer that some manufacturers make products that are built to last — and most don’t. Finding things that are high quality and that you really love can help alleviate that burning itch to go buy another product.