Have you ever heard the expression “Buy cheap, buy twice?” It means that it will eventually cost you more to replace a cheap item than it would have been to buy a more expensive but high quality item in the first place. This doesn’t mean you should take out a loan on a new Mercedes Benz because it will “save money” compared to the used Ford (it won’t).
No, spending recklessly on expensive toys won’t save you money, but investing in the items you use everyday will save you money over the long haul. Even if you just hit the mega lottery jackpot, it’s smart to use that money wisely. Some items are more worth it than others — here are three that you shouldn’t skimp on when it comes time to buy.
Shoes (for men)
They say every man should have a nice watch on his wrist and a good pair of shoes. But what defines a “good pair of shoes,” anyway? Everything from the leather to the stitching defines the difference between a pair of shoes that will last less than one year and a pair that could (with proper care) last a lifetime.
Men’s dress shoes from stores like Aldo aren’t bad shoes, and they’re certainly not “cheap” at more than $100, but over time they will show their true quality. But this pair of oxfords from Allen-Edmonds will last the rest of your adult life. Sure, it’s nearly $400, but it could be the last pair of black dress shoes you ever buy.
Warranties & Service Plans
A good warranty or service plan can save you thousands in repair and replacement costs. A good warranty has two components: a policy to cover the cost of damage or malfunction and some sort of phone or technical support. AppleCare is a good example of a warranty that’s worth the money because of the support it offers in addition to the financial protection. You can even purchase a warranty for your home appliances and systems that covers the the things that homeowners insurance does not. TotalProtect laid out the typical costs to repair and replace such common appliances as refrigerators, water heaters and air conditioners.
Also good to know: You get an additional year on the standard warranty (almost every item has one) when you buy with an American Express card. It’s not the only credit card to offer this feature, but it’s one many people use.
Certified Pre-Owned Cars
Buying a new car is a great feeling, but it loses so much of its value the moment you drive it off the lot. On the other side, buying a used car from a private seller might save a lot of money, but you could be ambushed with expensive repair costs you didn’t know were there. The middle ground for a great value on a car is buying a certified pre-owned vehicle.
A certified pre-owned vehicle is a used car that is fully inspected and then “certified” but the manufacturer to be in good condition. They are cheaper than used cars and carry similar warranties and service programs to prevent surprise costs. This option will cost more than a car on Craigslist, but the buyer can rest assured the car won’t turn into a lemon one month after the purchase. While nearly every major manufacturer offers a pre-owned certified program, it’s most popular among luxury brands like BMW and Mercedes Benz.