Most of us have a love/hate relationship with money for obvious reasons. We love the idea of having nice things that make our lives more tolerable, but we still don’t want to break the bank. I am a huge fan of saving, especially since I don’t have much of a disposable income these days! I’m not a coupon-clipper per say, but I do enjoy a good sale! Even though my ego inflates the more discounts I take advantage of, there are just certain times where I know that I need to fork out some more dough. It pains my cheap heart to say this, but these are the times that I believe in spending more money.
When You Need Something to Last a Long Time
Not all that long ago, I used to be a PC person. No not as in “politically correct” (even though I try to be), but as in the computer PC. It wasn’t due to the interface design or my loyalty to retro computing, but because of the cost. Whenever I’d go to the apple store with my friends, I was absolutely shocked at the prices of laptops, computers, and tablets! Will that iPod also feed me and bathe me for that cost? Will it fold my laundry and listen to me vent about my problems while I scarf down a pint of Rocky Road? No? Then what the heck are these apple fanatics smoking?!
Then I got to college and more and more assignments and classes involved using the computer. I’m digitally savvy, but I couldn’t stand computer-related assignment due to my archaic devices. Brands, such as Dell, started making laptops that were only usable for a couple years. Were they a cheaper retail value? Yes, but it wasn’t worth it. One Christmas I received an acer tablet, from my parents and I loved it! It was small, fast, and easy to tote around to my classes at SDSU. There was only one small problem, the C-drive was also small. This wasn’t a problem for most assignments, since I always had some kind of external drive on hand, but it was a huge problem for downloading certain software programs like Adobe Creative Cloud. I learned this the hard way during the last year of college, since companies like Adobe will not let you download their software to any part of your computer other than your C-drive. I got through that class by using school computers and my elderly Sony Vaio laptop, but it was quite challenging!
When I realized that I was going to be doing this IMCP certificate program and pursuing a career in graphic design/multimedia content creation, all of my research led me to the same conclusion: BUY A MAC. Even though my savings account was sobbing uncontrollably the day I left Best Buy with this bad boy that I typed this off of, I have never been happier with a purchase. This computer is fast, compatible with the software programs I need, reliable, and user-friendly. Even though I was dragging my feet on buying this computer, I now have no regrets! Having a reliable digital workspace for my work, school, and blog is worth the cost. As they say, “Once you go Mac, you don’t go back!” Sorry, that was a terrible joke…
When You Plan on Using Something Everyday or Extremely Often
I remember going with one of my close childhood friends to Zara one time and he was going back and forth on purchasing a $100 trench coat. Even though it was a great coat and looked wonderful on him, you could tell he was having internal conflict with justifying the price. When asked for my advice I didn’t say, “But it looks so great on you!” Of course it did, and it better have for that much! Instead I replied, “Well how much are you planning on wearing this?” He was about to spend a semester abroad in London and he went to school the rest of the time in a Northern (and chillier) part of California compared to where we grew up. In my head, if he was going to be wearing this coat almost all the time, then I thought it would be more than worth it. He ended up buying the coat and he wore it a lot!
When it comes to things like phones, boots, jackets, wallets, or anything else that I’m going to be using on a daily basis, I’m more likely to spend a higher amount on it than for something that I’m going to use once a month. Generally speaking (even though this isn’t always true), the more expensive something is, the higher quality it is. You need something of decent quality if you’re expecting it to handle the typical wear and tear of daily use.
When There’s a Special Event
Some special events require dressing up. News flash: fancier clothes require larger sums of money! If it makes you feel special to splurge a little on that dress or that suit, then do it. Now I say this within reason! For example, I will always love my prom dress. It was bright pink, girly, and tailored to fit my height perfectly. Even though it wasn’t the most expensive prom dress in the history of proms, it was still very pricey. To offset the cost of the dress, I bought my shoes at Payless and wore my mom’s jewelry. There’s always a way to balance out your outfit or amenities financially when it comes to special events. Some things are worth spending a little more, whether it’s purely for quality reasons or even if it just makes you really happy.
When You’re Doing Something Nice for Someone Else
No one expects to receive expensive gifts all the time unless they’re that shallow. With that being said, it is nice to spend a little extra cash on the special people in your life on special occasions! A polite person will never admit this, but everyone knows when their gift was a last minute after-thought! No one likes to feel as if they don’t matter. Material possessions shouldn’t be the things that make us feel important, but they do! Even though you might be grinding your teeth, because so-and-so’s birthday didn’t align with your pay day, you’ll be a wonderful friend for not being cheap!
When You Need to Make a Great First Impression
There are two situations that come to mind when I say this rule: interviews and dates. Unfortunately, you are judged by every single move you make in a job interview. This is not the time to ask about parking validations or other related expenses to you being there! Also, depending on the company model, some interviews require you to meet at a Starbucks or restaurant. If the other person bought something, by yourself something even if it’s a $2.00 iced tea. I hate situations like these since they are painfully awkward and chances are that you’re broke if you’re looking for a new job, but it’s worth holding in your frustration if there’s a chance that it could cost you your future position. Also, make sure you are wearing nice clothing! This is not the time to wear your Walmart jeans! Even when the hiring manager says that the work environment is casual, wear professional work attire to the interview! I always felt like this was a trick employers like to play on candidates, and it’s morally wrong in my opinion. No matter what, you will be judged for what you wear. I’m not saying it’s right, but it’s true in any workplace. Even in my fast food interviews, I wore some of my most conservative clothes throughout the hiring process.
I started dating my significant other in high school, so we didn’t really go on fancy dates back then. Even so, when we’d go to the movies he’d pay for my ticket. He’d also wear a nice shirt or sweater to show that he cared and I tried to do the same. In my opinion, this is a really important aspect of “the dance” of attraction. The truth is, we’re both cheap! I wouldn’t say it’s a choice, as much as a necessity. Despite this, you have to show that you care enough about the other person by spending a little more than normal in these situations. Even now, when we’re on a date or celebrating a special event, we try to spend a little more than normal. We still try to do this in the most cost effective way possible, which you can read about here.
Overall, I love cheaper things! Forever 21 is my go-to place for clothes, I love In-N-Out for food, and Food 4 Less is great for grocery shopping. Even though these are my preferences, sometimes it’s just not worth being too cheap on certain things and/or situations. Trust me, I’ve learned the hard way.
Infographic of the Week:
Question of the Week:
What was something you felt like you were too cheap about in the past?