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You Get What You Pay For: Where to Skimp and Splurge

Is there anything in your wardrobe or household that you're confident will stand the test of time? An MSN Money article called "Should you skimp . . . or splurge?" doubts our ability to judge the value of quality things, and points out that our preference for disposable goods is related to credit cards. Dayana Yochim, a writer at The Motley Fool, brings up some interesting points.

Credit cards let us instantly satisfy our retail desires. Our grandparents had to delay that gratification. They figured that if they had to save for it, they'd better get the best they could. Now retailers want to catch that fleeting desire. We're looking at pricing before quality.

The article offers some suggestions on where to skimp by purchasing items that aren't the best of their kind, and where to splurge by investing money in items that will last.

  • Splurges: Mattress, eight-inch chef's knife, overcoat.
  • Skimp: Men's dress shirts (as long as the suit is well-tailored), women's shirts (especially the trendy stuff), accent chair, table linens.

Do you agree with the article's recommendations? Where do you usually skimp or splurge?

Join The Conversation
carhornsinapril carhornsinapril 9 years
mattresses, for sure. my fiance and i made a big splurge earlier this year--$3600 for the most comfortable mattress we've ever slept on. but since it's guaranteed to last for 20 years and we both have back problems, i think it's worth it.
tee0206 tee0206 9 years
I splurge on jeans, shoes, mineral makeup, fluffy towels, my mattress. I skimp on vintage purses (I'd rather pay $35 for a unique piece than $350 for a designer piece with logos all over it), mascara, furniture (I own a mix of vintage and Ikea).
colormesticky colormesticky 9 years
Good to know, itsme. We have a gigantic Asian market near me, I'll have to check for knives. My splurge items are tennis shoes, pillows, and work pants.
itsme3683 itsme3683 9 years
I definitely agree with all that! Except for the knife... I buy knives for 50 cents from the Asian supermarket that are THE sharpest knives I've ever used. My best friend(a chef) and my boyfriend's mom have both commented on how great they are to me--plus, at 50 cents I don't have to worry about treating it well or sharpening it because I'll just buy a new one when it's gone dull!
SomethingWicked SomethingWicked 9 years
same here...Splurge on bed and sheets (oh yes the thread count matters)....Go to Ross and goodwill for shirts, and splurge on pants(i am picky in this area)....but splurging to me means about 30 to 25$ in pants also splurge with shoes...(they last longer and feel better in the end)...especially for exercise shoes...don't go cheap on those!
fleurfairy fleurfairy 9 years
I skimp on jeans and tank tops. I splurge on dresses, gowns, and coats. For my home, I skimp on furniture, as long as it looks good who cares about the brand? I like to splurge on my bedding though.
ilanac13 ilanac13 9 years
i do have to agree on some of these things. for myself - i know that i'm not going to wear clothes that are uber trendy for very long so i don't often pay a lot for them, but things like my computer, or mattress, or living room furniture etc...that stuff i've paid more for - almost happily.
Ryot Ryot 9 years
I would add bed linens to the "splurge" pile. My husband and I splurged on high thread count sheets (after reading up on what all the terms meant, and finding the best possible combination) and a comforter we saw at Bloomingdales that we both loved -- a first in our five year marriage, lol. But we bought both the sheet set and the comforter on ebay, and probably saved a couple hundred dollars that way, even though it was still a splurge. The sheets have only gotten softer with each washing, and it's heavenly to wake up on soft sheets, under a fluffy comforter. Definitely not a splurge I've ever regretted.
Liss1 Liss1 9 years
I definately agree on splurging on a mattress. When We first got a mattress we got the cheapest one and had to replace it within a year as the springs started sticking into our backs while we were sleeping. So We spent a lot on the second mattress and it lasted us ten years i just bought a new one last week and feel guilty for spending $1200 on it but i know when we get it, it will be comfortable and will last us a long time.
em1282 em1282 9 years
I'll definitely spend more on a mattress, and I'll spend money on a good winter coat (thanks, Chicago winters and a long work commute), good boots (again, Chicago winters), and pants (I have to get most of them tailored also since I'm so short). Also, good classic jewelry that goes with everything may be splurge-worthy, but places like TJ Maxx and even Sam's Club have decent jewelry at good prices.
RosaDilia RosaDilia 9 years
Definitely splurge on a mattress. Nothing better than a good night sleep.
mondaymoos mondaymoos 9 years
Perfect pair of black pants, well-made shoes and a classic handbag will dress up all the cheap clothes in the world. And definitely a good mattress is something worth splurging on. :)
bellaressa bellaressa 9 years
Wow, I never really thought about this. Good advice -thanks!
Shopaholichunny Shopaholichunny 9 years
I completely agree! I splurged on my mattress and my Mom is a caterer on the side so she definately splurged on her pots and knives! One of her pots costs her $800 but that's her thing as my thing is shoes. :p
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