When is paying more for quality a big deal for you?

I was thinking the other day about my rah-rah attitude towards paying more (slightly more, not 500% more) for quality.

I came to the conclusion that it wasn’t if I would pay for quality, but when I would consider paying for quality. There are products and times where I won’t cheap out and there are other times where BF gives me an exasperated look and says: just buy something already!*

(*Not his exact words, he still doesn’t get the usage of the word ‘already’ in the present tense because to him, something that is past — “already” — cannot be used in the present.)


For instance, I’d pay more for a good pair of boots, or a well-made laptop, or even hard drive.

I’d pay more for a good laptop. I really love Apple’s attention to detail and quality in their laptops. They’re far superior to most PCs on the market, although I’ve seen that HP and Sony have come out with similar Apple-like products.

But nothing beats Apple (so far) in terms of quality. It’s the reason why they cost so much.

For instance, the Macbook Pro (owned by BF) doesn’t rev up, sound awful and have fans going 24/7 when it’s trying to cool down the laptop (*ahem* My SONY VAIO *ahem*), and if I had no need for Windows and a PC environment, I would just buy Apple. Yes, I know you can run both operating systems on a Macbook Pro like with VMWare, but I tried that once and I wasn’t sold. I like laptops to be good at one thing, not two.

In my boots example, both my winter and my knee-high Autumn boots are made by Ecco. They cost me $80 (on sale) and $350 respectively. I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect pair of boots in either, for what I ask of them.

(my actual pair of knee-high brown boots from Ecco)

Am I crazy for having paid so much for those boots?

Objectively, yes. $350 for a pair of knee-high boots, no matter how perfect, is kind of ridonkulus, even by my standards.

Subjectively, when I consider that I don’t want to buy any other boots (even in other colours or styles), it makes it worthwhile. They really are my Holy Grail of boots. The right colour, shape, cut and classic style to last me for as long as my feet and calves will stay the same size.

(And no, I don’t own any other pairs of flat, brown boots.)

Some other splurges I’ve undertaken:

  • Hard drives (Iomega, Western Digital)
  • Winter jackets
  • Trousers
  • Traveling/Workout Jackets
  • Some kitchenware (Rice cooker)
  • Suitcases — I don’t go crazy, but a good suitcase makes the difference when you sprint for a flight


I do cheap out when it comes to stuff like a mouse or a keyboard. I don’t like to buy the super tricked out items, and if I am satisfied with a simple mouse with no design or sexiness, so be it.

It just needs to do the job, and I don’t need it to be of the highest quality ever.

In the same vein as boots, I will not pay over $50 – $100 for a pair of shoes. I just .. I can’t.

Even if I drool over gorgeous heels such as the Miu Miu pair below, shelling out $700 – $800 for a pair of heels that are probably too high for me to walk comfortably in, is just an absolute “No”.


I think my $100 pair of leather heels from Aldo has lasted me quite a long while (about 8 years so far), and while they’re a bit scuffed at the toe, I don’t care.

They’re comfortable, the leather is of a quality that doesn’t seem to be in the store any longer (boo to Aldo!) and they’ll last for another 8 years or more, I’m sure.

Things I’ve saved a lot on:

  • Car — although I got lucky with my used car, I know some people can’t stand the idea of not buying new (like BF)
  • Blouses/Tops
  • House boots (fake MUGG boots)
  • Scarves
  • Jewellery — I love it, but I don’t pay a fortune for it
  • TV — Trick entry, I don’t own a TV
  • Furniture — As long as it’s sturdy and functional, I don’t care


Cost-per-use is a very effective way to determine if you should buy something and how much wear you’d get out of it….. but if you buy 4 pairs of $350 boots, that cost-per-use thing goes out the window.

It only works if you buy ONE item/pair/whatever and you use that ONE item consistently, about 90% of the time of when you’d want to wear boots or heels or whatever.

It doesn’t work if you have more than one pair and you’re really using it 25% of the time or less, not 90% – 100% of the time.

So what do you splurge or save the quality on? And when?

About the Author

Just a girl trying to find a balance between being a Shopaholic and a Saver. I cleared $60,000 in 18 months earning $65,000 gross/year. Now I am self-employed, and you can read more about my story here, or visit my other blog: The Everyday Minimalist.