The following post was featured in the following carnivals:
Yakezie Carnival at The Amateur Financier
Carnival of Financial Camaraderie at My University Money
Canadian Finance Carnival at Canadian Finance Blog
Carnival of Financial Planning at The Amateur Finacier
Carnival of Retirement at Retire by 40
The following post was featured in a blog swap in November 2011 at My Personal Finance Journey. Now, that I have many more readers and much better exposure, I decided to publish it on my blog.
I am a spender. But even big spenders like me have their limits. Sometimes I decide to make an effort to be frugal and save money. I compare different web sites that provide Internet services, cell phone plans, and, sometimes, like a real nerd I browse sites that compare electricity prices.
Yes, I start looking for bargains. I have to admit that my biggest mistakes were caused by me trying to save a buck or two on things that should not be settled for because of the price. Believe me or not, sometimes expensive means quality, style and comfort and cheap means … crap. In the end, my attempts to save money cost me more.
I am not telling you to follow my excessive shopping habits and go shed unreasonable amounts of money on stuff. Think for yourself and be smart about your spending. But I would advise to not look for bargains when it comes to the following:
My hair defines me. It gives me style and a distinct look. I never let anyone cut my hair using a razor, but for some unexplainable reason, hairstylists in cheap parlors are obsessed with razors. Maybe scissors are too expensive. Maybe they like to slice and dice people’s hair. I don’t care! I ran away from them a long time ago and never looked back.
I settle for expensive salons for one reason only: I get what I pay for. In the end, I am not paying twice: once for a cheap color and cut, and later, for an expensive salon hairstylist who desperately tries to fix my mullet like, razor shaped haircut. I save money by choosing to pay more.
Shoes are not all about the looks. I am a shoe snob who doesn’t believe in striking a balance between comfort, quality and affordability with cheap footwear. Every time I go for a low price and breathtaking looks, I end up in pain, misery and with a health issue.
I walk a lot during the day and if I don’t get the appropriate support, my feet and my back hurt. I don’t want to be in pain every day. Do you? I consider shoes one of the best investments we can make. Good quality shoes won’t bring you any monetary gain. However, they will definitely benefit your health. Is there a better investment other than investing in your health?
I love to sleep. I love to rest. Preferably in the comfort of my big bed. Most of our waking hours are spent either flying above the pavement in our expensive and comfortable shoes (see above) or sleeping in our beds. I always ask myself how much is a good night’s rest worth to me. Believe me, it is worth a lot! In fact, a good night’s sleep is priceless.
Clothing For Work
This is very simple. If you work in a professional environment, do not settle for bargains and sales when choosing a suit for the following reasons:
- you will look cheap in substandard quality fabric
- you won’t look professional
- you won’t look sophisticated
Remember, a saying “Dress to impress?” It applies in the office, especially if you want to move up the ladder one day. Invest in your professional looks. It will pay off, trust me.
48 thoughts on “Stop Being Cheap and Invest In Yourself”
I am not a fashion guru but like you I believe in presenting yourself well and investing in yourself. To me I am worth it and I want a long successful life. This is why I eat well, exercise, manage my stress, and dress with clothes that flatter me. I take time to figure out what looks good on me specifically and I always dress nice for the office. I actually never participate in casual Fridays and I think people notice that. Our reality is that people notice appearances so making sure yours is positive is important.
Interesting! I used to not to participate in casual Fridays but somehow it grew on me and I gave up. I don’t look like a slob but I do dress down. It’s kind of fun to dress down after four intense work days.
It can be fun I am sure, it is just that I work in health care and I never know when I might have to meet with a patient. Because of this, I always want to dress prepared.
There is a balance between looking professional and trying to be different. Lets say you love watches , odes it meant that you have to buy ones, which are more expensive than your boss has?
Remember if you look to good, perhaps are doing well as is and no need for a pay rise…
Looking good and looking different are two different things. In the professional environment people usually look the same – nicely but professionally dressed.
If you want to dress to impress, it’s easy to shop at Express and still save a bunch of money because they always have coupons. and you’ll look good too 😀
I do use this store sometimes because of their coupons! 🙂
I agree, there are some things you just cannot be cheap on. It is your own life and your own choices. There are always non-negotiable perks in everyone’s lives. But I always make sure I have a coupon with me so I don’t end up paying full price for it.
I wish I could have a coupon to use for my haircuts! Unfortunately, the salon I use doesn’t do it. 🙁
The only one of those things that is important to me is the bed. We will be upgrading that soon. I spend a little more on shoes than I do on any other part of my wardrobe because I need better cushioning in my running shoes than the cheapest shoes provide. I still spend less on my running shoes than most people think is required to get a quality shoe.
My last pair of running shoes cost me $100. It made a world of difference during my runs. I am pretty sure that when my current running shoes fall apart I won’t hesitate to spend another $100.
You definitely pay in the long run if you skimp on certain things, and I agree with most of your choices. People’s ideas on what is worth a certain price varies so much, but I think that’s fine as long as you can really afford that ‘champagne-taste’ item!
Most of my friends don’t understand me when I tell me how much I pay for my haircut. It is VERY expensive but in my eyes it is worth it.
I think it’s pretty easy to dress in a chic and professional manner if you have a minimum budget (say, $1,000-$2,000 a year), but once you go over $5,000 or $10,000 on clothing, it’s more “recreational.” (Not that there is anything wrong with that – for one of my friends, for example, fashion and style is her hobby, so she spend money on clothes whereas other might on food or travel).
True! I think that 10,000 is a bit excessive though. But one can afford it, go for it. Overall, I think buying quality clothes will pay off in the long run because quality lasts longer.
I hear you on the cheap hair salons. I cringed at the prices the first time I went into a more expensive salon but the end result was so much better than the cheap version – I’ll never go back to cheap again either…
There’s a saying, “You get what you pay for.” and that definitely applies to good shoes. I’m not much of a fashion-follower and don’t have to be in the profession I’ve chosen (as Mr. LH always says, he can spot a teacher because of they way they dress – frumpy). Better quality items last longer.
I always thought that quality is the best investment of all. 🙂
Love the topic and agree whole-heartedly with most of your topics but have to disagree with your thoughts on having a razor cut for your hair. I go to a very nice salon where I cringed at the cost of cuts and highlights but my stylist cuts my thick and wavy hair better than anyone I`ve used before. I`ve had other stylists there cut it and it never lays properly and I always end up back there for a top-up to get it to lay better. My salon has a variety of different stylists and each has her own style or cutting and the gal that usually finishes my cuts with a razor is the one who gets my vote (& more compliments) for the best style for me.
I never had a good razor cut. I have very fine hair so maybe razor is not very kind on it.
You’re right…..razor cuts don’t work with fine hair…..better on thick and wavy hair. I have very thick hair and it grows as quickly out as it does in length. My hair lays so much better with a razor cut than trying to blend in layers with scissors. But we’re all different and have to find what works for us…:-)
I used to wear pretty cheap shoes to work because I didn’t walk around much. After finally splurging on good shoes, one of my superiors said, “Wow, nice shoes, Joe! We all thought those shoes you wore were horrible.” Nobody ever told me how much career damage I was doing while trying to save a quick buck. For $20 more I was able to start cultivating a better reputation…..
This is one funny story but just proves my point. You want to move up, dress up!
I agree. If you want to get ahead at work, you have to dress well. It’s an investment in your future so I wouldn’t skimp on that. Health and well being is also another place to not skimp. 🙂
Yes, without good health we won’t get anywhere far.
I try to take the balanced approach on all of the above things. Though I don’t shop for clothes frequently, when I do I go for higher end brands (on sale if possible). Same with shoes, I shop at Nordstrom Rack and DSW to get better brands on a discount. I try to have enough clothing/shoe items for my needs, but not overboard. I go to an expensive hair salon, but stretch it out so I only have to go a few times a year.
I stretch my salon visits as much as I can as well. But since my hair is short and I have to maintain my style, the stretch doesn’t go beyond 8 weeks.
I think those are all the “essentials” that everyone can’t be cheap on.
Sometimes though, I can’t tell between a $30 hair cut and a $75 hair cut, lol!
Really? LOL I can!
My hair is always unsatisfactory to me, so I try not to spend too much on it. But I’m down with some good shoes! Cheap shoes makes your feet smell. Good shoes last and look good with a lot of things. 2 pairs of good shoes a year beats 10 pairs of cheap ones!
Could not agree more! Cheap = smelly!
Oh, so true – cheap shoes smell foul. Yet ballet flats (the only shoes I really wear) wear out just as quickly if they’re expensive. Or is it just me?
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I can go cheap on hair cuttery, But can’t do so for office attires and bed.
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I must say…I have learned my lesson when it comes to buying cheap shoes. As a kid, I didn’t want to wear shoes from Payless because it was cool or in. As I got older, my perspective changed on that…a lot. I badly wanted these shoes from Payless because I thought I was getting a great deal. Who can beat a pair of cute shoes for $19.99? My friends, family, and even my husband would caution against me “going for the cheap”. I even love Crocs, but after buying my first pair, I only purchase “knock offs”. Ultimately, being cheap didn’t pay off. Almost every pair of shoes I’ve purchased from Payless has had to be thrown away or hurts my feets so bad (I have bad arches and need a lot of support). This has been an expensive lesson in buying the inexpensive, for sure. Shoes should only be purchased from Payless if your last pair of shoes has fallen apart and you absolutely have no other shoes and cannot wait for more shoes and have very little money in the bank.
I bought Payless shoes only once in my life for a Halloween party. I needed something trendy and somewhat out there. I suffered through the night, wondering what how the hell people wear Payless shoes. Never again! Even for a Halloween party. 🙂
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WOW, I totally thought you were a dude when you said people like to use a razor with your hair. Goodness gracious, no way. I’m holding out on getting a haircut until I’m out of credit card debt and it’s getting to the point where I will happily pay my stylist to shear me!
That was funny! Maybe because my hair is short, salons try to give me a razor cut? Who knows!
Haha, sometimes it’s ok to pamper yourself I guess. When I think of investing in yourself though I think of tools and skillsets that will help you accomplish more and do more in the future. I guess good clothes and a comfortable bed will help with that, too. 😉
Well, we are different there… Good clothes is my set of tools. 🙂
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