Buy it For Life // Or at Least the Next Decade

For years I complained about the ones I had – too tight, too loose, nearly impossible to find size in stores like Target. But I made due. And a few of the ones I have, I’ve had for at least 5 years, despite them being too tight, too loose, the wrong size altogether. And then, this year, I caved. I bought 4 bras at the Victoria’s Secret Semiannual Sale.

They fit! They’re my size! They’re so comfortable and soft – I didn’t even really see that coming. (Well, I guess, duh, of course $50 bras are comfier and softer. Just didn’t occur to me how much!) Even better, judging from the material quality, these babies are gonna outlast my old bras by at least a decade! And I won’t complain about them or be bummed when they’re the only bra left in the drawer.

Sometimes, when you’re new to the frugal scene or grew up in a money-pinching household or in poverty, it can be hard to look at this “splurge” as the right thing to do. I could have used that money for something else. Or the Target bras weren’t that bad- I could make do. That’s not the right mindset. Let’s see if we can shift it.

I was going to write a whole big long paragraph explaining this but then I remembered: Terry Pratchett did it better, as he usually does:

The reason that the rich were so rich, Vimes reasoned, was because they managed to spend less money.

Take boots, for example. He earned thirty-eight dollars a month plus allowances. A really good pair of leather boots cost fifty dollars. But an affordable pair of boots, which were sort of OK for a season or two and then leaked like hell when the cardboard gave out, cost about ten dollars. Those were the kind of boots Vimes always bought, and wore until the soles were so thin that he could tell where he was in Ankh-Morpork on a foggy night by the feel of the cobbles.

But the thing was that good boots lasted for years and years. A man who could afford fifty dollars had a pair of boots that’d still be keeping his feet dry in ten years’ time, while the poor man who could only afford cheap boots would have spent a hundred dollars on boots in the same time and would still have wet feet.

Thanks Terry!

I’m going to go for the obvious link back to my nice new bras even though Terry has already pretty much said everything. Yes, the Target bras weren’t that bad and I could make do, but they also wore out faster. It didn’t take long for me to have wires poking and prodding at me in horribly uncomfortable ways. Yes, I could have used that money for something else, but this one single “splurge” will keep me from constantly having to replace my crummy Target bras. As I mentioned earlier, based purely on the feel of the material quality, these Victoria’s Secret bras should long outlast my old ones. I’ve bought these for life – or at least the next decade – and therefore saved myself from spending $30 every 2 or 3 years to replace old, worn out Target bras.

There’s a whole movement out there that stands behind this principle of buying things for life. They maintain that instead of buying the product that is the least expensive but also most likely to break/wear out, we should jump for the reasonably priced (though more expensive) high quality products. The ones that, hopefully, will last us the rest of our lives.

I have load and loads of hand-me-downs and so a lot of it is, well, frankly, crap. I have loads of crummy knives, a rusty toaster, a severely dented table, a tea kettle that is sticky no matter how much I wash it and scrub it. It’s stuff that works that I got for free and once it breaks or I simply can’t stand it any longer, I’ll put down some cash for quality. Especially with the knives (I’m drooling over Cutco and dreaming of the day I can have good good knives in my kitchen).

What have you bought for life? Or, what things are you thinking about buying?

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