Personal Finance Advice: Sometimes You Just Gotta Spend

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You already know that every once in a while you really need to splurge on something you don’t need, otherwise you may start to resent the budgeting process and wind up tossing the whole idea of financial management into the trash.  What you should also know is that there are certain instances when you probably shouldn’t pinch pennies.  While it’s always good to find the best price on things, there are plenty of times when the best price for something may still be somewhat expensive.

When to Splurge

There are many different scenarios which do not lend themselves to scrimping and pinching pennies.  For example:

Getting your hair colored.  Almost everyone knows someone who tried to color their own hair and wound up with hair color fit only for an eccentric clown.  This isn’t to say that boxed color is completely evil, but unless you follow the directions and do a good job of matching the colors then you may get results that you weren’t expecting.  You also run the risk of damaging your hair to the point to where you’ll have no choice but to seek out the help of a professional or just wear hats for months until it all grows out.

Buying shoes you’ll wear a lot.  Maybe your job allows you to wear fierce high heels all day long, but unless you wear a pair that are designed with some degree of comfort in mind then you’re probably going to wind up with sore feet, a sore back, and a pair of shoes that are going to wear out quicker than they should.  Instead of buying the cheapest pair of shoes you can find, buy quality shoes at discount prices or secondhand.  Your feet will thank you.

Aesthetics.  When you’re paying for a eyebrow shaping, chemical peel, or any other service where things can go horribly wrong, you should be willing to pay a little more for quality.  Sure, you can probably find salons and spas that do business out of dark alleys and other undesirable locations, but do you really want to trust the lowest bidder with your bikini wax? Pay a little more to make sure that you’re dealing with a licensed professional who won’t burn you (in more ways than one).

Items that you want to last.  When the time comes time to buy something you’ve been saving for – a car, electronics, furniture – you want to save money and budget for it but you may not want to automatically turn to the cheapest thing.  Cheap cars are cheap for a reason; they probably aren’t going to last as long as a car that is a little more expensive.  You don’t want to pay a small fortune for the things you buy, but you also need to recognize that the lowest price isn’t always the best bargain.

This doesn’t mean that you should expect the best quality from everything that is expensive.  Instead, look for savings without only looking at the price tags.  You want to save money, but in the long run you won’t save money if the product or service you buy is shoddy.