Money Mongoose

Buy cheap, buy thrice!

As I grow older, I appear to have grown increasingly frugal. Whereas I once wouldn’t think twice about spending >£100 on meal, or thousands on a holiday, those days are gone.

While an ex-girlfriend might claim this is because I’m a stingy-old git (and there may be some truth to that!) the main reason is that I increasingly do not see the value in a lot of things – or at least don’t see that the value is justified by the price.

While some people like to spend extra to buy quality items that last a lifetime, I like to buy cheap crap from China via Aliexpress. There’s an adage: “Buy cheap, buy twice” meaning that when you buy cheaply, you’ll waste money and end up buying again (next time the quality stuff!). However, I’ve taken this adage, gone a step further and made it a personal motto to live by: “Buy cheap! Buy Thrice!”.

I do this not necessarily as a money saving exercise, but as a learning exercise. When I buy something, I buy the cheapest thing that will suffice. Maybe the tool is good enough for the job and I use it infrequently enough that I don’t think further about it.

But if the tool is inadequate, then I learn what are the short-comings of the tool, maybe learn to work around it and then perhaps get frustrated enough to buy something better. I might iterate this process a few times, so that in the end, I could spend more than if I had ‘bought once’, but for me, the learning process is worth it as I’m learning the qualities and features of the tools that allow me to shop for quality in the future, rather than just shopping based on a brand name.


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