I actually used to be one of the cheapest guys on the planet. I would hate to spend money on anything and I would always look for the very best deal I can find. And the “best deal” to me always meant: I will buy the cheapest thing I can find.
But about 10 years ago, a good friend of mine started to change the way I think about what makes something a good deal. He and his family ate higher prices food. They took more expensive vacations. They wore more expensive clothes. And it’s not because they made a ton of money. We were probably in a very similar income bracket. But he introduced me to the concept evaluating a purchase based on the quality of the item first and looking at the cost second.
Here is a test to see whether you a “quality-based” shopper or a “price-based” shopper. Let’s say you want to surprise your wife and take her out on a date. Would you start by eliminating the expensive possibilities and trying to narrow down your search to restaurants that fall below a certain price? Or would you think “What kind of food does my wife really love? Was there a place that we went in the past that really meant a lot to her? What place has the best steak in the world?”
Being a price-based shopper can sound like the responsible thing to do. When you are a price-based shopper observing a quality-based shopper, it’s very easy to think, “Wow this guy is just throwing his money away. Why can’t he be more responsible with his money.” But the reality is that you can spend thousands of dollars on “cheap” fast food. You can spend a lot of money on things that don’t last, aren’t what you really want, and often create big headaches for you.
Back to my friend that I mentioned earlier, one of the things that he always wore was Oakley sunglasses. I could not understand how someone could pay more than $20 for a pair of sunglasses. I bought my sunglasses at Walmart or the dollar store. But over time, his logic grew on me and I was convinced to buy a set of Oakleys. What I realized after I had had the Oakleys for about a year is that I had actually been spending more for my “cheap” sunglasses than for the “expensive” Oakleys. You see, I would usually buy a couple sets of glasses because I expected to lose one set. And I usually would lose one pretty quickly. Either that or it would break on me. But when you shop for quality rather than price, you are getting something that you care about and want to hang onto. You will take good care of it and you won’t be quick to lose track of it.
What is it that you are wasting your money on? Begin to evaluate those areas of your life where you look at the price tag first and quality second. Find one or two areas this week where you can flip that, and begin to place quality above price.