Everything is worth something, right? If something isn’t worth paying for, I’m certainly not suggesting you steal. I’m just saying there are some things that are well worth the money and conversely, there are plenty of other things that you scrimp on.
Frugal is not my middle name. Value is. I’m not cheap. I just like saving money. BUT… I also like getting what I pay for.
This mental list started with the things I don’t think are worth paying for. That I might just publish. But for now, let’s focus on stimulating the economy. Here’s my list of things worth paying for.
1. A good haircut
For the love of God and all that is holy, take care of your hair. You need a good stylist. You need someone that you can give vague direction to and they can translate it into beauty parlor speak and give you a style that works for your face, your hair type, and your level of maintenance. If you have someone that allows you to bring in a photo of a celebrity hairstyle and say, “Make me look like that,” then they are doing you both a disservice by pretending to be able to do that.
Prepare to spend about $40 for a good haircut. More in the big cities. Trust me. It’s worth it.
2. A nice bottle of wine
Wait a minute. Don’t get think I’m getting all wine snobbish on you. It’s not about the most expensive bottle of wine. I’ve had some very expensive bottles that don’t taste any better than a $10 bottle of wine. But go ahead and spend at least $10 for a bottle of wine. I find that you’ll get a good bottle of wine. It may not be exactly suited to your tastes but it won’t be so horrific you have to dump it down the drain.
I’m talking to YOU, Arbor Mist and Andre Sparkling Wine drinkers. It’s time to kick it up a notch.
3. A quality television set
Even though I don’t watch much TV anymore (thank you O Child of Mine for never allowing me to watch anything other than Disney Channel or Cartoon Network), I insist on having high quality TV when I do watch. Yes, I am a bit of a technology snob. It doesn’t have to be the biggest and the best. It just has to have a really nice picture.
That means you have to understand the technology of flat screen (plasma vs. LCD vs. LED), know about screen resolution, and more importantly, the contrast ratio. Don’t go for big and cheap. Chances are it will crap out on you before two years is up. Do a little research and visit the warehouse clubs for some of the best deals.
4. A bottle of ketchup
Sometimes, it’s the simple things. A few years ago, I stopped buying Heinz ketchup because of the whole Teresa Heinz being married to John Kerry and contributing to their amassed fortune. Yes, it was a matter of principle and I chose to take a stand on… ketchup.
So I switched to Hunt’s ketchup and I’ve never looked back. It’s not too expensive but I just like the taste. The cheap stuff tastes cheap. Don’t scrimp. Get a name brand even if it’s that other one.
True story: I was once on a ferry crossing from Germany to Sweden and you had to buy packets of ketchup for 50 cents each. Now that’s a culture that values ketchup.
5. Web hosting service (and I mean SERVICE)
I pay a lot for web hosting. And I’m just going to say it. I use GoDaddy. Am I happy I use GoDaddy? No. No, I’m not. Their CEO shot an elephant for no apparent reason and that doesn’t sit well with me. Plus, did you see their Super Bowl ad? Ugh.
Blogging is my business and I need up time all the time. I can call GoDaddy any time, day or night, and I always get a live, knowledgable person. That’s worth paying for. Sure, they always try to upsell me but the tradeoff is when you’ve completely deleted something and you don’t know how to get it back, they will help you log into your WordPress database and actually recover the data.
6. Nicely padded carpet
I’ve learned this lesson twice. The first time was when we were having our current house built. We selected the upgraded carpet because we wanted it to last. Then we went to the selection center and felt how cheap that was and paid for the double upgrade.
Had we not had, um, geriatric pets, that carpet would still be in decent shape today. But alas, it was relegated to the dump when we decided to recarpet the upstairs in preparation for selling. We didn’t get the cheapest carpet (even though we’re planning to move) but we didn’t pay for top of the line. Now, everyone that walks on our carpet says “ooh, nice carpet.”
It’s worth it.
7. Skincare products that work
I won’t say exactly which skincare products you should buy because frankly, what works for my skin might not work for yours. I’m not saying your skincare can’t come from a drugstore. I’m saying that it probably will be some of the higher end products at the drugstore. They generally use better quality ingredients.
But the bottom line is – find something that works and makes your skin look the way that you want consistently. And then continue to buy it. You don’t get a redo with your skin. Take good care of it.
8. A shiny new car!!!
Yes, I know I’m now sounding like a spoiled little rich girl, which I promise, I am not. I grew up with used cars where the word “used” was actually a kind description. We even bartered for cars. I spent my whole life knowing that a car is devalued as soon as you drive it off the lot. Why take the loss?
Because I’ve seen how people treat their cars. And I’ve seen how car owners and dealers alike will sell you any piece of crap and tell you it is fine. When you buy a new car, you know exactly what happens to that car. And you’ve got some protection under the warranty.
My husband was the one that insisted I only buy new cars and I never really argued with him on that one.
9. Decent pet food
It’s taken me a while to evolve to buying good quality pet food and I still struggle. I prefer to buy better quality food for my cat and dog but they are so finicky, they won’t always eat the good stuff!
I trust you take relatively good care of yourself. I bet you even read the labels once in a while. No genetically engineered corn for you. Organic strawberries, please. Your pets deserve a little consideration too. Here’s why.
Pet food is labeled and if you actually start reading the labels, you might be surprised by what you are giving your pets. If the first ingredient isn’t meat of some sort, you’re giving them a bunch of fillers equivalent to saw dust. And is it made in China? You need to stay away from it if you want your pet to live. I’m serious.
Hopefully, your pets are members of the family. Feed them like they are.
10. Good shoes
Oh yes. This one is heavily open to interpretation but as I mentioned many times before on my blog, I believe in shoes that are both cute and comfortable. And unfortunately, you usually have to pay a lot for them. Or win some on my blog (shhh… I might have a Dansko giveaway coming up next week).
Take from a not-so-young lady like me. Your feet will thank you. If you can get away with cheap, sexy shoes, then go for it. But eventually your feet will revolt and they will thank you profusely for putting them in comfortable shoes. Just make sure they’re cute.
How about you? What are the absolute musts for you when it comes to parting with your almighty dollar? What are some of the things you refuse to scrimp on?