Last week, I decided to come up with a random list of things I think are worth paying for. Not that I wouldn’t actually pay for something. It’s simply that I would pay more, out of pocket, for those ten things.
And then you added your favorites and I realized I missed a lot. Like a good cup of tea or organic strawberries. And apparently, a lot of you place value on a good cup of coffee. I’m not a coffee drinker but I feel the same way about tea so I salute you.
But when I came up with the list, I originally started thinking about the things I wouldn’t pay for. That’s a much easier list and certainly more subjective. It’s why I’ll tell you why I feel that way.
1. Single process hair color
Now, I know I need to clarify this. I don’t do radical color changes to my hair. At least, not these days anyway. I once got to the point of adding highlights and lowlights and ended up with multi-colored hair. So I’ve simplified. I do one color on my hair every 4 to 6 weeks or whenever the mood strikes. And to pay at least $50 each time would take all the joy out of it.
I use Natural Instincts temporary hair color. It naturally washes out in about 28 shampoos. It makes my hair shiny, smooth, and soft and it’s sooooo easy to do. Squirt it on, wait 10 minutes, get in the shower and rinse it off. All for about $8.99. You should try it sometime. It’s fun.
Side note: I don’t use store bought permanent hair color because I don’t think the color looks as good and it dries the crap out of my hair. And if you want highlights? Yes, please pay a professional for that.
2. A mani-pedi
Since we’re talking about fancy beauty stuff, I’ll go straight for the one that will wound quite a few ladies. Yes, a manicure is nice. Yes, a pedicure is lovely. But it’s a rarity and a treat because I can do all of that stuff at home for about $5. I have the fancy files and scrubbers and a lovely selection of nail polish.
And truth be told? My nail color lasts so much longer when I do it myself. When I go to a nail salon, I swear one of my nails chips before the day is over. Besides, I’m pretty sure the fumes are much less toxic at home and I don’t have to worry about how sanitary their instruments are.
3. A purebred dog
I would love to pick out a purebred Lhasa Apso puppy for my husband. In fact, I know he wants one and at this point, he’s willing to pay. I guess he’s kind of had it with geriatric dogs with anxiety problems. He wants a fun-loving carefree puppy with no emotional baggage. I don’t blame him. We’ve had a tough few years with pets.
But there are so many unwanted cats and dogs in the world that are mostly here because of a lack of responsible human caretakers. So as long as I’m picking out the pets, I’ll go for secondhand pets every time. And believe it or not, you can get purebred dogs. Lots of rescue groups cater to certain breeds. My dog Holden was actually a $5000 show dog that was cast aside because his owner was going into a nursing home. We got him through a rescue and he was the best. dog. ever.
4. Full price fashion
You’ll never see me with a Coach bag. Or a Louis Vuitton bag. Or crazy expensive shoes. And if you did? I guarantee it would be from TJMaxx. For me, it is not worth paying full price for fashion… ever. That includes purses, shoes, clothes, etc. It’s not that I don’t like that stuff. It’s just that I refuse to pay full price when I can get it from an outlet store or discount store like TJMaxx. Will it be the exact item I want that’s in the correct season? Probably not. But I don’t live in NYC so who will notice? And one more thing, I really don’t care.
5. House painting
Yes, it requires a little bit of skill and knowledge to paint a room. But not that much. I secretly scoff at people who pay a ton of money to have the inside of their house painted. And then I always offer to have done it for HALF the price. It’s so simple and easy and inexpensive. A can of paint, a good roller, some blue tape, and a quality paint brush and you, too, can transform your room over night.
Exterior house painting? Different story. You should totally pay someone to do that. Trust me.
6. Lawn care
You know those lawn services that come around and offer to do four seasons of treatment? It’s not worth it. Lawn care is so much easier than people think if they would just do a little research. I’ve seen so many people in my neighborhood put out a sprinkler and hope their lawn magically sprouts emerald green grass. In essence, they are actually just watering the weeds.
Ask my husband. He can tell you. But it’s really a matter of lime, fertilizer, and perhaps a little weedkiller mixed in with some water. And mowing the lawn? Get out there and do it. You could use the exercise anyway, couldn’t you?
7. Car washes
Are you starting to sense that I am either a) cheap or b) a do-it-yourself gal? The answer is: I’m both. And while I will take my car up to the Autobell up the street for the sake of time, I feel guilty coughing up $20 even though they do a knockout job in 15 minutes that would take me two hours.
It doesn’t hurt that my husband practically had a auto detailing shop in our garage. So with the right buckets, brushes, soaps, and solutions, I can deliver a car that looks and smells like it just rolled out of the dealership. And I get a little exercise in during the process.
8. A bowl of spaghetti
I love Italian as much as the next carb-indulging girl. But if I’m going to an Italian restaurant, I’m going to get some incredibly complex pasta or something with an incredibly fattening sauce, or ideally, both. I would never consider ordering spaghetti. Because I think it’s about the easiest thing on the planet to make and frankly, I like my spaghetti the best of all. I just refuse to pay for a bowl of spaghetti. The end.
9. An oil change
While I am a do-it-yourselfer, I don’t change my own oil. That’s what my husband is for. Actually, he prefers it that way. I get that not everyone has the luxury of being married to a handyman but here’s why I prefer to NOT pay a auto shop to do it.
- It’s expensive.
- They charge a fortune if you want oil out of the ordinary (like synthetic).
- I’ve heard too many stories of technicians forgetting to put the oil cap back on.
- They sell you things you probably don’t need for prices you shouldn’t have to pay. (Windshield wiper blades, anyone?)
- Most cars can go about 7500 miles, especially with synthetic oil, before that need an oil change instead of every 3000 miles. But they’ll never tell you that.
10. A drink at the movie theater
We all know concessions are ridiculous at the movie theater. And I get it. It’s how they make their money. Theaters make a very small percentage of the tickets prices when a movie is first released. The percentage goes up the longer the movie plays in the theater. So they rely on all the candy and popcorn and soda sales to help fill the gap.
Some of you make think this is wrong, but I strongly believe in taking a big purse into the theater full of… drinks. I will pay through the nose for movie theater popcorn. You just can’t make that extremely unhealthy but deliciously buttery snack at home the way they do. So I’ll butter it up and pour on the salt and eat every last bite. But I just refuse to pay $4.00 for a soda or bottle of water to wash it all down.
And there you have it. As usual, I’ve missed probably some big items. But mainly, I want to hear what you wouldn’t pay for (or pay a lot for).