Don’t Be Cheap: Get What You Really Want

Get what you really want instead of cheaping out.I’m all about being thrifty. But cheap? No thanks. I believe in getting what I really want, and sometimes that means shelling out a fairly large amount of money. And that isn’t at odds with being thrifty.

Thrifty vs. cheap

To me, thrift is about caring — about appreciating and maximizing the value of the resources available (both my own and the world’s.) Thrift is taking my foot off the gas and coasting when I see that the stop light up ahead is red. Thrift is hanging on to stuff for many, many years as long as it still works just fine for what I have in mind.

In other words, thrift is about reducing waste, and getting value.

Cheap, on the other hand, is about trying to spend as little as possible, even if the things you spend your money on or do without don’t meet your needs or desires. Cheap is just about the money.

The cost of cheap

Sometimes, trying to be cheap can be costly. Buying the cheaper thing just because it’s cheaper often means that you end up dissatisfied with what you bought.

For example, suppose you buy an inexpensive item because what you really want is pretty expensive. Chances are that every time you look at it, you’ll find yourself wishing you’d bought the preferred item instead. You’ll be unhappy.

When we’re unhappy with what we’ve bought, we tend to buy even more things later to try to change that. We end up with a bunch of cheap things that aren’t enjoyed, or going through item after item in a relatively short period of time. And that’s expensive.

Get what you really want

On the other hand, waiting until you get together some additional cash or until you can find the item you truly want instead at a discount can be very satisfying. You’re more likely to keep and enjoy it for a long, long time. So why not get what you really want instead?


  • Kathy

    I subscribe to the “I’d rather” method of decision making. If I’m looking at a cheap purse and think I’d rather save up to buy a really great designer handbag I don’t buy the cheap purse. And if I’m looking at a designer handbag and think I’d rather save that money and put it towards our Alaskan vacation I don’t get the handbag. Sometimes, I decide I’d rather just put the money into savings or investments and watch that balance grow. With this system I am totally in control because I always get whatever it is that I’d rather have.

  • Good point. I am planning a trip to London in June. If I can find a $1000 round trip air ticket to London that is direct, that would be better than paying $800 and having 2-3 layovers. My happiness is worth something…

  • This is a conversation that I have with my sister all the time. We both work in banking and consider ourselves to be money savvy. When we are together we understand each other’s spending habits which we consider to be very savvy. But to other people sometimes we just seem cheap.