I ran across this great article by Allen Tucker that makes some good points about paying too much for things you need and how that can actually be a good thing. It got me thinking about my own buying habits and how that concept has criss-crossed with my buying experiences over the years.

Naturally, I’m a frugal person. I just don’t like to spend money. But, at the same time, I’ve learned to force myself out of that box over the years. I feel it’s worth it to pay for quality, because like Allen points out you will likely get better use out of something and it will probably last longer if you pay more.

Of course there are exceptions to the rule, but this is a good general concept.

I think about the first time I upgraded my computer to have dual flat panel monitors. The concept was awesome, but my budget was small. I picked up a pair of low-quality (but very large) monitors that had a very appealing price tag attached. They were cheap, and I thought I was getting a pretty good deal.

Fast forward 10 months and I was throwing the second one in the trash (the first died only a couple months into the purchase). I got what I paid for, and I was already replacing BOTH monitors a year later. I ended up paying quite a bit more in the end than if I had just bought some quality monitors initially.

Here’s another example. When I bought a new tent last summer I was tempted to save $30 and buy a tent that looked a little cheaper than the one that came recommended to me by some friends. I thought about it for a while, and ended up going for the higher quality tent that they had actually recommended. At the time I felt like I was over-spending.

That very next weekend I went camping with a group of friends, and used my new tent for the first time. It set up easy, and I could tell it was quality after one night since it kept me dry as well as well ventilated that first night when it rained.

The funny thing is – one of my other friends had the exact same cheaper tent that I had been tempted to buy. I watched as he struggled to set it up efficiently that first day, and he complained the next morning about getting wet when it rained.

I was pretty happy with my choice to spend a few extra dollars for quality at that point. And that new tent I bought will probably last me many years as well.

After thinking about the the concept of paying for quality, and examining how it’s worked out throughout my life, I’m sold on the concept.

Of course you can still find good deals on quality items too if you are a patient buyer. But you get the idea.