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When we bought a new house many years ago (that was being built), we went with “builder’s grade” on the roof, windows, fixtures, doors, etc. We’ve replaced all those things over the years. But, I am kind of glad we bought the cheap stuff at first because after living in the house for 15 years we had a better feel for what kind of upgrades we wanted to make.
Furniture. I have bought cheap stuff and it was uncomfortable and didn’t last long. There’s nothing worse than sitting on an uncomfortable couch while trying to enjoy an Eagles games. The team provides enough discomfort. We now try to buy quality at a good price.
Definitely WFH equipment at the onset of the pandemic. Better quality & ergonomic stuff would’ve made a difference.
I often struggle with loss aversion when it comes to taking too much in an effort to save a few bucks. I.e. driving on an old tire or delaying a doctor appointment. So those areas where I should not just ‘pay zero’ today, but rather think of them as reducing my risk of a big cost.
Car insurance is another example – ok to spend a little more for better coverage.
Flying commercial… sitting in a middle row in the back sandwiched between two strangers whom were both overweight and sweaty, boarding last so no space for my carry-on… then you have to go to the carousel to get your bag. Gah!
Here’s an opposite answer: wine.
It’s hit or miss regardless of price. $10 to $15 per bottle gets some really good ones. (Pricing based on NYC suburbs.)
The first TV my partner and I bought was the most basic we could get. We had just moved in and already had many expenses. We didn’t even watch that much TV at the time, so we thought it wouldn’t make much difference.
We ended up getting a TV that was too small and low quality. Because of that, we almost never used it, and didn’t watch many shows or films (which we actually like doing).
We sold it some years later and bought a bigger, higher-quality TV that was three times more expensive, but much more worthwhile.
Home networking gear is a case of you-get-what-you-pay-for. Eero, for example, is more expensive but worth every penny for creating a Wi-Fi mesh with whole house coverage.