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Money Management

When to Splurge and When to be Thrifty

Some things are not worth a three-figure expense.

Recently, I visited the dentist because a spot on my teeth was feeling overly-sensitive. They told me that I’m brushing that particular spot too hard, and that I should consider buying an electric toothbrush with a built-in pressure sensor. I stopped by Target on my way home to see what such a thing would run me, and it turns out one of those things is a hundred bucks, and that’s not even including replacement heads. So I resolved to just brush a little more carefully.

The reason I bring this story up is to impress upon you the importance of occasional thriftiness. In just about every facet of modern life, there are bigger, fancier, and in some cases, more technologically advanced options available. Computer-controlled cooking appliances, brand-exclusive clothes, and other fancy-schmancy stuff can no doubt improve your life if you choose to invest in them. But the obvious problem is that such things can be prohibitively expensive. Even if you have the money available to splurge on such things, you need to consider whether they would pay for themselves in the end or not.

To use the prior example of my toothbrush, I could technically afford a hundred-dollar electric one with a pressure sensor, but I could probably get the same results from just not brushing like an idiot. The same could be said for just about anything else. Brand name clothes may look good, but they’re still just clothes. Fancy appliances have lots of bells and whistles, but simpler models can serve the same purposes.

Of course, if you happen to have a veritable pile of disposable income, then hey, don’t let me tell you how to live your life. All I’m saying is that large purchases should be carefully considered based on how much benefit they can actually give to you. Maybe if my teeth were in dire straits, it’d be a different story, but as things stand now, I can’t justify a hundred bucks for something I only use twice a day.

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