At a certain point, minimalism turns into masochism, and frugality is just foolishness.
Some things in life are simply worth paying for. Meaning, the stuff you use every day, that has a major effect on your quality of life. Like socks. If your socks are awful, stinky and full of holes, so is your life. You need good socks to live well.
Other stuff, meanwhile, has the appearance of important necessities while they’re actually needless trifles. Like, say, shoelaces. No matter how fancy or robust your laces are, all they can really do is keep your shoes from falling off your feet. As long as they’re doing that, it doesn’t matter how much they cost or how staggering their quality is.
Most things in life fall either in the socks or shoelaces category. The trick is to distinguish between the two. Lucky for you, I took care of that for you, so you don’t need to think for yourself.
So with that in mind, off we go: Here are five socks to overspend on in order to better your life, and five shoelaces to skimp on quality and save cash for better stuff.
They wait for you each night, accepting your frazzled noggin in a warm, puffy embrace. Or they can be miserable, lopsided bricks that make you detest the pleasures of sleep.
If only sandpaper stayed in the sandpaper isle. If only manufacturers didn’t see fit to repackage it with clouds and teddy bears on the cover, slashing its price to trick sadistic penny pinchers into having their loved ones wipe with it. I shall say no more.
You are only as fast and capable as your computer. If your computer sucks, you suck. Don’t suck. Spend what it takes to at least have a chance at competence.
Your broken doorknob, toilet handle, piece of doorway tile and hallway light fixture had all better work well, because if they don’t you will notice their failures all too well, and be especially bitter about their ineptitude if a pathetic discount repair job is the reason for your crumbling homestead.
They’re just like socks, only even more important because they are your only defense against the harsh, unrelenting spikiness of the ground. If your shoes ain’t comfy, you ain’t comfy. Remember that.
Wow, you just got the brand new smartphone with all the great reviews that can do this, that and the other? Well guess what. In six months everyone will chuckle at you behind your back and pity you to your face about your ancient, Zack Morris-like embarrassment. Phones are so disposable that what people do with them is closer to renting than buying. So rent cheaply.
Sure, a great haircut can have you looking presentable for a while. But then time takes its toll and you end up looking just like any other Supercuts-shorn shlub. Sure, a fancy mop chop may be applicable if you’re on the cusp of a big date or job interview, or any other situation in which you need to trick people into thinking you’re better looking than you really are. But as for day-to-day life, pay a minimal amount and accept your mediocrity.
However trendy and “2013” your clothes are, they will make you look just as weird and “two thousand and late” the second the fickle winds of fashion shift. It’s best to stay basic, dull and cheap with your garments so as not to stand out.
Do not spring for the high-quality water pump, timing belt or alternator. Your car is an evil, parts-devouring monstrosity, and it will chew up the good along with the bad. Always go for the cheapest option, and rest assured that another old terrible part is sure to break down before the new terrible one goes kaput. And eventually you’ll want to unload the whole mess and start over with a fresh, new, evil parts-devouring monstrosity.
Just look at that gourmet platter at a superior, high-class restaurant that you’ll drop $80 a plate on. Take a picture. No, seriously, do it, because the only other memory you will have of your overpriced delicacies is the flush and swirl you hear as you say goodbye to it several hours later. If it all looks the same going out, question whether it’s worth paying a lot extra for its looks and pedigree as it goes in.