Whether we like it or not, sometimes we have to opt for pricey new items over their used versions. Quality products hold up longer and, depending on the item, can save you money in the long-run.

Have you ever looked at a pair of shoes priced well over $100 and just couldn’t will yourself to spend that much money on one thing?

Don’t worry, I’m with you.

But sometimes it pays to pay more. Buying quality products can cost more upfront, but there’s a reason for the expense–it lasts longer and is better for your wallet in the long run.

Here’s 12 products you should always be willing to spend a little more money on.

1. Mattresses

As I mentioned in my last post about buying new vs. used, mattresses are very important items you really need to buy new and often something you want to spend extra money on.

A mattress is expensive, but worth it! It’s something you’ll have for years before it’s time to get a new one.

Plus it’s always nice to have a really good mattress to jump on!

2. That one piece of clothing you always wear

I’m the last person to suggest avoiding thrift stores, but for those few articles of clothing you wear all the time, going with the best quality saves you from having to buy new stuff more often.

Jackets, jeans, your favorite flannel, and your work suit should be bought with quality in mind. A good jacket or pair of jeans can last you years.

If you buy cheap material, it wears, and so you’re stuck buying the same thing over and over again—potentially costing you more than if you save up and buy just once every few years.

There are stores that pride themselves on their quality so much that they offer a lifetime guarantee or they’ll replace the item. Living in Maine, I feel obligated to mention that L.L. Bean offers such a deal, at least for right now. There are plenty of other stores that operate similarly, so consider doing a little Googling before you go out and shop.

3. Shoes (especially hiking, sport, and work shoes)

Like that one item of clothing you always wear, you should probably own one really nice pair of shoes.

Buying an expensive pair every year or couple of years saves you more than if you buy a $20 pair that’ll wear out fast and isn’t the best support for your back and feet.

Often, shoes are even more apt to have a lifetime guarantee than clothes.

4. Furniture

If you’ve just bought your first house, you’ve probably considered buying some nice furniture for it. Not every piece of furniture you own has to be expensive, but try treating yourself to a pleasant TV watching experience on a couch that’ll last.

On the other hand, if you’re just out of college and about to move into your excessively tiny studio apartment, maybe buying a really nice leather couch isn’t the best option. Chances are you might be out of there in a year or less and you should be saving money for other things or a bigger place.

5. Tools

Tools can be a tricky buy. If you’re not familiar with brands, it can be difficult to know what’s too cheap and what’s too expensive. How much you spend should be based on how often you use the tools.

If you have them on hand just for emergencies, you don’t need to go out of your way to spend hundreds of dollars on power tools.

If you’ve decided to take up do-it-yourself projects around your house, you probably want to get higher-end tools so they don’t break in the middle of a project.

When you start out, buy combo kits. Ask your local hardware store which work best for the type of projects you want.

6. Paint

Alright, I’m talking more along the lines of the paint used for your house than the canvas paint used to teach this dolphin.

When you buy paint for the interior or exterior of your house, you’re going to get what you pay for. Cheap paint needs two coats, so you’ll end up buying more than if you started with more expensive paint. You’ll also have to repaint a lot sooner.

Also, if you’ve got kids running around drawing on your walls all the time, there’s no need to get upset if you have nice paint that’s easy to wash!

7. Coffee makers

If you buy an expensive coffee maker, it will last forever and can keep you from spending a lot on coffee at Starbucks (and will probably taste better, too).

If you drink coffee multiple times a day, everyday, like most Americans, buying a nice coffee pot or even an espresso machine is a worthwhile investment.

Although they’re expensive and seem fancy, make sure you bypass the Keurig machines. They don’t make quality coffee and the K-Cups are terrible for your budget—costing households two to three times more than buying traditional coffee.

8. Tattoos

Tattoos are permanent (obviously), so be sure you take time and save up money (and a lot of it) before you get a tattoo.

There are plenty of shops where you can get small tattoos for under $50 (depending on where you live), but if you want a tattoo that’s complicated, large, or someplace visible, make sure to find a quality tattoo shop.

Tattoos cost hundreds of dollars for good reason. They’re pieces of artwork that take a lot of time, effort, and equipment—so paying top dollar is justified.

9. Laptop warranties

Not only should you avoid used laptops and go for new, up-to-date ones, but you should spend the extra money on that extended warranty offered at purchase.

Chances are you will use that warranty. It’s much more cost-effective if you buy and use the warranty a few years later when something on your nice Macbook breaks than if you buy another $1,600 laptop. After you fix whatever was wrong, you’ll be able to use the same laptop for years to come.

Be careful, though—most warranties don’t cover serious water damage, so don’t try the gif above at home.

10. Food

If you’re looking for really good food, you’re going to have to spend more. That’s why fancy, expensive restaurants are so sought after—the food tastes far better than anything you can get at McDonald’s.

There are some food items at the grocery store that, no matter if you buy them name-brand or generic, are going to taste the same. Any processed food, for example. In fact, eating processed food is probably costing you more than you realize. Not only is it unhealthy, but fast food and those salty potato chips can actually leave you hungrier than you were before you ate them—creating a vicious spending—and eating—cycle.

You should be spending a little more on produce if you want quality. There’s actually a big difference between those frozen green beans and fresh ones.

11. Kitchen knives

According to anyone who cooks professionally, or cooks more than just pasta for themselves on a regular basis, you should have a few good kitchen knives.

Stay away from knife sets, though. The knives in sets tend to not be that great and often have multiples of the same knife, which you really don’t need.

These are the only quality knives you need.

12. Camping Gear

If you plan to camp frequently, it’s best to fork over a little extra cash for a nice tent and sleeping bag.

Sleeping in the woods is hard enough; you want to make sure you’re comfortable enough to get some rest and actually enjoy your experience. There’s nothing worse than trying to sleep in a leaking tent during a storm.

If you’re like Ben Wyatt, though, and camping is a one-time experience, it’s best to borrow equipment or maybe just opt for a cabin in the woods with all the amenities already included.


Quality is often better than quantity. Buying expensive clothes, shoes, electronics, etc., once every few years can actually save your budget rather than hurt it.

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About the author

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Christopher Murray is a professional personal finance and sustainability writer who enjoys writing about everything from budgeting to unique investing options like SRI and cryptocurrency. He also focuses on how sustainability is the best savings tool around. You can find his work on sites like MoneyGeek, Money Under 30, Investor Junkie, MoneyCrashers, and Time. You can find out more about Christopher on his website or via LinkedIn.