You Get What You Pay For
Sometimes cheaper isn’t always better. Less isn’t always more. Being a tightwad can sometimes cause you to lose circulation. I’ve been spending the last 7 months of Project Money living by the mantra of “if it costs more it’s not worth it”. Well, I learned this last week that there are some instances when it’s worth the extra money on the front end to save money on the back end.
Picture this: you take your car in for a routine oil change and tire rotation and expect to drive away from the shop with said oil changed and tires rotated. That’s all, nothing more. But let’s be real, there are occasionally going to be some unexpected maintenance that technicians might find while inspecting your vehicle. For me, this time it was the battery. Full disclosure, I knew my battery was getting bad before I took my car in for an oil change, but like all tightwads, I was crossing my fingers that I could get through just one more winter. What I wasn’t expecting was learning how bad the battery actually was.
In comes Cheryl, the awesome service writer at Wilde Honda. She texts me to tell me my oil change and tire rotation are done but the battery test failed. She said I really need a new battery and then gave me the cost and warranty information. So, like all good Project Money contestants do, I told her to hold off on installing the battery and then I did some quick price checks at other retailers for the cost of a similar battery. I found a cheaper battery at an auto supply store, but I’d have to deal with the hassle of removing the old one and installing the new one and getting it back to the store for disposal. Plus, the cheaper battery had a far inferior warranty than the Honda battery. As much as I wanted to buy the cheaper battery now, I realized that with my time and effort and the better extended warranty with the Honda battery, I’d regret it later. I texted Cheryl back and went ahead with the more expensive battery now knowing that I’d be saving money later with the extended warranty. And when it comes to the reliability of my vehicle, that’s well worth it.
That brings us to this week’s financial fun fact: sometimes you need to look past the price tag and evaluate the quality and longevity of the item you are going to purchase. This is especially true for items like vehicles, vehicle maintenance, appliances, and other big ticket items. Sometimes this is even the case with grocery items and beauty products. And don’t forget coupons, rewards programs, and cash back apps. In my case, I was thankful that I didn’t throw away the Wilde Honda mailer with coupons. Plus I had a rewards program certificate to use. So in the end, the final bill wasn’t too bad.
I’ll continue to opt for less expensive options on much of what I purchase, but not with everything. After all, there’s no substitute for a Starbucks tall decaf raspberry non-fat no whip no foam mocha. Because sometimes you get what you pay for.