When to Spend and When to Save

Knowing when to buy the cheap item versus investing in something isn’t easy. And it really can depend on your current financial situation, your current life style, and your current stage of life. Making the right decisions can be stressful! A daunting task for many people who live pay cheque to pay cheque, or just don’t have a ton of savings.

Today I’m sharing some examples of when we have spent vs when we have saved our money. Hopefully these examples will help you next time you need to make a large purchase.

When to Spend –  Our vacuum recently bit the dust, pun intended. It was 10 years old, and was being used 3 times a day for nearly a month, while we were keeping our house spotless for showings. We assumed we would just get it repaired, since that would be cheaper than buying something new, and save the waste of throwing a vacuum out. Though, we starting thinking about it, and we didn’t loooooove the vacuum anymore; the filters got clogged easily, and it was heavy and bulky. Then we heard that Sears is filing for government protection, and might just end up bankrupt in a year. Our vacuum was a Kenmore! The filters could only be bought at Sears, and were already hard to find and expensive! Newer vacuums have filters that can be washed, instead of replaced every few months. New vacuums are also lighter! So, after much thought, we figured this time around, it would be a better investment to buy a newer vacuum, than repair the old one that might be extinct in another year! We reviewed lots of vacuums online, and went old school with a Hoover bagged vacuum! Those bagged vacuums, that your parents probably still have lying around, and work just fine, whereas the new bag free ones seem to break after only a few years, get dust everywhere when you empty the canister, and cost more. I know nothing these days seems to be built to last, so we made sure we got a great deal on it from Costco (Getting 2% cash back on our PC MasterCard and 2.5% cash back from our Executive membership!). And let me tell you, our carpets have never looked better!

When to Save – By the time we had our second kid, we had out grown our itty bitty apartment sized kitchen table. Dinning sets are expensive, and we didn’t want to spend money on something that messy kids would wreck. Now matter how durable a store claims their product to be, kids wreck stuff! It’s just a fact of life. That whole saying of “this is why we can’t have nice things” never rings truer with toddlers running around your house. We didn’t want to stress over utensils scratching a nice table top, kids colouring on the table instead of their picture, and all the sticky crafts and science experiments that come with having kids. So instead of investing in an expensive table, we opted for a second hand dining set. My husband found our current set at a thrift store for $50; table with 2 leaves, and 4 chairs! It’s not the prettiest thing, but it has worked perfectly for our family over the last 8 years! Our next one though, once the kids are a little older and less destructive, will look much nicer!

Of course, these are just examples from my life, so your situation is probably different. Maybe there isn’t enough money to buy a new vacuum yet so repairing the old one is the smarter option, or perhaps it was a very expensive vacuum so repairing is still the better choice. Or maybe your kids are older, or you don’t have kids at all, so investing in nicer furniture is a great decision. Even for us, as we go through different stages of life, our decisions on when to spend vs save will change. So think about current situation, and try to figure out whats best for you before you spend!

I’d love to know, when have you spent vs saved? Share on social media, or comment below!

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