I hate buying things only to have them fall apart. I remember once seven years ago buying a cutlery set from Target that rusted over in about three months. I think the fact that I am still sore about it to this day is a pretty good indication of how obsessed I can be about wasting money on non-optimal things.
When I make a purchase, I try to buy at the top of the inflection in the price vs. quality curve. This often requires hours of research. I have on my bookmark bar Wirecutter, Sweethome, Consumer Reports, and Reddit’s BIFL forum. I spent days trawling Angie’s List, Houzz, and NextDoor when trying to find contractors to work on our renovations. Even with food, there are few places I’ll eat that I haven’t already thoroughly vetted either through my foodie friends or Yelp.
Often, when in search for the “perfect” thing, I come to find it doesn’t exist. Or that it’s too expensive. And rather than compromise on my standards, spending or otherwise, I choose not to buy anything at all. Which is, I suppose, one method of frugality.
Because of this analysis paralysis, I didn’t buy a blender until we could afford a Vitamix (which is awesome, by the way). And we still don’t have a vacuum because Miele canister vacuums, like the ones Wirecutter recommends, are expensive. If I’m going to shell out $100+ to do, ugh, chores! then that vacuum better not leave a crumb and last twenty years to boot.
Sometimes I can’t tell whether this makes me mindful in my spending or just a very particular consumerist. In any case, it seems to keep money in my pocket and junk out of my house.
Are you a buy-it-for-life-er? Do you hold out for the “perfect” purchase?
4 thoughts on “Perfectionist Consumerism”
I know the feeling. When we were looking for vendors for our wedding or our tasks at our house, I poured over the internet, read every review, and tried to gather as much information as possible about the person. Man finding that point on the curve is hard and chances are that you will never find the perfect item unless you have an unlimited budget. You have to know what aspects you are willing to sacrifice for a cheaper price. Once you identify that, finding the right point on the curve becomes a lot easier. But if you aren’t willing to sacrifice, you may be searching for that unicorn.
Thanks for the great read.
That’s such a good point! Prioritizing the most important features during a purchase can be so tough. Doubly so when there’s a strong sentimental component, like in your wedding or house examples.
Thanks for stopping by!
I try to be so that I can be much more mindful of what we bring into our house, and not wasting things which isn’t good for the environment and isn’t being a good steward of our money or our home planet. Sometimes there’s a strong temptation to go for the quick and easy purchase, but we fight it about 80-90% of the time.
I like the environmental conservation approach!