Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Choose Better over More

Three Times As Good, One-Third As Much by Daphne Kim at the blog Joyful Days shares a great principle that can be used for personal finance, among other areas.

Simply, the post proposes that focusing on making each item, event or commitment three times better at one third the frequency can be more satisfying and therefore higher value. Examples included in the post are eating out and clothes. Specifically, instead eating a three mid- priced restaurants during the month, consider eating at one higher priced restaurant. Or instead of buying numerous inexpensive clothing that wear out, purchase the more expensive one, which will likely be more durable.

Overall, I think "better over more" is a great strategy. My spouse is an excellent practitioner of buying better quality. For items such as furnishings, clothing, vehicles and food, she generally choose fewer higher quality options versus more low price and lower quality options. In the time we've been married, I've come to very much appreciate my spouse's approach to buying items, to the extent of letting my spouse making the decision on most everything we buy. However, I still can't resist trying to negotiate a better price on large purchases :-)

Finally, I agree with the author that there are two areas where we don't necessary go for much higher quality - electronics and vehicles, where we purchase the minimum that is "good enough." We surely don't need or want to pay for vehicles and electronics that are three times better.

For more on The Practice of Personal Finance, check back every Wednesday for a new segment.

This is not financial advice. Please consult a professional advisor.

Copyright © 2008 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

1 comment:

Daphne Lim said...

Hey Super Saver,

Thanks for linking to my post! I'm glad you approve of your spouse's buying strategy... sounds like she has taste!

I like the ratios you show in your sidebar. Setting financial targets and knowing how near or far you are is definitely a good step and achieving your goals. Keep up the good work!