Have you ever bought something that was really cheap only to find that it didn’t last very long? If you’re like me, you probably thought “well at least I didn’t spend lots of money on it”.
As a culture we tend to be focused on having lots of stuff. Retailers oblige us with ultra cheap clothing and home wares which will last a little while then break. When they break we console ourselves with the idea that we didn’t spend much money on it.
As I see it there are a few problems with this train of thought:
1. We end up with a whole lot of clutter. Because things are cheap we feel like we can buy more, so we do. As I have said before more isn’t better, it’s just more. More to clean, more to organise, more to store, and more to chuck out when we have finished with it. So we are filling the earth with junk that hasn’t been used for very long before breaking or being tossed away.
2. We actually end up spending more money on this cheap crap, than if we spent a little more and chose a quality piece to start off with. Earlier this year (along with most primary school kids) my girls discovered loom bands. I picked them each up a cheap started kit from a dollar shop, and off they went. Unsurprisingly the looms broke fairly quickly. The girls were really enjoying the looming, and were quite creative with them, so we bought another set. I had fallen into the very trap I try to avoid. I bought the cheap ones because I didn’t want to spend the money buying a more sturdy version. However after buying a couple of the cheap ones, it would have been more economical just to buy one good quality loom to start off with.
Don’t get me wrong, I know that something being expensive doesn’t automatically mean that it is a better quality (I buy kids clothes at the opshop after all), but often spending just a little more or even just shopping around a little, can mean the difference between a piece that lasts for a long time, and one that doesn’t.
If we are wanting to simplify our lives, surely buying fewer things, and ensuring that what we do buy is a good quality that will last quite a while is a good idea. Not only do we end up with more money in our pockets, we also end up with more time because we don’t need to shop as often to replace the junk, and less clutter because we have less possessions.
What do you think? Is quality important to you?