How Much Extra Are You Willing to Spend?

by Kelly · 12 comments

in Money & Spending


I’ve been needing to buy a new bed for my daughter, so as is my nature, I’ve been shopping around and taking my time trying to decide what I want and how much money I want to spend.

My mother was here for a visit over the holidays, and I was showing her some of the different models I liked. All were in the same sort of price range, with about €50 between the most and least expensive. She said something interesting:

When I’m trying to decide between two things, I don’t look at the total price. I only look at the difference in price between the two, and decide if I’m willing to spend that or not. After all, you’re already paying the minimum- you just need to decide how much extra you are willing to spend.

I think this is an interesting way of looking at things. How much extra are you willing to spend, for example, on organic veggies, or name brand detergent? What makes that little bit extra palatable or not?

Of course it’s not the only factor when buying something, but I like this approach for its different way of thinking about price.

And you? How much extra are you willing to spend?


1 Nancy January 16, 2009

On items for the home, such as beds, chairs, etc, that I’m expecting to last a long time, I’ll usually spend the extra $ up front for higher quality. In the long run it’s cheaper to pay for quality up front than to have to replace an item in the near future.

2 Jason January 16, 2009

I guess I try to determine if the extra money is “worth” it. That worth could come from a longer expected life, but it could also be an extra feature that I want that the cheaper item doesn’t have (depending on the item of course). But it’s rarely a clear-cut call.

Jason´s last blog post..Friday Recipe: Simple Spaghetti Cabonara

3 Fabulously Broke January 16, 2009

For good food, I’d spend good money. For things like detergent or anything else like that.. not so much.

Fabulously Broke in the City
Just a girl trying to find a balance between being a Shopaholic and a Saver.

Fabulously Broke´s last blog post..Saver: Getting the job & Managing it (Career)

4 Maria January 16, 2009

I’m in this same dilemma with my daughter’s bed. I not only look at the difference between options, but also the difference of spending very little now but having to replace it later…that total cost is usually more than the most expensive of the options.

With furniture, I think it always makes sense to pay for quality, because you’re going to end up paying more to replace low quality over time…I also think that buying something you love and won’t want to kick to the curb after a year or two is close to priceless.

Maria´s last blog post..hello, free cosmetics!

5 mom, again January 16, 2009

Often, after all the searching, mulling, & pondering it does just come down to the difference in price. Is the item prettier, sturdier, niftier, nicer, bigger, handier, free delivery-er or not-flatpacked-er enough to justify it. Usually I need more than one -er. Sometimes I realize I’m creating -ers because I’m trying hard to justify the one I want instead of making a real comparison.

6 NMPatricia January 16, 2009

I am willing to pay extra for food. I buy some organic veggies – those recommended to have the most pesticides and herbicides in them. I am willing to pay for quality food. I do this for two reasons:
1. We are eating in far more. When I make a dish, it is at least or better than I can get out.
2. I figure we will have lower medical bills in the long run. We seldom go to the doctors (I am in my late 50s and my husband is in his late 60s). Neither of us are on any medication. So I figure we are doing something right.

7 Craig January 16, 2009

Depends on what you think is worth it. Food wise I don’t believe organic is worth the extra money. Electronics wise I do, I would spend more for better quality full well knowing it’s a better product and will last longer.

8 Erin G January 16, 2009

we did that when picking out strollers. the store where we were buying had them arranged by price (very helpful), so we walked up the aisle, and with each stroller, we would look at the next and say, are we willing to spend $x more for yz amenities/conveniences/etc. If YES – then we moved up to the next one. When we got to where we said NO – that was our stroller.

and we love it.

Erin G´s last blog post..Reason #1087 Why I Need a Daughter

9 Quadelle January 16, 2009

Generally I aim for the best over all deal, e.g. pay more now for really well-made furniture. I’ve noticed that sometimes I’m influenced by what is cool or sought-after, so I ask myself, “In x years time when this brand/version/model becomes the outdated version, will I feel foolish for having literally bought the hype, or will I be still content because it was simply the best match for my needs?”

Another thing I think about is how often the item is going to appear in photos. When choosing a highchair I narrowed it down to two models that both had the features I wanted and in the end went with the slightly more expensive but way better looking version. It’s been money well spent in my opinion.

10 Vicki January 17, 2009

We always buy the best hand tools. I don’t want my husband hurt by a flimsy hammer or screwdriver.

We do buy organic vegetables after a brush with cancer – I already know I’m susceptible to it. After all the work time lost and all the money we spent on medical copays, we could have bought a lot of organic vegetables and had a lot more enjoyment that whole time. Penny wise, pound foolish…

11 Stacie.Make.Do. January 18, 2009

I try to look at things in terms of value, not just in terms of cost.
“How much” can be different for every choice.
I like Erin G’s method in a previous comment.

Stacie.Make.Do.´s last blog post..Planning my next Freezer Paper stencil

12 Kristy January 19, 2009

It really depends on what it is. If it’s something I want to last for a long while, I’ll pay the extra money upfront – unless it’s a depreciating asset, like a car. Cars aren’t worth paying more than their value because they lose something like 30% as soon as you drive them off the lot. But, things like electronics and furniture I’ll pay upfront. Occasionally I’ll pay extra for organic, put it’s really only on some things. For instance, while I know organic potatoes are healthier for me, I don’t taste a difference between the two, so I’m not going to spend the extra money. However, I taste a huge difference in eggs and some fruits, so I’ll buy those in organic because I prefer them. I’m not a big orange juice fan, but I recently discovered the Central Market organic orange juice and I’m in love! I spend the $4 a carton, I like it that much!

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