I’ve always made do throughout my life with either the thing that’s on trend and everyone has, the thing that’s cheap or on offer or the thing that’s still got life in it so why would I replace it.
I kept the same hair dryer for years that was a hand-me-down from my Mum, until it blew up in my ear and I threw it across the room in a frightened panic. When my old faithful hairbrush finally gave up its fight, I bought a big brand brush that was meant to be the best on the market. But I hated it! Although rather than admit the product probably wasn’t that good and I had been conned, I blamed my hair for not being suited to the brush. Yes, I know how that sounds but if this hairbrush was the best on the market and worked for everyone else, surely, I must be the problem!
Something I’ve realised more and more as I’ve grown up is that sometimes the big brand isn’t best, it’s just a name you’re paying for. And sometimes spending a little bit more money on a better-quality product is a better investment in the long run.
The best example I can give is my work shoes. I used to buy a budget pair of shoes about once every six weeks, walk a hole through the bottom, bin them and buy again. I did this for years and years thinking that because I was only spending around £6 a pop, it was ok, and I was saving money. However, I worked out over a year this added up to a lovely £52! Now, at the time, if I said I was going to go out and spend that much on one pair of shoes I would have laughed so hard I might have pee’d myself. But at £6 every now and then, it didn’t seem like much but wow, does it add up. So, I saved up a little and took myself off to a proper shoe shop! Feeling like a grown up I got a lovely pair of real leather shoes for £60, walked out trying not to worry about how much I had spent and reassured myself that I had made an investment. I wore those shoes every working day for 2 years before they got a hole in the bottom and needed to be replaced. (Although I’m still clinging onto them even though I’ve got a new pair waiting to be worn!)
My experiment had worked! Spending more money on a better-quality item not only made me feel smarter and happier wearing the shoes but saved me money over time. So, I started to apply the same logic to other areas of my life. Rather than going for the big brand or the thing that is on offer, I think about what I want from a purchase, what can help me achieve that and do my homework before I shop. Skincare is another great area for this. I think about the ingredients, read the reviews, and then decide. It not only saves money, saves waste but saves me time testing and trying loads of different options. Even better if some companies allow free samples or let you buy smaller, travel sized items before you invest in the full-size product.
One benefit I’ve had from shopping like this is that I save money because I’m only buying one good quality product that lasts rather than 10 or 15 cheap ones that don’t really work. I’ve also cut down on the products I use and the waste I produce which makes me (a self-confessed environmental fan) pleased.
But the biggest, and most important thing for me that I’ve found, is that I enjoy seemingly simple things. I’ve bought a beautiful hairbrush that contours to my head, doesn’t snag knots and is environmentally friendly. I love brushing my hair! The face creams I use now are the most expensive I’ve ever used but they work wonders for me, and I love my skincare routine morning and night. Plus, because they work and I only need a small amount at a time, they last for ages! My wardrobe is the smallest it’s ever been, because I spend a little more money on clothes that are good quality and make me feel happy when I wear them so, I don’t feel the need to buy loads and loads of clothes.
The main point of all of this is that shopping with more intention not only means you end up with a better-quality product that is right for you (once you’ve done your homework) but also saves you money over time and leads to a simpler life with less stuff and clutter coming through the door. At first it feels scary spending so much more than you might normally on an item, but money is just a number and it’s such an amazing feeling to own something that serves its purpose well and makes you feel happy and look forward to using it.