Friday, May 1, 2009

Quality....not Quantity

So I stopped in at Battery World to get a new battery for our home phone. While there, I saw this sign:

Doesn't that just hit the nail on the head?? How many times do we cheap out and then regret it. We know full well that "we get what we pay for" but we still do it! We are continually lured in by the thought of saving a few bucks in the moment that we don't think about the big picture.

I have to say, that when it comes to our kids, this is so important. We get them something of poor quality just for the sake of getting them something and then they are heartbroken when it breaks. Think about what that does to a child. They can have much deeper attachments to things, whether it is a favorite toy or a special blanket, and when it falls apart and they see it go into the trash, is that really sending the message we want? Don't get too attached because it will just end up in the garbage anyway. Hmm....

And this isn't just for kids. I am a big fan of TLC's What Not To Wear. Over and over, the message is pounded into our brains: buy fewer pieces of clothes that are of higher quality. Seriously, this really does make so much sense!! And look how good those people look! And think about how good you feel when you put on a piece of clothing that cost a bit more. I have to say, I got a pair of Ralph Lauren sunglasses last Christmas - actual Ralph Lauren sunglasses. In the past I have never spent more than about $10 on sunglasses because I have broken several pairs and the thought of having my pricey sunglasses stepped on because I set them on the stairs when I came in the door was a hard pill to swallow. Well guess what - those sunglasses have never once been set on the stairs. They actually get put back in their case. Why? Because when we have to put out a bit more coin for something, we tend to take better care of it, right? These glasses came with a really nice case. It's at the back door so that every time I come into the house, I can put them away - and I do! I also have a really nice suede suit jacket. You'll never see it in a pile on the floor, but you will see my crappy cardigan there.

We send ourselves quite a strong message by choosing to constantly cheap out. We are subconsciously saying that we are not worth it. For our children, we send the message not to draw too strong of a connection. Freckles has been saving her allowance and birthday money - she currently has over $70 saved. She is learning about saving for something she really wants. Think of the care she will put into her purchase, knowing that she has had to wait and save to get it. Frogurt, on the other hand, has a hard time saving (this has to do with age differences as well). He doesn't quite get delayed gratification yet. He will spend his few dollars every week on something that doesn't last long and that becomes yesterday's news in an awful hurry. Yesterday, however, he had enough saved up for a bigger item. He got himself this great sticker mosaic set and took so much pride in making these pictures, all of which are now displayed proudly in his room.

So next time you're tempted by that $5 t-shirt on display next to the lettuce, think about it. Think about all the other $5 shirts that have worn out before their time and how pooling all those $5s together could get you a much nicer shirt. Think about how much prouder you would stand. Think about how much your child would love it if their favorite toy never broke (commercial time: Discovery Toys has a lifetime warranty!). I can tell you, it is a much better feeling. We are all worth it. No, money doesn't buy happiness but that's no reason to throw it away.