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  1. #11
    insert random title here Randomnity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Intricate Mystic View Post
    How do you decide where quality matters? Is it just a matter of personal preference or perhaps there are certain things that everyone values quality in?

    Here is an example of me trying to make a decision concerning cost- I was trying to decide which brand of blue corn chips to buy today- both had the same nutritional profile but one was a dollar more expensive. However, I've gotten the less expensive brand before and found that the bag rips easily because the material is so thin, so I decided that perhaps it's better to pay an extra dollar to get the brand that has a rip-free bag. This is the kind of thing I'm talking about. I frigging really don't know how to make decisions like this as I'm just not practical. It's hard to know what's important. It becomes even more relevant, of course, when you need to buy more expensive items like a car or an appliance.
    That's the thing, there isn't an absolute answer. It depends on your personal priorities. So for me for example, I want to be saving some money for a house eventually, some money for retirement, and some money to earmark for paying off my student loans when I graduate. My income's retardedly low now so it's mostly to get into the habit of saving (aiming for 30% net to those 3, if I can). It's the first time I've had a steady income so I'm not in the habit of actively saving for goals; before, I just had one savings fund.

    So for me meeting that goal is important enough to not splurge on things, but I still want to enjoy life and I might cut the savings down if it gets ridiculous, since it's not that important right now (given my low income).

    That line for what's a "splurge" vs. something that matters to you, well that depends on how important things are to you. In your example, if I don't really mind dealing with the rips, or I think I can be more careful with the bag and it won't rip, I would get the cheaper one. If it really upsets me and ruins my day when I have to clean up chips from all over the floor, I'd get the more expensive one. (Or if I wanted to be more green and go with less plastic used, maybe I'd go with the cheap one )

    I buy almost everything generic the first time I buy them (unless I've heard the generic is bad for that, or know that similar generics are gross), and keep buying it if I like it. Some things the generic is really awful, sometimes it's a bit worse or about the same, and sometimes it's even better! (Mostly just the PC brand, it seems a lot better than the other generics). Usually if it's reasonably close in quality to the brand name I'll stick with it - though if you watch the sales brand names are often cheaper since they usually go on sale for cheaper than the generics which rarely go on sale.

    ----------

    Food is where I spend most money. I like delicious things. I buy things like goat cheese and brie sometimes, and I'll buy a tub or two of haagen daaz when it goes on sale for 3-4 dollars (fairly regularly but not all that often). I buy fresh sourdough bread or rye bread every so often even though it's way more expensive than that gross processed white bread (which I no longer buy, but eat occasionally for grilled cheese only). I buy a lot of fruit and berries and things like asparagus and avocados which aren't necessarily the cheapest things to eat. I buy triscuits when they're 2$ because I love them. I buy those big blocks of chedder cheese and eat more than I should. I buy tsatziki dip when the pitas are very fresh because I can't make that stuff taste like the stuff in the stores and it's so good. I buy a lot of milk and chocolate milk sometimes if it's on sale. I usually buy all these things (except milk) only on sale, but I could be buying cheaper things. I'll also spend more than I need to in an attempt to have a somewhat healthy diet.

    But some people could be happy spending way less on food, and others wouldn't be happy without spending a lot more, I'm sure. You just have to pay attention to what makes you really happy, and what you're just eating (or doing) out of routine or because it's there.

    Bottom line: I want to get the best value for my money, which often means buying cheaper things, and fewer of them.

    I've noticed what seems to be a particular dislike of cheap stuff on the part of ISTPs.
    Yeah...it's not that I mind "cheap" stuff, I have a lot of it, but mostly it's been free or mostly free stuff that's useful to me. I don't mind spending a few bucks at the thrift store for mediocre pots or something, but I wouldn't buy the cheapest new set at Sears, for ex. If I'm putting a reasonable amount of money towards something, I want to get the best value for it, which usually means paying more for higher quality that will last, and/or paying more for a superior experience (maybe better heat conductance in the pot, or something).It's probably not going to be the most expensive one either but I'll probably do some research on it first rather than just getting some cheap one.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mystic Tater View Post
    Well, I think there is a difference between pursuing one's passions in the more minor/artful ways of life and being another Richie-Rich businessman. The more artful way may not be frugal in respect to the hobbies, but it demands less spending in general if it doesn't generate as much income as the more ambitious route would. Ambition is often thought to accompany luxury.
    It's true that a lower income suggests frugality, but there are way too many people with senseless consumer debt to make me believe that frugality comes naturally with a lower income. Some rich and even very rich people are quite frugal, too. Probably not to the point of eating rice and beans every day, but frugal compared to the "average" person.
    -end of thread-

  2. #12
    ..... Intricate Mystic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bamboo View Post
    I try to balance cost vs quality.

    I like quality stuff, but I tend to buy what I can used, or I repair stuff, or I build stuff to save $.

    I rather have a few nice things than a lot of junk. I'm slowly getting rid of all my stuff and just keeping the stuff I need. With more money in my pocket I'm starting to replace old wear items with more quality ones.



    So more in line with your question, what is the mindset here?

    I guess my mindset is "how well will this serve it's purpose?" Keep in mind, disposable stuff has value, too. I can understand the value in something which will simply wear out quickly but that doesn't need to last a long time anyway. But I desire quality more than anything else.

    So something I'm going to use a lot should be durable and depending on application modular to suit my changing needs. However, if I'm going to only need something once, then I don't care if it's junk so long as it does its job.

    For instance, I buffed my car a while back. I had a choice between cheapo buffers up to $200 buffers.

    So I considered: what is my purpose?

    My purpose was to get something that would work as an experiment and probably be about twice a year max.

    So I bought a $30 one. It's garbage. The motor was smoking while using it. But it buffed my car just fine. I'm sure it will blow in another 3 hours of use. That's two buffs for $30. Fine by me. If it's not totally dead, than it will see more occasional use.

    If I had more money, I'd buy a better one based on principles such as less in landfill, easier to work with, not chinese (ie higher build quality), noise, etc.

    In this case, I don't care. Things that get regular, consistent use, quality matters more (car, computer, selected clothing, footware, tools like wrenches that I will have forever, etc.)
    OK, so items that will be used a lot should be of good quality, but seldom-used items can have minimal quality since they will only be used a few times. It was very helpful that you gave real-life examples to illustrate your points! Thank you for sharing your thought process.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bev View Post
    Shop around, be cunning and learn how to repair stuff seems to work :-)
    Well, I have actually managed to repair a few things over the years, I'm glad to say, but I'm sure my efforts in that department pale in comparison to what you ISTPs can do! I also once built a table to put between a counter and a dryer to make a space for my first painting easel. I used a rectangular piece of plywood and attached four approximately 1" square lengths of wood for the legs. Guess how I attached the legs? I hammered in a ton of nails from the top of the plywood directly into the stick of wood placed below each corner of the plywood. Each corner probably had 10-12 nails in it. It looked a little strange but the table held together.

    Quote Originally Posted by Randomnity View Post
    That's the thing, there isn't an absolute answer. It depends on your personal priorities. So for me for example, I want to be saving some money for a house eventually, some money for retirement, and some money to earmark for paying off my student loans when I graduate. My income's retardedly low now so it's mostly to get into the habit of saving (aiming for 30% net to those 3, if I can). It's the first time I've had a steady income so I'm not in the habit of actively saving for goals; before, I just had one savings fund.

    So for me meeting that goal is important enough to not splurge on things, but I still want to enjoy life and I might cut the savings down if it gets ridiculous, since it's not that important right now (given my low income).
    You have admirable goals and admirable self-discipline!

    Quote Originally Posted by Randomnity View Post
    That line for what's a "splurge" vs. something that matters to you, well that depends on how important things are to you. In your example, if I don't really mind dealing with the rips, or I think I can be more careful with the bag and it won't rip, I would get the cheaper one. If it really upsets me and ruins my day when I have to clean up chips from all over the floor, I'd get the more expensive one. (Or if I wanted to be more green and go with less plastic used, maybe I'd go with the cheap one )
    Ah, so you do a sort of cost:benefit analysis, i.e. would saving a dollar to get the cheaper bag be worth the risk of the bag breaking and spilling chips all over the floor. OK, I can do that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Randomnity View Post
    I buy almost everything generic the first time I buy them (unless I've heard the generic is bad for that, or know that similar generics are gross), and keep buying it if I like it. Some things the generic is really awful, sometimes it's a bit worse or about the same, and sometimes it's even better! (Mostly just the PC brand, it seems a lot better than the other generics). Usually if it's reasonably close in quality to the brand name I'll stick with it - though if you watch the sales brand names are often cheaper since they usually go on sale for cheaper than the generics which rarely go on sale.
    My ISTJ dad LOVES buying generic. It's almost like he gets a thrill outsmarting the brand names by doing that.
    ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Randomnity View Post
    Yeah...it's not that I mind "cheap" stuff, I have a lot of it, but mostly it's been free or mostly free stuff that's useful to me. I don't mind spending a few bucks at the thrift store for mediocre pots or something, but I wouldn't buy the cheapest new set at Sears, for ex. If I'm putting a reasonable amount of money towards something, I want to get the best value for it, which usually means paying more for higher quality that will last, and/or paying more for a superior experience (maybe better heat conductance in the pot, or something).It's probably not going to be the most expensive one either but I'll probably do some research on it first rather than just getting some cheap one.
    The "buying pots" example would actually be trouble for me, because while I might be able to distinguish between the pots that were well-made vs. those that weren't so well-crafted, I can guarantee that it wouldn't occur to me to consider it's heat conductance properties. That probably sounds strange, but it's true. The aesthetic properties would get my attention, though, i.e. I would consider if I like the way it looks enough to enjoy cooking with it often.

    Thanks, you guys, for the patient and thoughtful answers!

  3. #13
    Senior Member captain curmudgeon's Avatar
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    i believe the word you were looking for is "frugality".

  4. #14
    ..... Intricate Mystic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wheelchairdoug View Post
    i believe the word you were looking for is "frugality".
    Hey, thanks for pointing that out now that I've already started a thread with a mistake in the title.

  5. #15
    likes this gromit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Randomnity View Post
    I tend to not buy things until I can afford a high quality one - where that matters. Especially furniture.
    I relate to this a LOT. I would rather make do with what I have than spend money on something that is of a low quality.
    Your kisses, sweeter than honey. But guess what, so is my money.

  6. #16
    Post Human Post Qlip's Avatar
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    Not an S But I really relate to the above. I get an adversarial thrill buying generics and off brand, escpecially for the things that I KNOW are exactly the same thing but in different packaging. I hate watching advertisement, I hate the idea even more of paying for it. Seriously, Quaker Oats or Storebrand, can there really be a difference in oats? Some generics are really inferior, though, like kitty litter. You'll suffer for cutting corners on that. Mostly, figuring this stuff out is trial and error.

    I had a frugal moment this weekend. I decided for supper that I really wanted to make myself Udon noodles with tempura. I was without a strainer and also without something to sift the tempura flour with. I noticed no a Youtube video that a lady was using a large wire strainer for both the noodles and sifting. I made a $6 purchase and I had it all covered.

  7. #17
    insert random title here Randomnity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Qlippoth View Post
    Some generics are really inferior, though, like kitty litter. .
    Huh, maybe they make generics better here or maybe I just have low standards...in ~8 years of owning cats, I don't think I've ever bought name brand. The generic's always worked fine for me (I buy the clumping stuff in giant boxes). What don't you like about it?
    -end of thread-

  8. #18
    insert random title here Randomnity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Intricate Mystic View Post
    The "buying pots" example would actually be trouble for me, because while I might be able to distinguish between the pots that were well-made vs. those that weren't so well-crafted, I can guarantee that it wouldn't occur to me to consider it's heat conductance properties. That probably sounds strange, but it's true. The aesthetic properties would get my attention, though, i.e. I would consider if I like the way it looks enough to enjoy cooking with it often.
    Well that was just an example I made up (because one of my pots has a copper bottom and I think that means it heats more evenly/quickly or something?). I would probably think about quality, and especially ease of use (is the lid retarded? is the handle too long or too short, or awkwardly curved? does it have ridges that wouldn't clean well?) and probably a little aesthetics too.

    Now you see why people hate shopping with me...I take all day to make simple decisions!
    -end of thread-

  9. #19
    Post Human Post Qlip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Randomnity View Post
    Huh, maybe they make generics better here or maybe I just have low standards...in ~8 years of owning cats, I don't think I've ever bought name brand. The generic's always worked fine for me (I buy the clumping stuff in giant boxes). What don't you like about it?
    Maybe I haven't bought the right generic brand, or the clumping stuff has improved since you bought last. The generic brand doesn't scoop near as well as the name brand that I've tried. Maybe I'll keep searching.

  10. #20
    insert random title here Randomnity's Avatar
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    Hmmm I'm tempted to try the name brand stuff since maybe it'll blow my mind now....but it's probably better to keep my standards low! I usually end up emptying out the box every couple times I change it anyway, so it's not a big deal for me that the clumps aren't perfect.
    -end of thread-

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