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Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Money Matters: Going for quality is always a smart move

You've likely received your January credit card bill in the mail by now with it's long list of December purchases of food and gifts for the holiday season. 

The timing can never be good for bills but I always find January to be particularly difficult. Maybe because it's followed so closely by the end of March when we pay taxes that weren't deducted at source. Oh, and if you have any spare cash lying around it would be a good idea to make that RRSP contribution. And now that the new year has started, I'm free to put another $5,000 into my Tax Free Savings Account if I happen to have it stuffed in the mattress.

If money isn't already on your mind most of the time, it's likely front and centre right now. And if you don't have much of it, it's critical to be smart with the little you have.

This past weekend we went shopping for a new couch for our livingroom. The old one didn't owe us anything after 20+ years with my parents, my sister, then us. The first place we went to had a very nice couch but it was a bit outside our price range. The second place had a couch we liked but was also more than we wanted to pay. After some back and forth with the salesman, the price came down. And down. And down. Then the 5 year warranty was added, no extra charge. 

I asked for a few minutes to think things over and was sitting alone on the couch when I noticed the couch in front of me had a big rip in the back. Oh my gosh, was that the same manufacturer? I hopped up to check, couldn't see a label but it was a similar style and fabric so I was guessing yes. Then I had a closer look at the couch we were considering buying. Oh oh. I called over my husband and pointed out all the open seams, the way the legs were attached, my goodness it was not well made. Now it was clear why the price had plummeted more than $300 in less than 5 minutes of conversation.

We went back to Stop #1 to have a closer look at the first couch. Every seam was sealed. The quality far surpassed the other one, there was no comparing the two. So we had a re-think. We knew that whatever we bought was going to last us for a very long time and sure this one was more expensive but in the long run, it certainly looked like it would go the distance.

Sold. We opted for quality because I still believe you get what you pay for. So stay tuned. In 20 years I'll let you know if our new couch is still holding up.

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