We’ve all been in the situation where we’ve had to toss-up between making a sensible
investment in a high quality product that we know is going to last, or a cheaper alternative that is
going to get the job done and leave us with some leftover spending money. It’s never an easy
choice. Do I get the expensive shoes that are going to last 10 years but will wipe my bank
account out? Or do I get the cheapos that will do the job for a year and leave me with enough
money to treat myself to a case of fancy wine and a couple of nice steaks? The second option is
always tempting. It’s nice to walk away from a planned purchase with a few bucks left in your
However, there’s a better reason to put on your sensible pants and treat your purchases as
investments. These can range from relatively small purchases to much larger ones.
The most obvious long-term investment is property, but we all know about the merits of
purchasing a house so there’s no need to go into detail. Instead, let’s look at some small to
medium sized investments that will result in a long-term financial benefit.
1. Kitchen knives
How many of you still use that old kitchen knife that your parents gave you when you first
moved out? The one that just gets chucked in the ‘miscellaneous’ kitchen drawer to get knocked
about and damaged by all the other metal utensils and as a result is barely capable of cutting
Do yourself a favour—get yourself a proper set of kitchen knives. Unless you’re doing some
really specific things in the kitchen, you’re probably only going to need a three or five-piece set,
but if you choose high quality, they will last you for years if you take good care of them. They will
also make your time in the kitchen a lot more pleasurable as well as safer, because sharper
knives are less likely to slip and go through your finger.
My experience with phones is that the cheaper ones are riddled with problems. A techy friend of
mine explained to me that this is because the cheaper models try to pack the same features in
that the top-of-the-line models have, but without the hardware capability to run them properly.
It shouldn’t be the case that a phone that cost you $1000 isn’t going to work very well. That’s a
lot of money to spend on a phone, but unfortunately it seems to be that unless you buy the top
of the range units, you’re probably going to start running into problems pretty quickly. That has
certainly been my experience.
3. Solar Panels
They might not be as exciting as a new phone or a new set of kitchen knives, but they are one
of the best long-term investments you can make. Energy bills are only going to keep going up,
so the sooner you invest in a solar panel array on your roof, the more money you stand to save
by effectively opting out of the energy trap. Depending on how big the solar array, you could find
yourself saving a significant percentage on your bills, or potentially even earning credit by
pumping your own energy back into the grid.
They might not be the most exciting toy, but they will save you a heck of a lot of money in the
4. New Car
Here we go, a fun one! There’s nothing better than jumping into that brand new set of wheels
and getting to know it. It’s a honeymoon that seems to last quite a while.
Now, you could buy a used car that is still quite nice and will leave you with enough money to
book your next holiday. But the problem with this is that you forfeit things like warranty and
roadside assistance that might come in very handy at some point. Purchasing something like a
brand new Mazda 3 from a Mazda dealership will represent a much better long-term investment
as it also comes with all the aftercare that you just don’t get by buying a used car. Plus you
know you’re getting the most up-to-date technology money can buy, along with the most
modern and fuel efficient engines that will ultimately save you in ongoing costs.
Tools are the kind of thing that we usually acquire over many years rather than going out and
buying a whole set at once. Either way, it will pay off to spend some extra money for high quality
kit. Cheaper tools are made from softer metals which makes them less robust, and if there is
one thing you want your tools to be, it’s robust.
There’s nothing worse than grinding the end of your screwdriver, which then grinds the grooves
of the screw you’re working on. All this does is cause unnecessary pain and end in more trips to
the hardware store for replacement parts.
If you spend a bit of extra money and get high-end tools instead, you can rest assured that
they’re probably going to last your whole life… and then your kid’s life after you pass them
6. Golf Clubs
Or tennis racket…or bicycle…whatever your hobby is. Don’t fool yourself, if you get the cheaper
set of clubs or the cheaper outdoor basketball ring or pool table, you know you’re going to kick
yourself and probably end up getting rid of it, only to then buy the better option anyway. Our
hobbies make us happy so why not have the best equipment that will enhance your game, and
that you know will also last for many years to come. I guess the only downside is you can no
longer blame your awful performance on your equipment!
These were just a handful of examples, but the principle applies to just about everything, even
food! The better the quality, the further your investment will go, and therefore benefit you and
your finances in the long run.