With the economy being what it is today, people are looking to save money anywhere they can. People are abandoning cable and satellite TV for internet streaming. Others are cooking more of their own meals and eating out less. Still more are switching from name brands to store brands in an effort to reduce costs.
  • Comfortable Shoes
  • Home Furniture
  • Your Family Vehicle
If you’re one of these people, I don’t blame you a bit - I’m one of them myself. More often than not, whatever we need, there’s an alternative that will save us money and work just as well. But regardless of how tight a budget we may have to work with, there are some things we need where quality matters most. And if that includes paying a little more now to save in the future, so be it.

To give you an idea of what you should be ready to spend money on, I’ve put together this list of three essential items where quality matters over cost. I’ll also make some points to justify why I believe this is true so you can decide for yourself whether you want to spend or not.

Walk into any shoe outlet on the planet, and I all but guarantee there will be some sort of sale. Whether it’s a buy two, get one free deal, or those instances where everything in the store is 50%, shoe stores are constantly marking down their stock.

This is great for budget shoppers because there’s always a good chance that you’ll be able to save on shoes. But with that being said, whether there’s a sale going on or not, you should never substitute money saved for quality when it comes to your footwear.

While this is especially true for runners, it applies to anyone who gets up and walks at any point in the day. Quality shoes will be made with durable materials and sewn together so they won’t fray or tear easily. Good shoes will also have plenty of heel and arch support. If you have flat feet or tend to over- or under-pronate, it’s even more important that you have high-quality footwear.

Naturally, with this increased quality comes a higher cost. You may be spending more money now, but you’ll be saving yourself a lot more in the future, not to mention your health. Poor footwear will result in corns, shingles, and accelerated deterioration of your feet. Over time, you may even start to develop severe lower back pain and a host of other problems.

Whether you love or hate the idea of interior design, you can’t deny that there are some furniture essentials that we all need to function. Everybody needs seating space, flat surfaces for eating and storage, and somewhere to get a good night’s sleep.

With that being the case, it’s never a good idea to skimp out on quality furniture just to save a few bucks. Cheaply paid is cheaply made, as the saying goes. The lower the quality of the materials and skilled labor used to make furniture, the quicker it will wear out and break down.

Buying cheap furniture may save you more now, but it will cost you more in the long run. You will need new ones when your table starts to bow, and your chairs start to buckle. Quality pieces can last for decades. You’ll be lucky if a cheapy lasts until the year's end.

This isn’t to say you must blow your life savings just to afford a new dining table. In fact, plenty of reasonably priced pieces are still expertly put together. This is particularly true in area rugs, where you can find great pieces at a very reasonable price that will last for years.

Of all the items on this list, this is the most difficult to balance. Brand-new cars have grown so expensive that the average household can’t afford them. On the other hand, used cars often run the risk of breaking down almost as soon as you drive them off the lot. The challenge lies in finding a car with a decent price that you can depend on.

That being said if you have to sacrifice one or the other, cut costs in other areas and invest in your car. You don’t have to eat out all the time, and you don’t have to buy name-brand clothes to be happy. But try buying a cheaper vehicle to afford those other things and see how happy you are then.

For one thing, cheaply priced, beat-up cars break down much quicker. This means that the money you were trying to save is now being used to buy replacement parts and install them. For another thing, you don’t want to drive anywhere worrying if your car will make it to the end of your journey. There’s no price you can put on peace of mind, so don’t ever skimp on a well-built automobile just to save money.