Frugal and Cost Effectiveness
Buying cheaper isn't always less expensive in the long run
It seems that we are sometimes barraged into confusion over frugality, thriftiness, cheapskating, green, environmentally friendly and end up not knowing which way to turn and what is the best. Well, I think the answer lays in what the most cost effective solution is for whatever we are contemplating to buy and use.
The definition for 'cost effective' on a few online dictionaries is..'producing good results for the amount of money spent; efficient or economical'. At first glance that seems a bit too easy, but looking at it again, I guess you can see where it's coming from.
Cost effectiveness is buying the right thing to fit a purpose at the best price and giving you the best results back.
I've had many instances over the years of where I can put this in context, equally on occasion it has gone the other way.
There are things I will simply buy the cheapest I can get and others through experience I don't mind paying more for.
With the huge public demand and high volume sales of electrical products, this really comes into play. Take an Electric Toaster perhaps - do you buy the cheapest one you can find made by a Manufacturer you've never heard of or do you pay double the price for a known brand. Will the known brand model last twice as long, is it proportionately a fair price for what you're getting
The Supermarket - Deals or Not?
This goes onto food and other Supermarket Products - Toilet Paper, does the cheaper one have less sheets and / or smaller, if so, it's not cost effective to buy them. You can usually tell by picking up six rolls and feeling the weight, but to be fair, read the packet and the details are usually on there.
Another one - 12 packets of Potato Crisps own brand say £2, 12 packets of a famous brand £3, but feel the difference and see the size of the packets!
Women I have to say are more expert at cost effectiveness. I've seen husbands say to their wife half way round the Supermarket "What have you brought the expensive Washing Up Liquid for", only to get the reply on the lines of "Cheap one = 75p lasts a week, Brand name = £2 but lasts me 4 weeks". So overall that's a saving of £1 every four weeks and £13 a year. Job done, well done wife, you put him in his place!
With IT Equipment it's the same. I've brought a fairly cheap as chips PC Tower from a reputable online Auction Company. It did the job but sounded like a motorcycle and burnt out in two years.
Now I have a collection of two PC's, one Laptop and a Netbook, all of which I paid about mid range but all made by companies I know and all with a good come back system should I need it. True, I use them a lot and have some pretty ram absorbing and graphically heavy programmes but even at mid-range I find them struggling a bit. Just I can't afford the top models, it's a kind of make do and mend and wait an extra 1:00 of a second for the action to take place after I've clicked etc.
Cost effectiveness and Cars
Cars - do you buy the £3,000 second hand car or the £200 old banger? I've done that, I've brought cars for £200 and spent a fortune. The car before I have now I paid £600 cash for and in 12 months spent £900 on it. That worked out to £1,500, that's £125 per month.
This was not far adrift from the previous few cars and although 'terms' goes against most of my principles, I ended up getting a £4,000 car at £67 per month, a two year guarantee and I've had it now for 14 month's and not spent a penny on it.
To argue myself out of the Terms point, I can only relate to a mortgage, that's borrowing money and you hear so many saying they don't have any debts - but they do if they have a mortgage!
Next year I plan to make a 22 day bike ride from John O'Groats to Lands End and on the practical side (such as in Bike itself and accessories) I had nothing. I've shopped around with hours on the internet and wearing out shoes (not cheap ones!!) and every time I found the best deal and the best reviews were on items which at first glance seemed a little expensive - but I brought those because I want to get there and don't want to fall off my bike!
So my conclusion is that cost effectiveness comes into frugality a lot. Too many people say they're frugal but are just smothered with rather tacky items which may do the job, but for only half the time and often don't look the part either.
Be frugal - be cost effective !