Nowadays everyone’s looking for a bargain. We want to obtain everything that we want at the lowest price possible. It’s only logical that we’d want to fork out the least cash possible to obtain what we desire, as this means we have more left over for spending elsewhere or saving. This attitude has only been perpetuated by a vast and sprawling consumer market that is saturated with brands selling similar wares vying for individuals’ custom. If you see something you like on a store shelf or a website, you can almost guarantee that someone else is selling it for cheaper elsewhere.
It only takes a quick search on an online search engine to find out. Sure, there are some products where cheap alternatives will serve as equally good a purpose as the big name brands. Take medication as an example. Next time you go to pick up ibuprofen or paracetamol, compare the ingredients on the back of the packets of bog-standard, cheap tablets and highly marketed branded products. You’ll be surprised to see that a lot of the time, the contents are made up the exact same things. Often there will be absolutely no difference at all between the two products other than the packet that they come in and a significant difference in price.
The same goes for many food products. In situations like this, sure, it’s best to opt for the cheaper option. After all, you’re not missing out on anything and will have the same experience from both, so you might as well save yourself some money. However, sometimes you simply can’t have your cake and eat it too! There are various goods on the consumer market where the price really does reflect the quality of wares that you’re getting in return for your cash. Let’s take a look at some of them. These are the areas of your life that really are worth investing in!
Your home is likely to be the biggest investment you’ll make during your life. Anyone who has looked into getting their foot onto the first ladder of real estate will be able to vouch that it’s no easy feat. The cost of properties is on the rise, and it doesn’t appear as though that’s going to slow or change anytime soon. However, it really isn’t an area where you can skimp out. Why? Well, think about it. If you’re going to commit to purchasing a place where you intend to spend the foreseeable future in, you really should aim to make it as nice, comfortable, and accommodating as possible. Though you may be out of the house nine to five on most weekdays for your work, you still need to get ready for your day in your home, return to your home in the evenings and feel comfortable spending time in your home over weekends and holidays. It should be where your heart is! So don’t be afraid to splurge a little. Properties that come onto the market with an eye-catching cheap price tag should be viewed with caution. Why? Because good things don’t often come for free. Extremely cheap properties often come hand in hand with significant problems and faults. Some of these are rectifiable, so shouldn’t put you off a property in and of themselves. They might include a small number of rooms, a small living space, or problems such as damp and mildew. Issues such as this can be easily fixed with loft conversions or extensions, knocking walls down between the living space and kitchen to create a roomier, open plan living area, or damp and mildew removal. But this, unsurprisingly, comes at a cost and is something that you will need to invest in for a love of the property. Other issues are bigger and can’t necessarily be fixed, such as location or significant structural problems. You can’t up a house and move it, and there are cases when structural damage has gone so far that it would prove more cost effective to demolish the property and start again. Properties suffering from this last set of problems should be avoided completely. Just remember that you need to be happy with the roof that is over your head, so never settle for something below par!
When we first take to the roads, most of us will settle for as cheap a vehicle as possible. We don’t want something brand new or expensive for fear of damaging it while we are first getting used to driving without the constant watchful eye and support of an instructor. However, as you ease into the general task of navigating your way from A to B behind the wheel, you might consider selling up your old motor and opting for something a little more upmarket. When it comes to cars, you really do get what you pay for most of the time, and it’s definitely worth doing your research, test driving, and checking individual vehicles over before handing over cash or signing up to any finance contracts. Older vehicles may well be cheaper at first glance. However, believe it or not, they are likely to cost you more in the long run than if you’d just settled on the preferable option of purchasing a brand new vehicle to start with. First, old vehicles generally result in you being handed a larger insurance quote. This is because they’re more likely to break down, have problems that take them off the road, or to experience more damage if they are in some sort of collision. This leads onto the second problem. When you’re much more likely to experience problems and breakdowns, you’re more likely to have to spend regularly on repairs and replacement parts. So, think of your vehicle as a major investment rather than simply as a means of getting around. While new vehicles may seem significantly more expensive at first, they will pose you fewer problems in the long run. You will also get the benefit of owning a car with fewer miles and the most up to date safety and convenience features. What more could you want?
Okay, this is more of an abstract area of investment. But it’s one that can reap you the most rewards in the long run. Now, not all of us are academic. Let’s make this clear from the start. If you’re not the type to thrive in classroom environments and reading makes you fall asleep after a page or two, further education may not be for you. If the thought of giving a presentation in front of a group of peers makes you want to run and hide, it might not be for you. If you can’t think of anything worse than having to complete projects to deadlines, then you might not benefit from participating in higher education. But for those amongst us who have an active interest in academia and expanding our worldly knowledge, pursuing education should be considered an absolute must. It’s a shame that nowadays, people consider studying at colleges and universities to merely be a means to an end – a way to obtain a diploma or degree and access areas of the job market that might have been previously unavailable to them. While this is one of the benefits of studying, the true value of education lies in the content that you work with, the pieces of knowledge and skills that you learn, and the way that study can help you to grow as an individual. This alone makes soaring tuition fees worth the final sum. So, if you can find the means to do this, then it will be worth every single penny you invest. If you don’t have the cash up front to partake in higher education and can’t find some sort of low-interest loan to study, don’t give up hope. There are so many scholarship schemes and bursaries that exist out there to help you along the way. You just need to do a lot of research and work to outshine your peers. Remember that this investment is only worth anything as long as you pursue a course or research area that genuinely interests you. Don’t feel pressured to follow a particular subject just because it is associated with the height of intelligence, or because it has good career prospects at the end. Sure, you do want to be able to step out of education and into the working world with a good wage. But what’s the use in studying something that you find dull or bland? It will merely lead you into a career that you find dull and bland and where’s the joy in that? Choose wisely and work sensibly to secure your place and follow your goals.
These are just a few areas of life that are worth serious investment. However, they are three areas that truly could help you to lead a happier, more comfortable, and more contented life. They are areas where investment is worth every penny in exchange for the outcome.