This might not make sense now. It didn't make sense to me at first either, but the reason I'm sharing this is because I learned it the hard way. I want to help people realize it before they make the same mistakes I did. I'm too poor to buy cheap things, and if you're a young college student living on your own chances are, you are too.
Several times I bought a cute cheap shirt and thought to myself "wow I'm getting such a good deal," but that $5 t-shirt, or that $20 camera, my $10 makeup brush set and my knock off designer shoes ended up having to be replaced over and over and over again. Cheap doesn't always necessarily mean you're getting a bargain. Over the course of the past few years I have been buying cheap things with the mindset "I'm saving," but in all reality, I ended up spending more money trying to replace them than I would have if I had just gotten the higher quality, more expensive item.
I live in a place where winter is brutally cold. Year after year I would buy cheap boots and a cheap coat because I didn’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on the expensive name brand items. Each year I noticed by the end of the winter my coat would be ripping at the seams and my boots seemed to be on their last leg. Not to mention they didn’t really keep me warm. One year I decided no more. I saved up, went out and got myself an expensive coat and boots the next winter.
Glad to say I’ve had that same pair of boots and jacket for three years now. I mean they aren't in perfect condition anymore, but aren't falling apart. Three years beats one year by a long shot. Long story short this happened with a lot of the things I would buy: headphones, my laptop, other electronics, makeup brushes, articles of clothing, tennis shoes and the list goes on. You do not even want to know how much I've spent replacing my $15 headphones over the years. The headphones would break, wires would fray, one ear bud went out and as a systematic response I'd go out and buy either the same exact pair or a similar cheap pair. Don't lie, you did it too.
Recently I moved out on my own, and trying to save money I bought cheap appliances, towels, dishes, furniture... I've already replaced half the pots and pans, utensils and my towels are fraying. Also, my cheap tv stand didn't come with instructions to build it, so I messed it up. Thank you, Walmart. Just waiting to find out what needs to be replaced next.
I realized sometimes it makes more sense to save up and get the more expensive thing because it's usually of better quality, doesn’t break as easily nor is it as susceptible to wear and tear. I know we all hate spending the extra money and we all want to believe "name brand" items are just a market ploy of the same old generic items marked up excessively. I hate to tell you this but sometimes they aren't. The name brand quality items I have invested in are exactly that, QUALITY. All those years I spent $20-$40 on boots and coats, I thought I was saving money but through the course of many winters I actually spent double the amount it cost me to buy just one nice coat (that has lasted me years).
Instead of spending your time and money replacing cheap items, redirect those funds into something that will last you. Although I completely urge you to spend more money to save money, this idea isn’t necessary for everything. No, not everything you buy has to be the more expensive one or the name brand version. Sometimes the things you find at Goodwill last you just as long as the fancy expensive ones. It all really just depends on what kind of things you're buying and knowing when it's okay to spend a little more. I have found that it saves you to spend more on big items or daily use items (like electronics, furniture, appliances) or items you know you’ll be using a lot. Just remember next time you plan on making a big purchase or something you really need, it'll cost you less in the long run to spend more.
P.S. I found out what needed to be replaced. My pizza cutter broke right after writing this. BRB on my way out to go buy a new pizza cutter.