Mindful Spending: 5 Times I Choose to Spend More

tear drop handmade bedding

Choosing to be mindful of your spending, to choose to pay more can be a nerve wracking decision. Other times, it’s pretty cut and dry. Here are five times I choose to spend more:

  1. When I don’t want to buy another one in a week, a month, a year – or 5 years.
  2. When I want the person who made it to live in a house like mine, eat food like mine, and have similar goals to mine.
  3. When I want the quality of materials to be greater than the distance it traveled to get to me.
  4. When my child uses it.
  5. When it will make my life easier.

When do you choose to spend more?

For 3 reasons why you should pay more for your stuff, check out my original mindful spending mini manifesto.

{above: handmade bedding by patapri via modish}

27 thoughts on “Mindful Spending: 5 Times I Choose to Spend More

  1. 1. When it’s for someone I really care about and I know they’ll love it.
    2. When I know it’s better for me & my family, like eating organic.
    3. When it’s something I want to have for a long time.
    4. When it becomes something I find myself obsessing about, that’s a sign that it’s worth spending the money on!

    1. amen nicole! i just spent an obscene amount of money (for me, anyway) on a pair of birkenstock flip flops. definitely fits your #3 & #4. thanks for your list!

  2. i’m gonna agree exactly with your five, Tara. Especially #1, #3 and #4. metal and wooden toys are more expensive, but oh so much better and inspired.

    1. thanks, nick! yes, i love that the toys that are strewn around my living room are just as much as part of the decor & beauty (inside & out) of my home.

  3. I definitely agree with you. I thought the picture of the bedding was perfect. We spend money on things were going to have a long time and will get alot of enjoyment out of. Like you, we try to be conscious of where and how our product is being made.

    With that said we dedicate most of our money on the following:

    -Art and handmade items – Especially since I’m creative and work out of our home, it’s very important to me to be surrounded by art and handmade objects.

    -Vacation and experiences: Our memories and times together, away from it all are precious to us. We’re thrifty, but willing to spend money on say a trip to Paris (we did it!) or even a quick weekend away. Or a nice meal out. These are the things that stick and we get the most out of.

    -Where we live: It really effects our quality of life – alot. So, we’re paying more than we probably should to live in an awesome country cottage on 23 acres of rolling hills. It’s been a nice break for us and sometime soon, we’ll buy a house in town, which will hopefully be just as amazing to us, but in a different way.

    -Eating well: After rent and bills, we spend the most on food. It’s really important for us to eat good food – organic, vegetarian, healthy and high quality and that doesn’t come cheap.

    -Coming soon: our child. We’re already spending more a non-toxic nursery, organic clothing, cloth diapers, etc. and this guy isn’t even here yet. It’s so important for us to not contribute to the plastic toy/too much stuff/landfill diaper cycle that happens here in our country.

    Okay, that’s it for now.

    1. oh boy, elisa! those kiddos will get you every time with the needing to spend more money. while i’ve had this opinion for many years now, it was while i was pregnant with lola that it really hit home.

      and you will be SO happy with all those good choices you’ve made for your darling.

  4. oh i love this!
    i choose to spend more:

    when it inspires me.
    when it feels luxurious and pampering.
    when it’s better for the earth.
    when it supports fair trade.
    when i love the company and want to support them in their growth.
    when it feels good.

  5. Tara’s superb list articulates value – why, in the end, she is willing to spend more because she gets more! If you’re swayed by getting “good deal,” you might find yourself with something you can’t wear/kids won’t eat/makes you itch/falls apart – where’s the value in that? Excellent encouraging lesson for these times, Tara. Know what you value and spend confidently.

  6. Sometimes spending less on something mass-produced or getting a good deal on something you don’t really love or need is addictive. It’s the trap of the thrill of the hunt rather than the item itself. You feel like you’ve beaten the system. That was the old me.

    Now I don’t mind spending “more” on humanely produced eggs, a handmade item directly from the artist, or music lessons for my child. I put more in quotations because I’m not really spending more. The value of the items is greater. Compassion has no price, nor does creativity and being a part of the creative cycle, and education is always a sound investment. You will never lose what you gain by it!

    1. i LOVE what you said about being “addictive.” in fact, that’s probably a post in and of itself… i’ll be sure to let you know 😉 thanks for the spark of inspiration!

  7. I choose to spend more when:

    -it’s a business in my neighborhood
    -i feel that it’s the most effective choice for my money (i.e., shoes, tires, glasses that i don’t want to pay for again for a long, long time)
    -it’s something handmade (and usually so stunning that i can’t imagine my life without it)
    -it was made by someone who i feel has a similar set of goals in life to my own (financial independence, quality, functionality, beauty, social responsibility)

    these things make me feel like my hard-earned money is going to someone who worked hard to get it, and that makes me feel good!

    1. yes! i’m all about hard-earned money back to hard-earned money. i think that’s not only creating & channeling abundance in a metaphysical sense, it’s creating abundance in a real economic sense too!


  8. I agree totally. I like to buy things that are made locally or with fair trade principles. I also like to support local traders and independent artists and retailers.

  9. I pretty much agree with all of the above:

    -when I can support a local artist, artisan, farmer or beekeeper.

    -for greater quality; I’d rather have one quality piece of clothing than three cheap manufactured ones.

    -organic food for my family.

    -when I absolutely need a professional’s expertise: graphic design, web design, etc.

    Skimping on the important things doesn’t pay in the long run.

  10. I choose to spend more for:
    – sustainable food grown by local farmers and ranchers
    – quality clothing made in the US
    – handmade items because I know the work and care that goes into it
    – things that I want to last like a good mattress (hopefully in my near future!)
    – and things that work best for the task, such as quality art materials, kitchen supplies, or knitting needles

  11. This is a great post! I very much agree with your 5 reasons to spend more on items and the reasons others have listed, too.

    I’ve recently decided to start my own “creative tithing” and have committed to buy something every month from an artist I want to support. I didn’t realize till recently what a difference a sale can make in someone’s life – that sales inspire people to create more, follow their dreams, and can make the difference between doing what they love and being able to be with their children or having to continue at a not so great day job. That’s when I decided that I wanted to devote a portion of my income each month to supporting creative people.

    So far I have purchased three pieces and each person I bought from was thrilled to have the sale. That makes my day, too, and it feels so good to be supporting fellow creators each month.


  12. • When my purchase supports a locally owned business

    • When the item I want is well-made using high quality materials

    • When I am certain that the item I am buying isn’t pumped full of unnecessary chemicals and hormones

    • When it means I’m not supporting unsafe, unethical or sweatshop manufacturing practices

    • When a portion of my purchase goes toward a cause I support

  13. Interesting question.

    I’m willing to pay more for:
    – anything related to health that I believe will help us stay healthy or become healthy (from better food, to medicine and more expensive medical service)
    – knowledge – from books, good language courses, good workshops etc.
    – personal gifts that I really think will make a dear person happy (excluded are things I don’t find safe or healthy…)
    – good artisans products of any kind that I really want or need – makes me really happy to pay a fair price for good work
    – anything that I want to last and is very useful (there is a saying: “I’m not rich enough to buy cheap stuff” and I believe in it) – that goes from shoes (I buy only the shoes I really like, I find very comfortable and very well made and durable – so I buy them rarely, but I’m extremely satisfied with each pair I bought so far and mst of them last for looong years) to home appliances, etc.
    – sorry, but I have a 6th one – paying in advance the second or third luggage bag on chip flights that allow only one – I got so extremely frustrated by trying to fit all the things we bring back from various trips in one bag, that I finally decided the price of the additional one/two is never worth the frustration (even if it come back empty)

  14. I choose to spend more:

    *When it supports a local business or one from my hometown (you can take the girl out of MT, but can’t take MT out of the girl)
    *When I will own it for a long time and I can justify the cost/use or lifespan
    *Organic food
    *When it helps me achieve an ultimate life goal
    *When it is made with love and not just off an assembly line

  15. In addition to some of the others listed here, I find myself spending more and more on shoes. I have 3 littles shoes and it doesn’t matter whether they are cheap sneakers from Meijer or more expensive brand names, they barely get past 3 mos.. People tell me it is just little boys,, but 3 mos?? We are now back towards a more old school brown leather shoes for school instead, and sneakers for gym. The brown ones don’t have that seam that always rips and can be found made more locally. And there’s tons of good (and much less expensive) real leather shoes for us adults on Etsy vintage.

    p.s. your blog has been on my radar for a couple months and i’m enjoying finally getting a chance to read it and look through the back posts. thanks! :)

  16. Tara…what a great blog post!! And everyone has come up with such great answers as well…it’s really wonderful to know that even in these hard economic times, people are still willing to spend money for quality versus taking the cheap route!
    I would like to add one more….I choose to pay more for my 4-legged kids.

    Love your blog and also read you on Handmade Spark & Tim Adam.


  17. 1. When I’ve purchased something similar before and know I will get 10x more use of it than I paid for it (this refers to shoes and purses).

    2. When I leave the store and continue to obsessively think about the item until I go back and buy it, because I just can’t live without it.

    3. When it supports a cause that I believe in.

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