Paycheck Chronicles

Sensible Spending On Tools


Life is made easier when you're using the right tools, whether it be a solid computer, a great blender, or a trusty hammer.  I can't imagine my life without any of those things.  Many tools are expensive, though, and it makes sense to think carefully before you spend big bucks on something when a less expensive option would do.

In my perfect world, each little neighborhood would have a Facebook document of all the tools that everyone owned and were willing to share.  If you needed hedge trimmers, you'd just borrow them instead of buying them.  How awesome would that be?  Realistically, not a lot of places are going to work that way.  I always encourage you to check with friends and family before making a purchase because, honestly, how often are you going to use a chop saw?

If you can't borrow, look into renting.  Unfortunately, this is usually only available for traditional "tools" like sanders or power washers.  It can be a great way to save money and keep excess stuff out of your house.

Another option is to purchase a less expensive tool that might be able to perform the same function.  If you're only going to use it once a year to make Halloween costumes, do you really need a $400 sewing machine?  Probably not.

Alternately, you could do without.  I have whittled down my pan collection and I've discovered that I really only need four pots and four pans.  I probably only need three pans, but I have four and I use them regularly.

Now that I've told you all the ways NOT to spend money on tools, I'm going to tell you to spend recklessly on tools that will drastically improve your life and probably also save you money in the long run.  A good coffee pot is a great way to save on expensive coffee shop drinks.  Sharp knives are an essential part of enjoyable cooking, and you're way more likely to cook at home if you have the right equipment.  Good screwdrivers will let you take care of simple household repairs.  And a solid computer?  I could write six other posts about why my computer is essential to my financial health.

I'll let you in on a pet peeve of mine:  when someone tells me that they can't afford good kitchen tools, yet they have a garage full of power tools (or power toys.)  Which ones makes better financial sense to you:  an outstanding set of pots and pans, or an amazing router?  Which one will you use more often?

Now that I've opened that can of worms, I should probably sign off.  Hope everyone had a great weekend.

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