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Buy Once, Cry Once

buy once, cry onceI’ve heard this expression from dog breeders. Dog breeders advocate buying one purebred dog that will be your companion for years. While these dogs are expensive, these breeders point out that it’s often cheaper than buying mixed dogs. These mixed dogs probably won’t live as long. And they may have health issues due to improper breeding. The ‘buy once cry once’ phrase encourages people to spend a lot upfront so they won’t have to spend even more over the long-term. This phrase really resonates with me.

Buy Once Cry Once

I’m a frugal person but not a cheap person. What that means is I’m willing to pay a lot for an item I like. But that product better make me happy for years.

For instance, all of my dress shoes were expensive. But that’s okay. One pair is Johnston and Murphy and the other is Allen Edmonds. Both pairs of shoes are made with real leather. The styles are timeless. These shoes will actually get better with time. So while they were expensive in the short-term, they will be cheap in the long-term. Wealthy people always have the long-term mindset.

I take this mentality into every store I visit. If I need a new laptop, I buy one that has great reviews – even if it comes with a giant price tag. That’s because the laptop will likely last for years. Even if a lesser product would work, I’ll still usually go for the better product. The better product won’t make me frustrated when using it. It won’t make me embarrassed to be seen with it in public. It won’t make me angry when I drop it at 11 PM and need a new one right away. Spending more on everything initially makes things easier.

These Are the Rules I Use When Buying a Product:

buy once, cry once1) The product should provide great value (the price may be high but not unnecessarily high – every product will offer rapid diminishing returns at a certain price point).

2) The product should make me happy. If it doesn’t make me happy, I’ll resent spending any money on it. I’ll pout about it. I’ll be embarrassed to be associated with it. That irritation will take away from my productivity, thus, I’ll earn less. Never let saving money come at a cost of making even more money.

3) The product should have legs. Not literally, figuratively (unless you’re buying a chair, a mannequin or the aforementioned purebred dog). I want a product that lasts. This means I spend less of my life shopping. This also means I’m able to get familiar with my product and thus it’ll be easier and more pleasurable to use on a regular basis.

4) The product should be bought used, if appropriate. Things like tools, TVs, etc. are all things I don’t mind buying used. Clothes, upholstered furniture and the like… I’ll buy new.

5) The items should be bought on discount. Almost every product I own was bought at a discount. Here are the ways anyone can get discounts:

  • Use an affiliate link
  • Use a coupon code
  • Shop during a sale
  • Negotiate (you’d be surprised how often businesses are willing to negotiate)
  • Use a sale site like Groupon (though it kinda sucks nowadays), Slickdeals, etc.

High-End Furnishings in a Small(ish) House

I don’t own a home. But I’m always thinking about what my dream home would look like. Believe it or not, my dream home wouldn’t be very large. I’ve lived in large homes. They are expensive. They lead to excessive spending to fill them. And, this is odd so bear with me, they take too long to navigate. I know that sounds stupid. But in one year, I lived in a small house and later in a large house. I worked the same job and had the same morning routine. It took me 10 minutes longer to get ready each morning when I lived in the big house. I guess it was all the walking. I’m really not sure. But I kid you not, it took longer to get ready in the morning.

But, I do adore nice finishes. Rainfall shower head, quartz countertops, stainless steel appliances, real wood floors… yes. YES!

Also keep in mind these high-end finishes should last a very long time. That’s money-smart. But all of that money smart-ness will go out the window if you don’t buy timeless. So buy as timeless as you can. That way, the finishings will hold up AND look good for many years to come.

Buy once cry once.

What have you bought that has proven the test of time?

Budget Money


My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.


  1. As a person who has had purebred Newfoundland show dogs, as well as other dogs both mixed breed and purebred, I can tell you that most breeders of purebred dogs will tell you that each breed has its’ own health issues. And the very large breeds such as Great Danes, St. Bernards and my own Newfies, typically have much shorter lives than smaller breeds such as terriers.I know this wasn’t the point of the whole article but as a dog lover, I zeroed in on the first paragraph.

  2. Interesting! I always heard the opposite – that purebred dogs don’t live as long because there has been so much inbreeding. That is what I’ve seen to be the case among friends of mine, too.

    Not that that is the point of your post…

    We have paid a bit more than most people do to adopt our mixed-breed dogs, but they are not possessions to us. Also, the money is going to a shelter or rescue organization, which I believe is great for the long-term, too. 🙂

    Now that part goes along with most or your post – those rules make it all worthwhile!

  3. Some good points, Will. I don’t buy cloths very often. When I do I spend more on items that are usually classic (versus trendy), that are well-made, fit right, look nice and I am happy wearing them. Then I wear the heck out of them! On a somewhat different yet still related note, when we built our home we were advised to pay extra on structural things rather than the things we will probably replace in a couple of years (like carpet). We chose to spend on things a gas fireplace, and utility tub among other things. Have never regretted that advice. We have been in our home almost 14 years and it is time to replace some of the carpet and update some painting. Have never regretted paying extra for the fireplace and other things.

  4. One of these days, I need to make a list of all the cheap things my husband and I bought when we got married that broke three years later. I liked your distinction between being frugal and cheap. Cheap doesn’t get you very far!

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