You get what you pay for.
It is a phrase we’ve heard many times before.
If something goes wrong with what you buy you may think it was inevitable. This can happen with an all manner of things; clothes, phones, TV’s, kettles, toasters, even contracts or deals you’ve signed up for. Perhaps they were quick wins or sounded good at the time.
When this has happened to me over the past few years I decided to make a more shrewd investment. What do I mean by that? Well if I am going to buy something new and want it to do specific things then I will shop around and perhaps pay a bit more money for quality. Sound sensible?
Now I don’t do this with everything. I’m not upgrading to a more expensive toaster or kettle yet. However, I am making more shrewd investments that I will get more for what I pay for in the long term.
Here are a few examples:
For around three to four years I used a custom white Dell netbook as my laptop. This replaced the old PC’s I used (remember those days!). I used the netbook predominantly to write my book. The size made it very convenient to carry around and use in cafes.
However, over a long period of time, the performance became very poor taking ages to load after being turned on. This got so bad that in order to avoid a long start-up time I used the hibernation function and kept Word open. This just turned the netbook back onto where I was.
I worked with this for a while but then the battery performance deteriorated drastically. I was lucky to get an hour out of it before the light started flashing red. I bought a replacement battery that helped it didn’t conveniently fit into the whole battery compartment.
Enough was enough! In 2015 I decided to use the redundancy money I never touched to purchase a Macbook. I needed a laptop that had sustainable performance and works seamlessly with design software I had. I carefully looked at the Macbook options available and it has been a worthwhile change.
I have written about my new personal workspace before, but it is a shrewd investment worth mentioning again.
The table and chair from Ikea all together cost £84, which may not sound very expensive but it is more than I have spent before. My workspace is now the centre of my room and where I spend most of my time at home.
Previous to that I was making do with small desks in the tiniest of spaces in my room with a chair that had poor back support. Not a comfortable working environment at all. Making a shrewd investment in my workspace has increased my productivity to levels I have never had before.
The first tablet I never had was a Google Nexus. It was one of the best tablets around at the time and was a handy alternative to a mobile and laptop. However, I always thought was it a necessary accessory? As time wore on I found the performance level decrease and I wasn’t using it in any productive way.
In 2016 I made a shrewd investment in an iPad. Well, an iPad mini to be exact. I knew how I was going to get productivity from it, by using it to work for email and OneNote. If you haven’t used OneNote before go check it out! By using OneNote on my iPad to take notes at meetings I have used my tablet in a practical way.
Buying a new TV may sound more superficial, however, there were practical reasons that made this a shrewd investment.
I previously had a 22inch TV that was wall mounted. When I used to use my Xbox a lot, the size of the screen and it’s mounted position made for an uncomfortable experience. More often than not I stood up playing games as I watched the TV. I did that for years. It wasn’t as if I was playing a game where I had to stand up and move around. So that wasn’t altogether fun.
After six years of this that TV eventually had its own technical problems with sound and controls. So I took the opportunity to make a shrewd investment in a 42inch TV and a glass entertainment stand. I can now sit to view the TV or play Xbox in comfort.
First credit card
I only got my first credit card a few years ago. It is a shrewd investment because it has been necessary for building up a better credit rating. Over the past years, I have been saving quite a lot as a work towards purchasing my first property. Having a good credit rating from using my credit card sensibly has put me in a better position to get a mortgage in the future.
Those are what I consider to be my top shrewd investments over the last few years. Next on the list will be a DSLR camera when I figure out the best one for me to buy.
What have been your shrewd investments recently?
Have these been big or small?
What would your future shrewd investments be?
No need for postcards, feel free to leave a comment below…