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What’s Cheap is Often More Expensive

We’ve followed Mark Manson since 2013 (!) and this piece hit way too close to home. All new businesses are probably guilty of trying to save a buck here and there, and we’re no different – but boy, did we pay the price (literally!) in the end. It also made us keenly aware of our offering for the conference world. Not everyone will be willing to pay for our service – because they might be able to get the cookie cutter solution somewhere else, for cheaper. When you’re done with cookie cutter, and cheaper, we’ll be here.

*** Re-posted with permission from Mark Manson’s Monday newsletter 16.12.19 ***

Last week on Twitter, I posted what’s perhaps been the most difficult life lesson for me this year.

My wife and I are both conservative with money. We’re always looking for the bargain, the discount, the special one-time sale. This year, we bought a house. And when you buy a house, there’s a lot of stuff you have to spend money on that comes along with a house—contractors, accountants, designers, lawyers, and so on.

Sadly, we learned the hard way—over and over again—that the money you save by hiring the less expensive contractor or the newer designer ends up costing you far more in their mistakes.

Cheaper furniture becomes damaged or breaks more easily, costing you more to repair/replace it. Cheaper plumbing costs you more when a pipe bursts. And a cheaper decorator costs you much more when it turns out he measured half the stuff incorrectly.

I started to realize that this is actually true for a lot of things in life. You wouldn’t want to bargain hunt on a brain surgeon, for instance—or any doctor, for that matter. You could argue that you shouldn’t cheap out on food—as the lack of nutrition from cheap, poorly-produced food will more than make up for itself in health problems later on. Even clothes, the cheaper the fabric, the more often you’ll spend money replacing them.

Spanish-speaking readers told me that they have a saying for this phenomenon in their language: lo barato sale caro, or "the cheap turns out expensive."

We could use a saying like that in English. So here you go, let’s make it a thing: What’s cheap is often more expensive.

- Team UC

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