Being thrifty isn’t necessarily about making the cheapest purchases. Sometimes cheap is fine, but you can save money in the longer term by buying smart rather than just cheap. An investment in a quality product may cost you more initially, but could save you money by lasting far longer than a cheaper alternative. For instance, when it comes to buying a car or laptop, second best is not always the smart option. You need to ensure you have a sense of reliability, as well as the guarantee that if anything were to happen, then you have it fixed (for free) or replaced as soon as possible. Below are two areas you should look for quality as opposed to cheaper price tags.

Tech

Laptops, tablets and phones are no longer thought of as the playthings of the wealthy; in fact, they’re seen as more of an essential in the modern, interconnected world. Some of the cheaper electronics can be perfectly good, but do check out reviews from previous customers to get more information on their capabilities and average lifespan. Looking for end of line deals on branded goods is a sensible way to buy your tech, and the rise of the refurbishment industry has made many devices far more affordable.

Having chosen the item you want, you may be offered an extended warranty, whereby you pay for the guarantee to be extended beyond the statutory period. Be very careful to check how much it will cost for these policies, as it can often work out that you’d be better off going without, and replacing your tech if it does go wrong. One thing that is a good investment, especially for mobile devices, is a protective cover. Having spent several hundred dollars on a new iPhone, it makes sense to spend a few more on protecting it with iPhone 7 plus phone cases, or the appropriate case for your model.

Insurance

As with the extended warranty offer on your new tech, most large purchases come with an offer of extra insurance. First of all, don’t take the cover offered by the salesperson before you’ve checked that it’s worth taking out, and that you can’t get sufficient cover cheaper elsewhere. Insurance can often seem like money down the drain, as it goes out every month but you don’t see any benefit from it. That is until something goes wrong, of course.

If you buy a new washing machine, you know that the worst that can happen is that it breaks down and can’t be repaired. You know how much a replacement will cost, so you can calculate whether you want to pay extra for insurance you might not need, or just hope that the machine works for the expected length of time. The time when insurance becomes a lifesaver is for incalculable costs like veterinarian fees should your pet fall ill. Costs like these can become very high very quickly, and without insurance you can face racking up credit card debt, or even the loss of your pet if you can’t afford the treatment it needs. So this kind of insurance is definitely a good investment.

Thrifty means clever buying, making choices based on quality, life expectancy, and future costs. Make the right choices, and you can be both thrifty and have everything you want.