I have two short but seemingly contrasting convictions.

  1. Live simply
  2. Spend well when buying products

The first helps me to remember that life is not enjoyed through an abundance of things. Indeed, the older I get, the less I want the headache of managing more “things”.

The second may sound like a contrast, but in reality it supports the first. If you have a need, then make a purchase that will cost you more upfront, but save you time and energy in the long run. A good recent example for me is the socks from Icebreaker.

Now, I realize not everyone gets excited about socks. But I happen to be one who does: there are not many things more enjoyable than pulling on a good pair of socks. And I’ve never experienced better socks than the ones I’ve gotten from Icebreaker.

This is a company where you pay a premium price. I made my first purchase from Icebreaker 3+ years ago, a light jacket that cost over $300. That’s not an insignificant cost for a single income family of six. But it was a great investment: it’s the best jacket I’ve ever owned and is holding up very well.

Fast forward to Christmas 2015 and I receive a pair of Icebreaker socks from my wife. These are amazing socks. They lasted almost an entire year, which is far better than the average 10–12 weeks I might see from the kinds of socks you get in a pack of 6 at Costco. Not only that, but the socks from Icebreaker felt great all year. They begin to form themselves to your feet and, being a good part Merino wool, they rarely had to be washed and did not smell. At all.

So when it came to Christmas 2016, I insisted my wife get me another pair. She got me two, bless her soul. And I followed up on Boxing Day and purchased 3 more pairs. I’m tired of hunting through pairs of polyester bargain socks to find 2 with no holes in them. I’d rather pay $25 a pair than $15 for a six pack of junk that doesn’t last.

You get what you pay for.