The tire part of Broomstick's experiences remind me of what happened when my uncle put a set of refurbished/used tires on his Ford Ranchero a few years back. He'd been slowly working on restoring it, getting it in good shape, etc. Driving down the freeway and one of the tires has the belt separate. Crashes, and an arguably classic vehicle gets totaled. He didn't get badly injured, thankfully. But he has since concluded that dropping extra on new tires is probably worth it. Tires are one thing I'll never cheap out on. I'll get the $13 a pair jeans at Costco, I don't do anything that's particularly hard on pants. And if I get a bit of acid on them in lab and it eats a hole in them? Oh well, $13 a pair.
Actually, car parts in general I tend to avoid going for the cheapest option. I'd rather spend a bit extra and have it last instead of having it crap out on me and spend money going to the mechanic again, having to replace a part again. I'm also in a financial situation where, when I've gotta, I can absorb an unexpected $1000. I really don't like it, and it very much means we end up with more money out than in for the month, but we've got enough in savings for it to not kill us. My wife and I both were able to build up savings, and without any kids we've got another advantage many don't. Having good financial advice from our parents helped, too.
I can't be excessively judgemental toward certain financial decisions, because often times they may seem counter-intuitive if you've never been taught otherwise. Or if you're in a situation where you literally live paycheck to paycheck, so "Buy the thing that's five times as expensive but lasts ten times as long" just is not an option. Income inequality in America is fucking extreme and does awful things to overall economic performance.
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