Episode 26: When to Splurge

As a frugal consumer and creator of content that advocates living well and looking good without being a millionaire, I got called out by a follower on Instagram when I posted a picture of a new pair of Alden Chukka Boots. With a price tag of nearly $700, Alden Chukka boots aren’t cheap, and my follower had a point… to a point.

In this episode, I make the argument for when a splurge is justified. It’s all about value and what a particular item means to you. As my friend Glenn Gissler eloquently put it: value is quality over time.

Thanks for listening!

Music excerpt: “Harvest Moon” by Poolside | iTunes


  1. Thanks for the shout out George Hahn!

    And thanks to you, I too own a pair of the Alden Chukka Boots – they are handsome and well-built and fit my values and lifestyle to a ‘T’.

    In my interior design business, and in my own life, I am always shopping with value in mind, whatever the price point. I have designed and produced interiors for quite a few clients with budgets that reach into seven figures, ‘value’ is one of the criteria I consider for all purchases I recommend. Not unlike your advice to men when shopping for clothes, I avoid trends. I look to find items of great beauty and utility that will still be appealing years from now; items of substance…

    ….like my Alden Chukkah boots!

    • George Reply

      Thank you, Glenn! You made me realize that I forgot to mention how these shoes will not only age well in terms of quality and construction, but they will never look dated. They’re a classic, timeless design that look great with a suit or jeans. THAT is a great value!

  2. Hi George,
    Enjoyed the podcast. I waited until I bought my Alden’s several years back and love them. It’s gets better with age. I assume you have the shell cordovan boots. Please note that many recommend using wax as opposed to cream polish. Alden makes their special color 8 polish for their shell cordovan color. Check out Alden of Carmel, Crockett and jones and the ask Andy site.
    Shell cordovan shoes require using polish very sparingly.
    Thanks for your great website

  3. This is so right on… If you really think about the cost of those shoes over 10 years (which I’m sure they’ll easily last) that is $70 a year. People throw that kind of money down the toilet monthly on things that have far less utility.

  4. I had a similar epiphany of quality and value over time with jewelry. As a woman, I can’t tell you how much I’ve spent on gold plated jewelry. I use to think I could not afford fine jewelry as a working class woman. I now see the error in my thinking. At this point in my life(mid 40s), it doesn’t make sense to purchase another pair of costume jewelry earrings that will end up in the dead pile of my jewelry containers.

    My plan is to invest, each year or so, in one or two pieces that I will wear and enjoy. For me, this means purchasing items under or around $2,000, building my collection and investing in the maintenance of my existing pieces.

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