The picture above is of the computer case that I use to carry my Mac.

Why do I show it? To make a point about how making good economic decisions doesn’t always mean being cheap.

Looking back over the examples I gave to students, in about 40 years of teaching, of good economic decisions in my own life, I realize that a huge percent of them are of me saving money, being cheap, etc.

But sometimes making good economic decisions involves spending a lot of money.

I don’t remember what I spent on the above case. I think it was more than $40 and less than $70. The case was and is wonderful. It’s highly padded and tucked in tight, so that if you drop it about 3 or 4 feet, the computer is well protected. I did drop it a few times, with no bad consequences.

About 5 years ago, though, the zipper on it broke. I looked around on line and couldn’t find anything like that case. So I thought it might make sense to replace the zipper, which was plastic and clearly of lower quality than the case.

So I took the case to the shoe repair place near my office and asked them what it would cost to replace the zipper. The person told me that it would be expensive–about $40. What kind of zipper would I get? A metal zipper of much higher quality. Done.

Five years later, the case is still good. The most likely thing to go bad is–the zipper. If that happens again, I’ll have the same place, Federico’s Shoes in Monterey, apply their talents to replacing the zipper.