5 things that are still worth the money, according to a CFP
- No matter your budget, there are a few things that are always worth it.
- Basic items, personal care (including therapy), and your health are good areas to invest in.
- You don’t have to spend a fortune, but it’s worth incorporating these into your budget.
Conventional wisdom tells us that to be “good” with money, we need to spend less. While this may be true, you also need to consider the value of the items you buy and how certain expenses affect your overall quality of life.
Sometimes going for the cheapest option isn’t always the best long-term financial decision. Here are five areas of your life where you can spend money guilt-free, regardless of your budget.
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1. Basic Items
Some purchases are timeless. Spending money on quality items can prove to be a good return on investment. My mother always told me to spend money on good quality shoes and underwear. Other wardrobe staples, like classic jeans or a crisp button-down shirt, are long-lasting items that create a solid foundation for your wardrobe.
Classic furniture is another category where basics trump trendy pieces. Studies show that we spend a third of our lives sleeping. A good mattress can help ensure a good night’s rest. Even a nice sofa or dining table is worth it.
If you love to cook, kitchen basics are a great investment. We have cast iron skillets and pots that have been in my family for generations. High quality kitchen utensils and knives are often guaranteed for life. When it comes to basics, it’s better to spend more on something that will last for many years than to constantly replace cheaper items.
2. Things that save you time
We’ve all met someone who spends half a day going to the hardware store and watching YouTube videos to complete a home repair that a professional could have done in a fraction of the time. When your budget is tight and your funds are limited, it can be easy to take on extra tasks instead of delegating. In reality, you would probably prefer to spend this time with your friends and loved ones, or maybe you just prefer to take a break.
Consider hiring someone to do the tasks you don’t want or don’t have time to do. Spending money on a housekeeper, landscaping company, handyman, or helper is well worth the money because it helps you save more time.
If you’re struggling to cook healthy meals for your family, meal kits or even ready meals are great options. You might spend more than you would on groceries, but the cost is often lower than daily takeout (and much healthier).
A combination of clever marketing strategies, social media, and the desire to “keep up with the neighbors” has conditioned us to want more stuff. Buying the latest gadget or a luxury car can give you a feeling of satisfaction, but that feeling can be short-lived.
Elizabeth Dunn, author of “Happy Money: The Science of Happier Spending,” found that those who spend money on experiences are happier and less likely to express buyer’s remorse.
Experiences don’t necessarily mean a big, expensive trip out of the country. A weekend getaway or a quick vacation pays off and is well worth the splurge. Other experiences like concerts and festivals can create wonderful memories that last a lifetime.
4. Your health
The cost of health care in the United States had been rising long before COVID-19 and continues to rise. For some, spending extra money on your health may seem like a luxury. The reality is that your health is an investment, and if you don’t invest in your health care now, you will pay for it later.
Give yourself permission to spend money on healthy food, a good gym membership, or a personal trainer. It doesn’t always have to be expensive, but make sure you actually use the services.
Spending money on good health insurance also pays off. People with health insurance are more likely to receive preventive care, which can help them catch medical problems early. In addition to basic health care, consider dental and vision care, such as regular cleanings, a quality electric toothbrush, comfortable glasses and sunglasses.
5. Take care of yourself
Personal care goes beyond a day at the spa. While a massage or pedicure can help take the stress out of your week, anything that protects your well-being and happiness is worth the extra money.
One of the most expensive forms of self-care is seeing a therapist. Therapy offers many long-term benefits and teaches skills to help you manage your thoughts and daily interactions.
Self-care can also mean spending time on hobbies or interests. If you enjoy reading, buying books or subscribing to an audiobook service are good investments in yourself. Again, these don’t have to be expensive. Think about how you want to prioritize all types of self-care based on what’s most important to you, then budget accordingly.
When money is tight, it can be tempting to cut back on the most important things and pay less for lesser quality items. Consider splurging on things that will improve your life and make you happier. You will not regret it !