When is quality worth the investment? Is it ever OK to splurge when you have big financial goals?
Though going on a $1,500 shopping spree isn't the best idea, sometimes it pays to spend a little more money on something that will last over the long haul — or on something that can help you earn more money.
Here are 8 things that are worth the splurge!
Certain baby items
If you're a new mom or dad, you'll know that babies are expensive. But when is it important to splurge on baby items, versus when you can afford to buy used?
According to Farnoosh Torabi, author of When She Makes More: 10 Rules for Breadwinning Women, getting your child's car seat professionally installed is a worthwhile investment. Whenever it presents a safety risk to buy used, it's definitely best to stay safe.
Read more: 5 baby buys worth the splurge
Coffee or tea you enjoy
Though you could go to the grocery store and buy the cheapest coffee you can find, do you find yourself splurging on coffee outside the house when you do?
In this case, it might be best to splurge a bit on your favorite coffee, tea or whatever other beverage you enjoy at the grocery store to avoid spending more on coffee or beverages out.
Marina, a coffee lover, told TheFinancialDiet.com why she splurges on coffee: "I splurge on buying good coffee at home, and as a result, I don’t spend money at coffee shops. I find that treating myself to nice quality coffee (and even a coffee grinder) is a splurge, but it makes me excited about my coffee at home, so I’m never tempted to buy coffee out. It saves me more money than you’d think."
Read more: How much is your coffee habit costing you?
A good backup service
So many people procrastinate on backing up their computers and inevitably, when Murphy comes to visit, lose everything they've worked so hard for.
This is an area where it pays to spend a little money to make backups easy and worry-free, using "set it and forget it" technology.
Joshua told the TheFinancialDiet.com why he splurges on a backup service and why he uses Dropbox Pro.
"It’s $10/month for a terabyte of space. All my files instantly back up every time I’m on the Internet. I have a master folder that is set up to automatically sync to Dropbox, and everything that’s important to me is in that folder. I could drop my computer on the ground and not even lose the morning’s work. My friend’s computer just died, and she had to pay $300 to get all her files off of it, so it ends up saving you money and anxiety. Plus you can get the Dropbox phone app and always pull up a file on-the-go."
A quality coat or pair of shoes
Instead of buying a cheap coat, why not think about getting a high quality coat that will last? This can save you big instead of buying coats that need to be replaced every few years.
"…I would have to say splurging on good winter jackets has been very worth while. People always avoid the $200 down jackets, but because I decided to splurge, I haven’t had to buy a new winter coat in years. It’s much more effective than buying a cheap down coat, and realizing that after only a year, it’s totally worn down," Curt told TheFinancialDiet.com.
Additionally shoes are another item that can save you a lot if you buy quality.
"Recently I’ve been splurging on better shoes, so instead of tearing through footwear that I wear often, like black flats or boots, I’m investing in pairs that will last more than just a few seasons. It’s saving me money in the long run because I don’t have to keep replacing essentials," said Samantha.
Although you might pay a little more in the short-term, you can still save money when buying quality. Shopping discount and clearance stores to find brands off-season is one way to find items that you know will last. The best deal is getting high quality items you can use often on sale!
Clothes for an interview/clothes for work
Along similar lines, work apparel can be a significant place in your budget where splurging a little bit might pay off — a lot.
It may not be fair, but people often do judge a book by its cover, and there is a lot of credence to the idea of "dressing for success."
Though many high quality items could be found shopping second-hand at Goodwill, you wouldn't want your wardrobe to limit you from getting that great job or earning a raise. Even though it might seem inconsequential, a study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology in 2014 found that wearing clothing associated with high social status (aka a business suit instead of sweatpants) can "increase dominance and job performance in 'high-stakes' competitive tasks." Additionally, it can give you confidence to know you're looking your very best.
If spending a little more to look your best tips the odds in your favor that you will get that job you've wanted or that raise you've been working hard for, then it's definitely worth it to splurge a little to dress for success!
Date night with your spouse
Let's face it — divorce is expensive. So, it can be invaluable to invest in your relationship!
Just the process of divorce itself can cost $15,000 to $30,000 in legal fees, not to mention all of the money lost in having to move, splitting assets and the general cost of living alone versus with someone who can share bills and expenses under one roof. Keeping your marriage strong not only has emotional benefits — it has financial benefits too!
So be sure not to skimp too much when it comes to having a date night, taking time off together to go on a trip or investing in relationship classes or counseling when needed. Date night doesn't have to break the bank however. Investing in your relationship is key to keeping it strong, and can save you big over the long term.
Read more: 12 frugal Valentine's Day date ideas
The reality is, eating healthy doesn't have to be outrageous. But eating cheaply and unhealthily can result in big healthcare costs down the road.
Studies have shown that lifestyle choices can have a significant impact on health. More than 90% of Type 2 diabetes, 80% of coronary artery disease and 70% of both stroke and colon cancer are "potentially preventable," according to a Harvard epidemiologist quoted in a Fortune article.
Adding fruits and vegetables doesn't have to break the bank though. Check out these tips on how you can eat healthy for less!
Read more: This couple eats for less than $60 a month
Certain home upgrades
For home upgrades, it's true that some upgrades pay off, while others can leave you in a financial hole. So how do you decide?
Generally speaking, the average home that is energy efficient will sell for 10% more, and kitchen upgrades can do your home a world of good if you're in the market to sell.
Additionally, replacing your front door can bring a 101.8% return, while installing a new asphalt shingle roof can bring in a healthy 71.6% ROI.
Read more: 4 home improvements that offer more than ROI
All in all, there are areas in life when it makes much more financial sense not to buy the cheapest option out there or skimp on important items that can save you big or last way down the road.
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