For some people, spending money can be more of a burden than anything else. There’s often a reward after the card is swiped, but the frustration of letting go of hard earned cash can outweigh this reward. For this reason, many people can’t spend more than the minimum guilt-free. Often, you just need the most basic version of a product, but there are times when you deserve to upgrade.
This is not to say that you need to go wild and spend your money on little luxuries. The idea is to know when to spend a bit more because it will improve the lifespan of a product or seriously improve the quality of your life. As you get older and learn to manage your expenses better, you will come to realize there are times when you will benefit from a few upgrades.
Once you understand how your life will improve when you spend a little more, there’s no shame with the additional expenses. At times, this will mean your products can last longer and cost less in the longterm. Other times, you’ll benefit with more time or you will be able to be more productive. Regardless, you shouldn’t spend you whole life chugging along with products that are just “good enough.”
High Quality Headphones
If you’re still using the headphone that came in the box with your phone, it may be time for an update. Being able to throw in headphones and block distractions can be priceless and make you much more productive. Cheaper headphones tend to be uncomfortable, inconvenient, and less durable. Good headphones can make your work day infinitely better if you’re able to listen to music or use your headphones to easily take calls. If you can’t stand wires or background noise, don’t be upset to spend a little more money to make your days better.
A Comfortable Mattress
Never underestimate the importance of sleep. If you don’t get a good night of rest you’re likely to be grumpy and unfocused. Even worse, poor sleep can lead to numerous other longterm health effects. Next time you’re shopping for a mattress, don’t feel bad if you opt for a more expensive selection. It could save you money on future medial expenses, but at the very least, it will help you feel more rested.
A Better Computer
Unless you’re someone who’s really tech-savvy, you probably want your computer to last as long as possible. Very few people enjoy setting up a new computer and migrating their data, but sometimes it becomes essential. If you buy the cheapest model, you’ll probably be doing this every few years. Upgrading beyond the base will get a few more years out of the computer. This doesn’t mean you need cool features like a touch screen or upgraded sound system. Instead, get a computer with a solid state drive, more RAM, and a faster processor. It’s the things under the hood that make the difference here.
Believe me, I know buying electronics can be expensive. Last time I bought an iPhone I spent an extra $100 to get 256GB worth of storage. Did I need that much? Not the moment I bought it, but I know memory can be filled quickly. With devices such as an iPhone, you’re stuck with the memory you select on day one. Usually, purchasing more storage space can be a worthwhile investment. You might not see the return instantly, but it’s better than being frustrated in nine months when you can’t take any more pictures. At that point you’d need to buy a whole new phone to get more memory.
High Quality Clothing (You Actually Wear)
Some people have an established style and particular items they wear regularly. If you find yourself constantly replacing your cheap boots, faux-leather jacket, or jeans then you might want to upgrade. Spending money on high quality clothing often prolongs the lifespans of your favorite garments and allows you to get a more stylish piece. Over time, this might lead to a lower cost per wear, but that also requires a commitment to that piece. You can’t do this with all of your clothing, but if you select a few pieces you love, they’re worth the investment.
Eating Out When You’re Busy
Buying lunch at a restaurant can get quite costly when you do it daily, especially if you’re relying on delivery services. However, there are some days when you’re busy with work and you don’t want to spend time preparing lunch. On these occasions, the convenience of getting lunch at a restaurant can outweigh the costs. If this gives you a moment of peace when you’re already stressed out, don’t dwell on the expense. Enjoy the meal and move on.
After a while, it can be hard to just “suck it up” when it comes to bad weather. Rather than run the air conditioner or heater, which inflates your gas and electric bills, you rely on less effective solutions. If heat or cold are making it difficult to complete regular tasks, then you should run the heater or AC. It’s still fine to moderate your consumption and preserve your air quality as much as possible, but if you find yourself uncomfortable then it’s not worth the money saved.
New & Healthy Foods
If you’re eating the bulk of your meals at home, you’re already spending less than many other people. Still, the grocery store can present a lot of temptations and unhealthy options. While shopping you might realize that it’s cheaper to buy frozen meals or pre-packaged items. Eventually you will realize that buying real, fresh foods are worth the additional expense. Likely your body will thank you and you will feel better after incorporating better foods into your diet. This might mean you will need to try some new items, some of which will be unpleasant. Don’t feel bad about this, because you’d be spending a lot more if you tried these foods at restaurant.
Hearing a noise in your car? Take it in to the shop. Addressing car problems early can give you peace of mind while driving and allow you to resolve them before they become more costly. Even if there isn’t a great benefit from taking the car into the shop, it’s reassuring to know your vehicle is safe. The last thing you want is for your car to break down. This can cost you in time and frustration, and that’s if you’re lucky. No one choses when their car breaks, and unresolved issues can become more dangerous than inconvenient.
An Investment In Your Hobby
When you’re not working or socializing, people spend their time doing things they love. Whether it’s a sport, craft, or gaming, these hobbies cost money and can add up quickly. If you’re really invested in your hobby, you shouldn’t feel bad spending some money enhancing it. Even if this means spending a sizable amount on a new item like a Playstation 5, surf board, or instrument. As long as these purchases don’t prevent you from meeting other financial obligations, you should not feel bad for feeding your interests. Just make sure you actually use these purchases.
Guilt Free Spending
Everyone has financial commitments they need to meet. Beyond the essentials like food, bills, and rent, you need to ration your money for all aspects of your life. This means some money can be spent to improve your quality of life rather than just saving it for the future.
This doesn’t mean you should forgo savings, but you don’t need to shove every cent into your account. Learn to place some value on your comfort, and productivity. If there are things that will result in wasted time or irritation, you shouldn’t feel bad spending a little bit to avoid these inconveniences. Sadly, it costs money to live in your ideal environment. That doesn’t mean you can’t strive for perfect.
Even if you do spend some money in the wrong area, you can’t waste your time dwelling over every misstep. With the right priorities your spending will become diversified and your life will slowly improve. After all, there’s no point in earning money if you can’t enjoy some of it. It can be hard to let go of money, but when you work hard, you deserve to enjoy the occasional comfort guilt-free.
Originally published at https://www.michaelbeausoleil.com on December 8, 2020.