Living the High Life

This is a guest post from Eric at Narrow Bridge Finance as part of the Yakezie blog swap. This week, we are all answering the question: “What are things you never go cheap on and why?” You can see my post on the same topic at Eric’s blog.
I am not one of those finance bloggers that tells you how to do extreme frugal. I advocate spending smart. For example, I cut my cable because it was not worth $70 per month to me. However, I am happy to spend $70 on a dinner for a special occasion.
The most important factors when you are deciding on spending decisions are:

Can I afford it?
Do I gain value from it?
Is the value I gain greater than the cost?

If you are meeting your savings and investments goals, you should be able to enjoy the leftover money. Here are some of the things that I would never go cheap on:
Travel
While this is not a tangible thing, I am willing to spend money on life experiences. The experiences that I never forget are more valuable to me than virtually any possession.
I will never forget the week I spent alone traveling in Europe. It was not cheap to break off from the end of my group trip in Kiev and head off to Prague and Budapest. I will never forget a nice weekend I once spent in Colorado’s mountains. I will never forget a week I spent on Wall Street in New York. Travel experiences are some of the best memories of my life, and I never regret spending money to make that happen.
Creating Memories
You can also create memories at home. I will never forget the night I went to Broomfield with my best friend to see Tiesto live. The feeling of the bass bouncing off of me, the sensation of swimming in the lights as they floated past, the excitement of gyrating with the crowd to the beat. Many people would not think $60 for a concert is worth it, I would do that again in a heartbeat.
Like that concert, I have had many amazing experiences that I will never forget. Some, like climbing at 14,000 foot mountain, can be done with few costs. Others, like a trip to a fancy restaurant or going all out on a Halloween costume, could set you back a few bucks. If the experience will be with me forever, it is worth it.
Looking Good
At a certain point in our lives, we have to grow up. For me, part of that is looking good. About a year after college I gave up the t-shirt look and started buying nicer clothes. Given I don’t need to buy everything at Nordstrom, I have upgrade my look from my Old Navy days in college.
Projecting a positive and confident image of myself is important to me, and I am happy to spend a few extra dollars to be the best dressed in a crowd.
Orange Juice
Seriously, I can’t stand orange juice from concentrate. Tropicana is the only way to go.
My Beliefs
While most Jews in America do not make any effort, keeping Kosher is incredibly important to me. To follow my beliefs about a Kosher diet, I have to spend more on meat and dairy products. To follow rules about the home, I have to spend extra on ceremonial decorations (mezuzah), and to keep the holidays I had to buy a Shabbat set.
Whatever your religion or politics, you will have opportunities to do things the right way or the wrong way. If you do not stand by your principles and what you believe, you are giving up one of the most important parts of yourself.
Your Turn
What are things you never go cheap on? Why is it worth the money to you? Please share your thoughts in the comments.
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4 thoughts on “Living the High Life

  1. I also love to spend discretionary income on concerts and other experiences. I've never regretted it.
    The same with paying more in order to live your beliefs (religious or political)- we pay more for our energy to guarantee it comes from "green" sources and in order to run B99 in our car (plus paid more for the diesel car to begin wiht.)

  2. To me, it's spending on healthy food. I can't see the point of saving a few dollars in order to eat fast food or junk food, when in the long run the costs will hit you in terms of health care, possible inability to work, etc. Obviously, more important than that is simply having good health. Anyway, this is why I'm willing to spend a few dollars on quality food.

  3. Experiences, travel and creating memories – for me it is all the same and very, very valuable. You definitely don't want to go cheap on these things because you want to make sure you have the best memories to take with you whenever you go. 🙂

  4. I love skincare creams and believe they're an investment in how I'll look as I age. I also try — try! — to eat healthy, fresh foods. But I don't spend much on clothes or accessories. I'm more interested in health/beauty products and willing to spend more on that, and I'll go cheap on clothes in order to pay for it.

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