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:
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.
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.
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.
Seriously, I can’t stand orange juice from concentrate. Tropicana is the only way to go.
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.
What are things you never go cheap on? Why is it worth the money to you? Please share your thoughts in the comments.