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We talk a lot about saving here at Savings and Sangria (naturally!). But today we’re gonna take a break from all our saving to talk about spending. Specifically, we want to talk about some smart buys that you’ll be glad you splurged on.
A little general spending guidance before we jump in: Our general philosophy is to scrimp on the things that don’t really matter to you so you can splurge on the things that do. I buy inexpensive makeup and store-brand groceries so I can splurge on books and travel. You might have an apartment full of hand-me-down furniture so you can afford quality make-up brushes. You do you!
The important thing here is balance. You can afford anything, but not everything. That’s why I love budgets so much. They show you in black and white how much money you have to go around and where it’s going. That way you can figure out what you want to cut so you can spend more on the things you love.
If you don’t have a budget of your own yet, we have one for you! Just enter your name and email in the form below to have our budget calculator delivered to your inbox.
Ok, now having said all that, there are some purchases that are just plain smart to splurge on. So find a little room in your budget for these smart buys and spend guilt-free!
Face Cream and Eye Cream
Face and eye creams are like retirement accounts; people usually ignore them until they see a problem, then they regret not using them sooner. Don’t be that person!
Start using quality face cream and eye cream in your mid-twenties to keep your youthful skin longer. It’s way better than waiting until you have wrinkles and trying to reverse the aging process.
Splurging on face cream doesn’t mean you need to spend $80-$100. I love Olay’s 7-in-1 Total Effects Daily Moisturizer, and you can get it on Amazon for under $20.
For eye cream, Rosehip & Hibiscus’ Natural Eye Cream is a favorite for keeping fine lines and crows’ feet at bay.
Think about how many hours per day you spend in shoes! You need good shoes, not just because you get so much use out of them, but because crap shoes can lead to all kinds of feet, knee, and even back problems! Wouldn’t you rather spend your money on shoes than on a chiropractor?
My favorite way to save on shoes is to buy them at TJ Maxx, Marshall’s, or Ross. You get designer shoes for a fraction of the price. I got some Calvin Klein riding boots for like $30 at Ross last year!
If you can’t get to one of those discount stores, or you just prefer shopping online, Amazon often has great deals on great shoes. Nine West makes relatively inexpensive, but good-quality classic pumps. And I’m hooked on the Nike Flex Trainers for running. They’re super light, amazingly flexible, and still perfectly supportive.
A Good Mattress
Boring! I know, but a good night’s sleep is invaluable. And a good mattress makes all the difference in the world! Remember how we just said you can spend money on shoes instead of the chiropractor? Yeah, a good mattress is another key to keeping the chiropractor away. And to keeping you energized all day every day. So be willing to spend a little more on a good mattress.
I really think mattress shopping requires a visit to a brick and mortar store where you can test the goods. Even among the top-tier mattresses, there’s still a big personal preference component, so take an afternoon to go try a bunch of mattresses and see what works for you.
PS: even if the store doesn’t offer free delivery, try negotiating for it. If you’re spending $800-$1,000 in their store, they should be able to accommodate!
The thing that sucks about free weights is that you usually need to buy more than one set because you need different weights for different exercises, so the cost adds up. But it’s actually totally worth it. Here’s why: lifting weights builds lean muscle, which boosts your natural calorie burn, even when you’re just sitting at your laptop. And free weights are especially good because they require the use of a bunch of little stabilizing muscles to keep the weights in line as you work through your movements. So skip the monthly gym membership and buy some free weights instead!
This three-set-pack of neoprene dumbbells is perfect for beginners.
A Fancy Coffee Maker
If a Keurig at home will keep you from going to Starbucks every day, it’s money well-spent!
A Classic Coat
So for most of us, there’s a big stretch of the year where we need to wear a coat every single day. Anything you’re going to spend that much time in deserves a little extra attention in your budget. Get something classic that will be in-style year after year. That way, as you build your coat collection over the years, you’ll still be able to throw this one in your rotation.
Thick wool trench coat? Yes, please!
Organic Produce (but only when it comes to the dirty dozen)
Going completely organic might be overkill if you’re on a budget. But there are 12 produce items that are worth the organic splurge because of the high amount of pesticides in their non-organic counterparts:
- Sweet Bell Peppers
Go organic on these 12 and scrimp on the rest of your produce.
Decent Kitchen Knives
Good kitchen knives are super under-rated. They last forever and save you a ton of time in the kitchen. We’ve all struggled infomercial-style with crappy knives that can’t cut butter. Don’t make an everyday task like this so miserable! Just spend once for a decent kitchen knife set. Or at least one versatile knife to handle most of your chopping.
An Electric Toothbrush
Taking good care of your teeth every day will save you a future fortune in dental work! So drop $100-$200 now to save thousands of dollars and lots of pain later. Oral-B makes a great electric toothbrush on the cheaper side of the splurge scale.
A Portable AC/Dehumidifier
If you’re living in a place without central air, a portable AC/Dehumidifier will make your life much happier! A small unit will cost a couple hundred dollars for the unit, and will increase your summer electric bill, but it will save your sanity.
An Ergonomic Chair (and maybe a desk too)
Do you spend a giant chunk of your day sitting? Yeah, us too. Minimize the damage with an ergonomic desk chair. If you really want to avoid the damage of sitting all day, stand! You can get a good standing desk for a few hundred dollars.
No joke, I feel like a good bra is a game-changer. I stand up straighter, feel like my clothes fit better, and strut around with more confidence when I’m wearing a good bra. Victoria’s Secret is my go-to. You can find them on sale on Amazon pretty regularly, but the best way to get them on the cheap is to wait for the semi-annual sales and stock up when some are as much as 50% off.
One Epic, Classic, Perfectly-Tailored Outfit
Everyone should have one epic, classic, perfectly-tailored, go-to outfit. The outfit depends on your lifestyle. It may be a little black dress you can accessorize a million ways to keep it fresh. For me, it’s been a little black suit, perfect for big client meetings, important interviews, and presentations. You might spend as much on the tailoring as on the outfit, but that’s fine. It will make a world of difference!
The last smart buys we need to talk about are assets in general.
If you read our post on how the rich get richer (and how you can be one of them!), you know exactly why you want to spend more money on assets and less on liabilities. Don’t be afraid to splurge on smart investment purchases like real estate, index funds, or businesses.
Need Help Finding Ways to Make the Money for Your Smart Buys?
If you’ve been through your budget and can’t find any places to cut back so you can afford these splurges, consider making some extra money on the side to pay for them. We’ve got some great posts to help you make more money!
Feel Like Sharing?
Do you have any smart buys you’re glad you splurged on? Let us know in the comments!