I was reading a post by another blogger recently and he listed all of the items where he felt that it made sense to splurge and concluded by asking his readers their thoughts on the matter. That’s a tough question for me. I’m such a bargain shopper that it’s tough for me to part with a dollar. In fact, I’ve been fantasizing about buying a new road bike recently. This weekend, I came across one for just a hair over $1,000. I still am unable to allow myself to make the purchase even though this bike is a bargain at twice the price. I commented to my husband that the deal was just fraught with too much potential for buyer’s remorse. I could use that money for so many other things! What if I buy it and I’m not any faster or better? What if I crash again because I can’t figure out how to work the gears? To this line of questions, my husband replied, “You have buyer’s remorse when you buy toilet paper, so this is not a good argument!” Deep sigh.
I’m going to go out on a limb here and try to compose my own list of ‘splurge-worthy’ purchases. Here they are in no particular order:
- Education: I firmly believe in investing as much as you can afford in a quality education because it never depreciates in value. However, I also am a firm believer that he who adequately applies himself can earn a top-notch education at almost any institution. Therefore, the investment is not solely monetary.
- Clothing: Here’s another one with an asterisk. Whether we like it or not, we are often judged based on first impressions. Therefore — particularly in professional environments — proper attire is essential. I would rather splurge for an expensive suit even if I can buy three or four of lower quality for the same amount of money. High quality garments just look and feel better. You know that feeling when you look in the mirror and feel pretty good about that person who looks back at you? Why not have that every day? The asterisk comes in because I feel even better about that $400 or $500 suit when I can catch a great sale. Buying quality doesn’t always mean breaking the bank. Once you learn how to get good deals on the quality stuff, you’ll never look at the cheap stuff the same way again.
- The Kitchen: I actually love to cook. However, I’m a little picky about it. I need adequate space and lighting and top quality tools. In fact, if I ever have the opportunity to build a house again, I will start with the kitchen. Maybe it’s my (somewhat) southern upbringing, but to me, the kitchen is the most important part of the house. It should be warm, inviting and spotless and the cook should have everything at his or her fingertips to create for an appreciative crowd.
- Your Craft/Trade: In some professions, you are only as good as your tools. In others, the right tools will make you more productive and competitive relative to your peers. In my profession, technology is important. I likely spend more time in my office than most of my colleagues these days because I have the best computing equipment there. I don’t have much patience for slow internet connections, crashing operating systems and corrupt hard drives. It’s worth it to buy the best you can afford to support your craft. For that reason, I’m starting to think that a new computer for my home office might be a better investment than that road bike.
- Memories: I think the point of the article that I read was that we work so hard that we owe it to ourselves to splurge every now and then. One of my fears is that I will work so hard that I’ll ‘forget’ to have fun and enjoy life — especially while my children are young. For that reason, I think it’s important to stop and take vacations and savor special occasions. I’ve always been big on birthdays. It’s that one day a year that — for the most part — is YOUR day. I tend to go all out for my kids on their birthdays so that when they look back they’ll remember that we made them feel special. I think the best part is when you can tap into those things that are unique about the person you are honoring to show that you are really paying attention. Try it. You may be able to create a memory that someone special won’t soon forget.