I’m all for being frugal but there are many things I consider money well spent. We all value different things so if you want to blow your money on a gadget then go for it!

As long as we’re saving, not going into debt, and spending less than we make; it’s perfectly fine to enjoy a few things. Some of us prefer to pay down our mortgages instead of spending on material goods and that’s alright too.

What I call money well spent

Travel – Travelling is a life experience. It doesn’t matter if you’re driving to a city an hour away from home, or if you’re flying across the Atlantic; no matter where you travel to, you’ll discover new things. Considering this is a personal finance and budget travel blog, it should be no surprise I consider travel to be money well spent.

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money well spent travel

Eating out – I love my food so I have no problem eating out. As long as you don’t go over budget, you should never feel guilty about enjoying a nice meal. Sure you could eat every meal at home and save the money, but that’s not very exciting.

Costco membership – If you’re a family then getting a Costco membership can offer incredible savings. Sure you need to buy in bulk, but the price per item ends up being cheaper here than anywhere else. Costco doesn’t just offer deals on food, they carry tons of housewares in store and have thousands of items that you can buy online. The raw meats they sell are of the highest quality, heck there’s just 2 people in my family right now and I have a membership.

KitchenAid Mixer – Yes another expensive kitchen gadget but these things are money well spent. If you love to bake then this is a must have tool, it just makes mixing that much easier. If you so desire, you can get different attachments for the KitchenAid Mixer making it more than just a baking tool. These mixers go on sale all the time so wait for a good price before you buy.

Vitamix – Juicers are bulky, messy, and let’s be realistic you’ve probably only used it a few times since you bought it. Buying a Vitamix was one of the best investments I ever made, it will literally make anything into liquid in seconds. Many refer to it as an overpriced blender, but I find the Vitamix to be quite useful since I can make restaurant quality soups and sauces in just a few minutes.

Appearances matter

A good haircut – For many many years I went to a cheap barber which cost me less than $10 a cut, and I got exactly what I paid for. My haircuts were all over the place, sometimes they were great, and sometimes they were awful– even though they were always done by the same person. I finally decided to go to a stylist and it was a life changing event. Stylists know what kind of hairstyle suits the shape of your head, making you look smarter and sharper– $40 a month, money well spent.

Money well spent

A nice suit – The truth is, appearances matter and owning at least one good suit is a must for all male professionals. Even if you work in an industry where business attire isn’t necessary, you should still have one for special occasions. It doesn’t even have to be an expensive suit. What you really want is a suit that compliments your body shape. It’s rare to find a suit that’ll fit you perfectly off the rack so be sure to visit a seamstress to have it taken in.

Winter clothes – Spending the money on a good pair of boots and a parka will do wonders for your comfort. Don’t cheap out, low quality products will be uncomfortable and fall apart quickly. You don’t need to spend $600+ on a parka, just pick one up at the end of the season when they go on sale.

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20 Comments

  1. Christine @ The Wallet Diet on December 15, 2014 at 10:29 am

    Yes travel! Top of my list for sure. I’d sooner cut my own hair and wear a paper bag than give that up.

    A lot of people underestimate how important a good pair of waterproof winter boots are. Cheap boots don’t really protect you from the elements – one foot in a slush puddle and you’re miserable all the way home.

    • Barry Choi on December 15, 2014 at 11:37 am

      Christine,

      I used to wear runners in the winter because I didn’t want to spend the money on boots. Now that I do have boots I realized that they are one of the best “investments” I’ve ever made.

  2. Tawcan on December 15, 2014 at 1:24 pm

    Agree that travel is money well spent. We have a KitchenAid machine at home and it’s definitely one of the items that we use very regularly.

    • Barry Choi on December 15, 2014 at 1:25 pm

      Tawcan,

      Travel is an experience for me so I would not give it up. Eventually I’ll spend less on travel but for now I’m comfortable with my travel budget.

      We love our KitchenAid mixer, it saves so much time when baking and makes the whole process much more enjoyable.

  3. Dan @ Our Big Fat Wallet on December 15, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    Sometimes I don’t understand when people are frugal to the point of sacrificing almost everything. I’ve said it before, there is no point in reaching $1M in net worth (or any other number) if it means you’ve had to sacrifice almost everything to get there. Nothing is guaranteed in life so there has to be some ‘fun’ money for hobbies, interests etc

    • Barry Choi on December 15, 2014 at 2:23 pm

      Dan,

      Yeah seriously. I love saving but I never want to get to a point where I feel guilty for spending. The experiences I’ve had by travelling, I could never get by saving all my money.

      Anything can happen at any time so I do try to enjoy myself.

  4. Rob Brown on December 15, 2014 at 3:20 pm

    Books. People should spend more money on books. Specifically, personal finance books with zombies in them. Everyone should buy many, many copies of every PF book they can find with zombies in them.

    Also, I have an alternative to the Kitchen Aid. It”s called a big-ass wooden spoon. Or the bakery down the street. Better you spend your “kitchen indulgent money” (I just made that up!) on a quality coffee machine. Not one of those overwrought monstrosities that grind your beans (they clog up, trust me) but a nice 12 cupper with a thermal pot. Buy good coffee too. Life’s far too short to drink crappy coffee.

    On haircuts. Didn’t I see something on Twitter from @preetbanerjee earlier today saying you can save money by cutting your own hair? I predict a podcast debate. I’d be glad to moderate. I’ll bring coffee. You bring cookies. Preet can bring scissors and a bowl.

    My mind wanders… 🙂

    • Barry Choi on December 16, 2014 at 9:43 am

      Rob,

      Heh okay spending money on a good personal finance book is totally money well spent.

      I don’t drink coffee but I can certainly understand why it would be worth it to get a nice machine and good beans. Way cheaper than Starbucks in the long run.

  5. Stephen @ How To Save Money on December 16, 2014 at 8:55 am

    I’m with you Barry. We spend loads of money on travel, have a Vitamix that my wife convinced me to get and (surprisingly) I don’t regret it – amazing machine, are Costco members even though we buy most stuff from local farmers and organic seriously limiting what we can buy at Costco, and eat out quite a lot at restaurants (probably too much).

    I try to save money on everyday things so I can spend on the things I enjoy.

    Cheers!

    • Barry Choi on December 16, 2014 at 10:06 am

      Stephen,

      Heh I was pretty against the Vitamix at the start but now that we have it, I admit it was well worth it.

      I also try to save a lot so when I do want to spend on something I don’t feel guilty.

  6. Brian So on December 18, 2014 at 2:22 pm

    I think travel would top my list too. Other than that, money spent on sports is always money well spent, as money is never wasted when it’s spent on something you love doing.

    • Barry Choi on December 18, 2014 at 6:16 pm

      Brian,

      Unless you’re one of those people who insist the new/best equipment will make you a better player.

      • Brian So on December 18, 2014 at 6:26 pm

        Nah I’m talking about league fees and drop-in fees. I use my equipment until they are completely worn out before moving on 🙂

        • Barry Choi on December 18, 2014 at 6:27 pm

          Funny enough I should have put “running shoes” on this list. Turns out you should be replacing them after walk an X amount of kilometers. I wear mine into the ground which probably isn’t good for my feet.

  7. Emily @ Simple Cheap Mom on December 18, 2014 at 4:59 pm

    We just our own hair and get by without a KitchenAid mixer, but there are other things we spend on that others would raise an eye at.

    Winter clothing that’s warm is a necessity!

    We all value different stuff.

    • Barry Choi on December 18, 2014 at 6:17 pm

      Emily,

      Exactly, everyone values different things. If you’re meeting your savings goals then there’s no reason to feel guilty about spending on certain items.

  8. Neil Murphy on February 13, 2015 at 12:17 pm

    There’s a guy on the street I see a lot. His name’s John. He doesn’t drink or do drugs, he’s just a 55 year old homeless dude probably with some mental issues. I like to spend my money on him,that is the best money I spend.

    • Barry Choi on February 13, 2015 at 12:19 pm

      Neil,

      Charity is definitely money well spent. Something about helping others brings out the best in us.

  9. PJ on February 28, 2015 at 2:14 pm

    Well, let’s see. My wife and I spend less than we make, love to travel when we can. Have a Kitchen aid mixer, Vitamin and Costco membership.

    Yes. I agree with this post!

    • Barry Choi on February 28, 2015 at 2:15 pm

      PJ,

      Ha we have similar tastes. I’m literally about to use my Vitamix right now. Love that thing!

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