5 Things to Spend More on Now

by Tisha Tolar on 16 August 2012 4 comments
Photo: pretendtious

Whether we are focused on saving for the distant future or for a rainy day, we are constantly reminded about the importance of budgeting our hard-earned dollars. However, sometimes you'll save more money in the long run by spending some now. Take, for example, these five items that can save you big money — and improve your quality of life — down the line. (See also: Quality Over Price: 15 Items to Spend More On)

Your Work Wardrobe

If you show up for work each day dressed like a slob, you may be hurting your own potential to get ahead. Spend money on quality work wear that highlights your professionalism. You may be just the right person for that new promotion, but if you dress shabbily, your boss might think that you won't represent the company in that new position. Well-made suits will cost more but with the right care, they will also last longer. Splurge on the quality clothing, and cut back on your budget for complimentary accessories — they're often trends that just fade away.

Paid Help

There is a stigma to hiring help — namely that only "rich" people have housekeepers, nannies, or lawn care specialists. The reality is that if you are spending time doing things you can pay someone else to do for you rather than using that time to earn money, you might be hurting yourself. For instance, if you work at home but cannot deal with the mounting housework, it might make more financial sense to hire housework help to free up more time for your work duties.

Home Repair Basics

It can cost a lot to keep calling the plumber to come back to repair leaks or to hire a contractor to make important home repairs. You can save more over the long haul of homeownership by learning how to take care of home repair basics yourself. Consider taking a home improvement class and buying how-to books for common repair jobs. Investing in high-quality, appropriate tools and replacement parts will also help you save money. Don’t waste cash on discount or used tools that will likely need replacement sooner than later. Remember, though, that there are certain jobs where professional help is strongly advised for your own safety, such as electric work.

Vacations and Family Events

There are ways have family fun on a budget, but it is also vital to remember how important special events and trips can be to a family unit. Rather than skip the annual summer vacation or forgo buying tickets to the baseball game, plan for these events in your budget, spending enough for an enjoyable time. You can’t pay for family memories, so enjoy the time you have with the ones you love.

Financial Guidance

If you try again and again to work out your financial life but you are still falling short of your goals, consider paying a professional for the guidance you need to get your money matters in check. A financial planner can help you create a workable budget, plan your immediate financial future, and grow your funding for college tuition and your retirement. A planner's years of experience can translate into a more stable financial future for you at a minimal cost.

As the old cliche goes, it takes money to make money — and similarly, it is true that you may need to spend money to save. Take the time to weigh the pros and cons of situations where spending more may be the best method for saving in the future.

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Bryan

This is a very good list.. and I would also like to add equipment. Cheap, low quality equipment tend to produce low quality results and they get broken faster/easier.

Meg Favreau's picture

With home repair basics, it's not just saving on professionals. I was so happy the day I realized I could take a wrench and bucket to the pipe beneath my clogged sink instead of pouring Draino down it.

Guest's picture

While it is true that hiring a financial planner can help point you in the right financial direction, you should also complement this move by educating yourself on money matters by reading books on the subject. This way, you do not have to rely on the planner wholesale. Listen to them, yes, but you must also know something about finances because the harsh reality is that not all of them are experts in the real sense of the word.

Furthermore, as books are relatively cheap, it ties in nicely with our goal of living large on a small budget.

Guest's picture

I like that you included spending more money on making memories with loved ones. This one certainly applies to everyone. I agree with Bryan below; spending a little more on quality equipment or appliances like a washer and dryer can save you a lot of money in the long run rather than having to buy a new one a couple of years from now.