Ask the Readers: What Splurge Has Most Improved Your Life?

By Ashley Jacobs on 17 January 2017 78 comments

Editor's Note: Congratulations to April, Tabathia, and Liz for winning this week's contest!

A big part of frugal living is saving money wherever you can, but there are some things that are worth splurging on — especially if they improve your life in some way.

What splurge has most improved your life? How has your life been improved? What were the arguments for and against the purchase when you went shopping?

Tell us what splurge has most improved you life and we'll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

Win 1 of 3 $20 Amazon Gift Cards

We're doing three giveaways — here's how you can win!

Mandatory Entry:

  • Post your answer in the comments below. One commenter will be randomly selected to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

For Extra Entries:

  • You can tweet about our giveaway for an extra entry. Also, our Facebook fans can get an extra entry too! Use our Rafflecopter widget for your chance to win one of the other two Amazon Gift Cards:

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If you're inspired to write a whole blog post OR you have a photo on Flickr to share, please link to it in the comments or tweet it.

Giveaway Rules:

  • Contest ends Monday, January 23rd at 11:59 p.m. Pacific. Winners will be announced after January 23rd on the original post. Winners will also be contacted via email.
     
  • You can enter all three drawings — once by leaving a comment, once by liking our Facebook update, and once by tweeting.
     
  • This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered, or associated with Facebook.
     
  • You must be 18 and U.S. resident to enter. Void where prohibited.

Good Luck!

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Guest's picture
Trish

Definitely buying a more dependable car. So much less stress everyday!

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beverly hirsch

smart phone. At age 71 I gave up the flip. Now I always have my calendar with me, message or call my daughter with ease, and just signed up for the peace of mind of Uber at my fingertips .It doesn't get much better than that!

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Chris

Buying a recumbent exercise bike for home. They have them at the gym, but I wanted something I could use while watching TV. It's really paid off--I use it in the morning before work and also after work. Definitely worth the splurge!

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Mami2jcn

We splurged on a new house 2 years ago and we have loved living here, plus home values have gone up in our neighborhood.

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Julie Wood

I bought a new car in 2014 for the first time, and it is such a good car and it does not need any maintenance yet and I have an extended warranty and 5 years of oil changes free!

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Elena

buying a smartphone has improved my life because I can do so many things on the go now

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srah

When I bought my car I paid a few hundred dollars more to get one with a remote starter, and it's nice to get a head start on warming up the car.

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Candice

A pair of high-quality leather boots has lasted me several seasons. They look great with many outfits, have sturdy traction, and still look nice as long as I shine them every so often. They were more expensive than lower quality boots, but I am sure they have lasted me at least twice as long as lower quality ones would have.

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Monique Hubert

I got a Sodastream recently because I really like sparkling water, but I don't like using all the disposable bottles or cans, even though I recycle them. I was concerned I wouldn't use it enough or the CO2 cartridges would be too pricey, but I ultimately got the device with a gift card and trade in the CO2 cartridges at a great price. And I use it all the time!

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Ernest S.

I purchased a new laptop a few years ago, and really questioned my purchase (since I already have a laptop that is provided by work). But now looking back, it was one of the best purchases ever. I have been able to do a lot of things, including a lot of creative work, that would not have been possible had I not decided to make the upgrade.

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Gina

Splurging on a kindle has improved my life. I save a lot of space since I now have e-books stored on the kindle instead of paper books. I'm also able to check out ebooks, audiobooks, and magazines from the library with my kindle so it saves me money and time and gives me an easy reading platform.

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Matt

Buying a car. It's so convenient to be able to get around yourself and not rely on public transportation.

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Judy

I was using a really bad mop and after I did my mopping, I sometimes had to get on my hands and knees to scrub the floors again.

I decided to treat myself and bought a really nice and super effective mopping system and my life has definitely changed.

I no longer have to break my back and I can spend more time with my family since I don't have to clean twice.

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Guest

The one splurge that really helped was on a new bed, especially the way my sleep improved after I bought it!

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Suze

I have never regretted splurging on things that help me sleep better. Mattresses, bed clothes, alarm clocks, pillows, bedroom furniture and lighting, etc. My bedroom is my sanctuary and sleep is too important to health to skimp on. My most recent splurge was top-quality, thick flannel sheets and they are worth every penny.

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Debra K

I have a bed that has absolutely improved my life! My sleep quality has improved drastically, which helps me be more alert in the day. With an adjustable base, I can easily customize it according to my current needs. And because it is a split king, my husband doesn't have to sleep at the same incline I do. We actually both toss and turn less and sleep better because we're not disturbing each other.

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Lisa

My Disneyland Annual Pass is the splurge that most improved my life. I used to only go when family came to visit or for special occasions. After I survived ovarian cancer in 2014, I decided to get an annual pass and go whenever I wanted. It's improved my life because spending time there reminds me of the magic and fun that should be in our everyday lives. Having a Disneyland AP taught me to be myself and not worry about what anyone else thinks (Disneyland is only for kids, etc.) and to be a kid at heart again. Plus, I love rollercoasters and people watching.

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Kevin

I splurged on a Sleep Number mattress. I am a very active person and depending on the exercise, I would need to adjust the firmness of the mattress so I can sleep better. I love memory foam mattress and a regular one would cost around $1000+. I really liked the the Sleep Number memory foam mattress, because it allows me to adjust the firmness of the mattress. The one I bought was $3000+, almost 3 times the cost of a regular memory foam. My argument for it were: sleep quality is very important to me + my significant other likes firmer mattress than I do. After the first week sleeping on the Sleep Number, my significant other and I got the best sleep in a while. We loved every moment sleeping on that mattress.

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Lisa

I would say anytime I get a massage or a pedicure it's a very worthwhile splurge. It's only about every 6 months but I enjoy every minute!

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Natasha

Proper tires. It's a relief to know I can get home in winter weather.

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Diane

I splurged on heavy duty rolling plant stands for my large potted plants. I'd had cheaper ones, which couldn't handle the weight. Some of these huge plants weigh as much as I do, so having them on rolling stands is wonderful for when I need to move them. The stands have lasted several years and are still in great shape, so well worth the investment!

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Mary W

Buying a new phone was one of the best splurges I ever made. A phone is a must have in my job but having the latest technology is a real luxury on my budget. I'm so happy that I decided to go ahead and purchase a new phone. I use the dickens out of it now.

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Linda

I splurged on my college education years ago and it has definitely paid off.

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Sarah

Definitely our condo. It was within our budget given income, but we scrambled to put together a small down payment. Still, buying our dream home without going through the hassle of buying a starter home was well worth it. So was freeing ourselves from the suburban hellscape and cutting commute times by 1/3.

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Jeff

We splurge on vacations and vacations always improve our lives

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Tracy

Recharging is a necessity of life, so we tend to "splurge" and ensure we get away at least twice each year to unwind and recharge. Now that our parents are older, we also make a concerted effort to spend time with them at least twice a year (all are at least 850 miles away).

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Karen Patterson

Spending money on healthier foods. I feel happier and healthier.

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Kelli

Travel! It honestly improves my mood, outlook, physical health, I gain knowledge, get to spend more time with my family. Every time I travel my life gets better.

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Michelle D.

The splurge that has most improved my life was my Vitamixer and a juicer. It's let me make healthy smoothies and fresh juices. I used to spend $8-9 for a juice and now I can make one at home for with all organic ingredients for about $1 a serving.

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Kristin Welch

The splurge I've lost benefited from is my van! It has helped me transport my clients when needed as well as helped personally with family. With two kids, we didn't have any extra room for anyone else to ride with us and with a van we have more space to haul more people! It has been a lifesaver on numerous occasions both professionally and personally

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Miss kim

Definitely my smart phone! I use it so much it is worth every penny!

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Guest

Geez, my biggest splurge is a 6-year old Prius. Not exactly blingy but I love it! it saves on gas and is the nicest car I've ever owned. Years of driving clunkers has mAde me easily impressed!

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Tammi Boston

Anker multi port smart charger. Everything can be charged at once. No cords everywhere.

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Donna D

A somewhat recent splurge was on a instant pot. I thought about purchasing one for quite sometime. I can't believe how quickly dinner is ready and makes the best brown rice ever.

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Susan P.

I splurged and lent my daughter the money to buy a new car rather than another used car, so I could have peace of mind knowing it wouldn't break down soon. The splurge was in not getting the total amount paid back for a long time without as much profit as an investment.

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Matt

My big splurge was my dodge charger. My life has improved through my self esteem. Finally after living paycheck to paycheck for so long i can enjoy the fruits of my labor and for once have something just for me, something extra. My for and against were all mental and lingering excessive frugality. I should not, because i never have, but... now I can for once, so I did.

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Liz

Getting a new smartphone. I don't know what I would do without it now!

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Annie Ernest

We splurged on our living room furniture. We spend a lot of time in that room and I wanted something that felt good to sit on and look at. We bought and beautiful sectional from Arhaus that we dubbed the napping couch because it's so comfortable. We could have done a lot of other things with the money we spent but I've not regretted it once these past 3 years.

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Jen D

When we needed to replace our wood stove we bought a Jotul. It's so efficient, which saves a lot of money and labor, but it's also so beautiful to look at.

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Paula Gourley

There was a small amount of money after my mom died. I got a passport, took a French language intensive, bought a ticket and moved to Paris, to study fine hand bookbinding. That led me to being offered an opportunity to join the Graduate School faculty at the U of Alabama, where I was a founding faculty of the Master of Fine Arts Program in the Book Arts. I taught there for 14 years, and developed the bookbinding curriculum, which is being used to this day. I consider that "investment in myself" a darn good splurge.

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Guest

This gives me hope because I want to do a MA abroad and I don't know if it's worth it.

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Amanda

I work 7 pm to 7 am, and my LED Phillips Sunrise alarm clock has helped me with waking easily on these cold, long, and dark days (especially since this is my first Midwestern winter after living in FL four years!)

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Bethany M

BIG trampoline for the kids

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MelodyJ

Getting more at home fitness products like heavier weights and a jump rope. Help to stay motivated.

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Kay

New bedroom furniture immediately after divorce! I took on a small amount of debt to buy it, but it was a symbolic and emotional "fresh start" that I needed to reclaim that space in my own home as well as in my head. I sleep like a baby now!

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Guest

Our house has improved our life greatly!

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Suz_Glo

My favorite splurge has been travel with my family. We are hard core savers but I do believe you need balance and our splurges tend to be on experiences. A trip to St. Maarten last year is a memory we cherish. I like this quote "Life is short. Take the trip. Buy the shoes. Eat the cake."

Guest's picture
RedFox

Repaired and upgraded my wedding ring. Never told anyone - just me and the husband. Wanted ring to reflect me at 40 while still keeping the 19-year-old bride. Love looking at my beautiful bling that has lasted 20+ years! Could have used the money to pay down the mortgage, but so worth the smile every day I wear it.

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MJ

My iPad. I bought it when I took a 6 month trip overseas, and it was worth every penny, allowing me to plan excursions, book hotels and flights, and do research while on the road.

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PG

A quality backpack. After many failed attempts to look cute with a tote only to stress out my shoulders or have them break on me, having a well-made backpack with tons of pockets and compartments has made my daily commute and workday that much more pleasant.

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AT

My car starter, it is a great splurge that I appreciate everyday in this cold winter.

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Elle

A remodel of my kitchen in my past home that ended up upping the price tag and we made back our money of the remodel and more.

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Rebecca Ross

Our dogs and cats--all adopted from shelters or were strays, but some take special food and care--all totally worth it!!!

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Emily S.

My car! I travel by car for work and I would not have this great job if it weren't for reliable transportation.

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Erika

I would have to say my splurge would be a monthly massage. My husband is currently on a military deployment, so this me time is crucial to my well being while raising my two kids while he's temporarily gone. Worth every penny for a great masseuse.

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KonradH

My Montblanc fountain pen was an indulgence I used nearly daily for decades. Rewarded myself with it just after completing my medical internship at the Naval Hospital in Oakland, and just before serving as a ship's medical officer based out of Japan. Used it for countless prescriptions, medical notes, physical exams, orders, and more. Now use it just for a few cards and signatures. Whenever I use it I'm reminded of when I purchased it and the woman of the Ink Stone, now out of business, who sold it to me.

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CYNTHIA

Buying a home has definitely improved my life! After many years of living with other people, I love having my own space to be creative, give me a sense of stability and be myself!

Guest's picture
Louly

I love my subscription to Stitch Fix. I have been able to build an amazing wardrobe and I never had to leave the house.

Guest's picture
joy

I'd say it's a tie between getting a dog, getting my own place (moving into a studio on my own instead of renting w/ roommates), and upgrading my mtn bike. All are 'unnecesarry' but have brought joy, peace and better health to my life.

The dog helps me be more social joyful on a day/moment basis; the solo living helps me grow in a personal and creative way since I finally feel like I have a space where I canboth enjoy solitude and express myself; and the bike helps me stay healthy, go on adventures, and meet new people.

Combined, it's a quality of life well above anything else I've ever had. Because I was careful in how I approached each (small space, small dog, used bike), I'm still able to reach my savings goals and live well below my means despite these otherwise "expensive" lifestyle choices.

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Laurajj

Oh for me...I have to say my splurge that most improved my life would have to be my college education! Priceless!

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Maura

My car. I travel a lot and now feel much safer knowing I have a more reliable vehicle.

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Guest

I broke down this year and got a new Dishwasher. My old one wasn't working so I have been doing dishes by hand. That was fine until my son who has special needs started to get interested in cooking. Now we cook together every day and boy the new dishwasher is wonderful.

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Ana Lee

My car. it gets me where I need to go.

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Catseye

My most recent splurge is my portable washer. I'm constantly washing work uniforms and do not have the time/energy/money to go up and down stairs to the laundry room 3 times a week.

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Jamie

We recently splurged on a living room update, which might seem unnecessary until you learn a couple of things. We had never painted the room since I bought the house. The TV was an old tube style (12+ years old) and sometimes we would have to hit the top to get the sound back. The couch was used when I bought it six years ago and the other furniture was all cheapo stuff from my college days.

I couponed and/or got deals on the paint, TV, couch, TV cabinet, etc. And now we like spending time in there so much more. Every evening spent at home is more comfortable and enjoyable.

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Pam ricks

Gym membership because it's helped me get in shape.

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April

For me it has been a nice leather purse because I've used it everyday and it's held up for years.

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Chris

My car was the first I bought new, not used (still a good sale at the end of the year), and it has been great having a long warranty on it and it lost value right away of course but otherwise has held up its value if I do ever want to trade in.

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amanda sakovitz

My new iphone has made my life more manageable.

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Lynda

smart phone. much more convenient in so many ways!

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Kim

Buying a house and 'grown up' furniture. It's so nice to have a place to call our own and the comfort of knowing we are settled for awhile. We also got a great interest rate so appreciate having the predictability of those monthly payments.

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MELISSA HANSSON

I purchased a new 4-door car, even though my old car was perfectly serviceable. I got a great deal on my new car, added some features that I love and now have more room for driving friends and visiting family.

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BRB

Not worrying about buying food on the plane or at the airport. It isn't much more expensive and some of the airline food things have become our favorite snacks. And it is much less stressful not having to make sure you have all of the food you want to take along with you the day before you leave while trying to get everything else rounded up.

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Susan Smith

We splurged on a new mattress last month. It was more money than we had planned to spend but it has been worth it as we are both getting more sleep these days.

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Happy Love

A really good winter coat.

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JD

I used to buy a cheap lawn mower every couple of years, but have never regretted my decision a couple years ago to buy a nice Honda mower for about $575. It starts every time, keeps my grass much healthier, and I seem to take better care of it. My wife says her splurge is buying Samovar loose leaf tea. It's a little pricey, but puts her in a good mood every day.

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Carmen N

I love my smartphone. I can keep track of to-do lists better. I can find deals - especially at Target, where I can use Cartwheel to find extra savings.

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Guest

I did laser hair removal on legs and underarms 8 years ago. It was my first big adult purchase after graduating college and starting a real job. I couldn't really afford it, but I am 30 now and love the fact that I literally shave maybe once or twice a year to remove the peach fuzz before a big event.

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Tabathia B

A new printer because my other one was faulty and I am able to print more coupons to save money

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Thomas Murphy

My new computer has improved my life.

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Michael

A nice leather couch. I sit in it everyday and it looks nice and has lasted years plus it's comfortable.