We all agree that saving money is important, and that there are probably a lot of ways that we can cut out unnecessary spending in our lives. However, it’s really important to also understand the areas where we should be spending money, and where cutting corners is not beneficial. Understanding the areas it is worth investing in could also help you in the long term lead a healthier and wealthier life.
1. Tools of your trade
This refers to what you need to get your job done. If you’re a writer then you need a good laptop, if you’re a tradesman you need good tools, if you’re a runner you need good shoes. You catch my drift. Don’t skimp on the thing that is key to bringing in your income.
2. A warm winter coat
Obviously not if you live in California, but for those of us living in less temperate climes this is important. I know it sounds like a strange stand-alone item to list, but a good winter coat can cost anything from £200 upwards. It’s a big one off cost for a piece of clothing, especially if you’re trying to save, and is something that I myself have rationalised against in the past (and man did I regret it). However, what I’m saying is; spend the money on it. Don’t underestimate its importance. Not caring for yourself can lead to health problems and sickness, which can in turn lead to time taken off work for recovery, and a less productive life all round.
3. Your education
This ranges from your university degree, to stand-alone classes you want to take to better yourself; be they financial planning lessons, learning a new language, or a NVQ or City&Guilds qualification. Anything that leads to self-betterment, or that could even help you in the future with your career, is something worth investing in properly. In addition, spending money on things like this that enrich your life also leads to more fulfilment and happiness.
4. Your health
Fortunately I live in a country with a free health care system, so I am lucky enough to not have to weigh up doctors fees against being able to eat that month. This privilege is not lost on me and I am thankful for it all the time. However, even if I lived elsewhere, I would still say that spending money on your health is not money wasted. This goes for more than just medical bills though. It’s also about your general day-to-day fitness. You don’t have to join a $100 a month gym to be healthy (road running is free!) but make sure you get the right equipment, like good running shoes, a decent tennis racquet, or a good swimsuit etc. Training with poor equipment can cause damage to your body, so take it seriously.
5. Good food
Don’t skimp on food. Buying good quality produce is something that (in my mind anyway) goes hand in hand with taking care of your health. Food is what you use to fuel your body, so it’s really worth spending money on making sure you get good quality produce. Better quality food has fewer additives and chemical stabilisers, and the less processed it is the more it fills you up for longer, providing you with sufficient nutrients. Buying fresh fruit and vegetables is actually a cheaper option than buying lots of ready prepared meals anyway, so your food bill will reflect your new choices; you will have good quality ingredients, at a lower price.
6. A little happiness
Whether it be dinner out with a friend, or buying tickets to see a band you love, make sure that you indulge every now and then in the little things that bring you happiness. Saving money is important, as is understanding your cash flow, but it’s important to leave a little space for spending on your happiness. Always concentrating on saving and keeping money aside can actually cause a hell of a lot of stress if you don’t have an outlet to let loose and have fun every once in a while. Besides, spending money on experiences and things that enrich your life is never a frivolous pursuit. It provides more benefits than just what you are paying for. You gain new experiences, memories, you laugh and release tension, and you improve your social bonds; all things that are well worth spending a little extra cash on.