Feeling the urge to splurge? But frowning upon mindless shopping? Certain expensive products are totally worth their price and can therefore be part of frugality.
After all, being frugal does not equal ‘never buying expensive goods’. Critical purchases are expenses that yield you optimal return on investment in terms of quality of life. Such expenses are part of a well-balanced frugal philosophy.
So if you are ready to cut back on shopping for useless shit and buy some high quality goods you will use often, here are a few suggestions.
Recommendations based on the golden rule, spend your money where you spend time. Things that give you most bang for your buck. Items a financially wise hedonist would invest in.
1. Quality kitchen knives
I once got a set of quality kitchen knives as a present. To be honest, at first I thought, “What do I need those for? I already got knives”. But man did I enjoy that gift. And still do. A good knife makes so much difference. And keeps on doing so each and every day.
Knives, being basic kitchen items, are oftentimes not meticulously bought. But did you know that the quality and at times, the taste of food you cook also depend on your manner of preparation? Quality knives mean effortless food preparation, better presentation, and the preservation of your ingredient’s quality. Aside from investing in good and durable stainless steel knifes, the latest ceramic types are also worth a try.
Excellent brands don’t have to be exorbitantly expensive. A moderately priced and really good brand is Victorinox (they also make the iconic Swiss Army knife). Laguiole is really good (but pricier) too.
2. A really good mattress
Aside from work, you spend most of your time in bed. Actually it’s the other way round. Most people spend
at least 7 to 8 hours a day one third of their life sleeping, reading, watching movies, feeling ill and having sex in bed. Failure to have a good night rest can mean being less productive and focused at work.
Other than protecting your “bread and butter”, a good bed has several benefits on your health. If you want to sleep in a luxurious and ergonomic bed but are hesitant to paying tens of thousands of dollars, maybe you should just go ahead. The price might be all paid off after it still serves you for decades. Or you could switch to sleeping in a hammock. It’s like the corny hedonists say, “it will change your life for the bedder.”
3. High thread count sheets
What should be partnered with your comfy bed? High thread count blankets and sheets. Ordinary sheets are rough, thin, and feel like you’re using a tablecloth. Not to mention the itchiness or irritation you get out of those. Don’t know what I’m talking about?
You may not know better. But ‘once you go high thread, it can only go bad’. That’s the only downside of these luxurious sheets. So don’t say I didn’t warn you. If, for any reason, you aren’t able to sleep under them anymore you will experience nocturnal withdrawal symptoms of the worst kind.
Genuine high thread count sheets are hard to find because sellers often exaggerate their products’ labels. Aside from physically inspecting (so don’t buy ’em online), the price tag should also give you that hint. With the right maintenance, high thread count sheets can last more than a decade. Besides thread count also look at fiber, weave, dye and finish to determine the quality of your new sheets.
4. A quality peppercorn grinder
This one may sound a bit strange but when you love cooking and food in general a good grinder will mean a world of difference to you. And your guests. When cooking, are you the type that prefers powered pepper for instant sprinkling? Do yourself a favor and forget this old habit because pepper is much flavorful when newly grinded.
The powdered stuff isn’t even considered pepper by connoisseurs and people with just a good taste alike. Instead of the cheap plastic grinders, go for the stainless steel or metal types. Additionally, a grinder can also serve as a container for your peppercorn stock.
5. A quality computer keyboard and screen
Most gadgets can be considered as disposable because newer and better replacements are always introduced almost every month. If your work or lifestyle is heavily dependent on a laptop or computer, invest in a good one. Or a mediocre one because most of them are fast nowadays.
When you need extra features, it’s simple to upgrade. What’s essential, you might also want to buy a durable and well-designed keyboard. A mechanical keyboard for example has a myriad of benefits. We can argue about which type of switches to go for but it will safe you time and last for years to come.
And a screen. A big ass screen rocks. Since you use it so much don’t save on size. Nor on quality. Experts cite that you are more productive with larger screens. A good screen is so much more natural and realistic to look at. And pleasing to the eyes. Quality screens cause way less fatigue than inferior ones.
6. Amazon Prime
If you are a frequent Amazon customer, consider upgrading your account with Amazon Prime. Think it’s just an added expense? Maybe yes, but it has a long list of valuable perks. You can save huge on shipping. It can get rid of your existing Netflix subscription, lets you earn points and rewards, access to media content and eBooks for free, and faster delivery of your ordered goods.
Or as Reddit users Je-Ne-Sais-Quoi and gnomemania say,
It seemed a little pricey when I first looked into it, but once I calculated up all of the shipping costs I was racking up, plus the annual cost of Netflix ($7.99 * 12 = $95.88), the $79/year cost ended up being a bargain.
Definitely. I realized how awesome Amazon Prime was when I got a hundred pound punching bag shipped to my house in two days with no additional shipping cost. I met a guy who would do this, but used his Amazon credit card for all purchases. He’d buy deodorant, soap, etc. via Amazon Prime and rack up on the points on his card to get free stuff. Sounded like a solid plan to me.
7. Good in-ear headphones
As with the high thread count sheets you can’t come back from quality headphones. A music enthusiast or spoiled earphone user can easily tell the difference between good earphones and the bad ones. Picking the wrong set may not only ruin your mood but your ears and hearing as well. Another perk of in-ear auditory delight is that you will hear things you never heard before.
With earbuds it’s somewhat similar as with beds. People often churn out huge sums for a couch they only sit on a few hours a day max while their bed is just average. Or they spend the big bucks on a surround system they barely use properly because of neighbors, noise complaints, and cops whereas their earbuds are in their ears for hours each day.
- If you use your in-ear headphones regularly and value music quality you really may want to get some with impressive sound quality. Price-wise you can go over the 1000$ for a pair. The higher the price the better usually goes on here. The Sennheiser IE80 Headphones, are situated in the middle of the high-end earphone price range offering spectacular sound without having to pay the premium.
- If you’re an around-ear type headphones person the Bose QuietComfort 15 may be of your interest. “The best sounding headphones” according to DJ Hardwell who uses them to produce his music.
Go for the top brands which have been in the speaker or audio business for years. And aside from gauging the sound quality, ensure a durable and flexible cord.
“I will never revert to substandard earphones again. Public transportation is enjoyable now.”
8. Quality bag or backpack
Investing in quality bags is a no brainer. Quality is important because bags get a beating. The stress of repeated use and abuse takes its toll. They are tossed, get wet, are overpacked, frantically searched, and stumbled over.
Lower quality bags are often made of synthetics which is why they don’t age gracefully. High quality bags are made out of top-grade materials and fittings. Good bags for instance consist of sturdy, waterproof bonded cotton canvas or A-grade leather. They sport solid brass fittings and military grade cotton webbing.
A quality bag is one of those items that will save you money in the long run. It allows you to carry your stuff comfortably and securely, eliminates the need to get pay for a new one each few years and may have a high resale value, especially for the limited edition and collectibles.
What do you think?
When you receive your income or salary, what do you do with it?
Perhaps pay bills, pay off debt, take a portion for savings, and of course, spend it on certain items you want.
But in reality, you would think of your planned purchases ahead of your obligations. Am I right? When stores go on sale or when a new version of gadget is released, it’s almost a sin not to take advantage of it.
In other words, sometimes purchasing expensive stuff is just plain smart.
A short story to illustrate:
“The reason that the rich were so rich, Vimes reasoned, was because they managed to spend less money.
Take boots, for example. He earned thirty-eight dollars a month plus allowances. A really good pair of leather boots cost fifty dollars. But an affordable pair of boots, which were sort of OK for a season or two and then leaked like hell when the cardboard gave out, cost about ten dollars. Those were the kind of boots Vimes always bought, and wore until the soles were so thin that he could tell where he was in Ankh-Morpork on a foggy night by the feel of the cobbles.
But the thing was that good boots lasted for years and years. A man who could afford fifty dollars had a pair of boots that’d still be keeping his feet dry in ten years’ time, while the poor man who could only afford cheap boots would have spent a hundred dollars on boots in the same time and would still have wet feet.
The Captain Samuel Vimes ‘Boots’ theory of socioeconomic unfairness.” by Terry Pratchet
Featured image, Shutterstock.