Go on, Splurge: 10 Times It Makes Sense to Spend Extra Money

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Penny-pinching is often the name of the game when it comes to finding extra money in your budget. In fact, according to our December 2016 survey, 20% of you said your biggest money regret was spending frivolously. Another 34% said it was not saving or investing enough.

Even though more than half of consumers want to spend less while saving more, it’s not always the best idea to cheap out on what you buy. In some cases, it can make sense to splurge a little on high-quality items that you use on a regular basis.

Here are 10 items that regular folks (along with myself) are willing to spend a bit more on:

1. Tools

I learned the hard way how important it is to buy high-quality tools. After I married, I bought a cheap tool set to keep at home. Just about everything in that set broke. And I had to replace each item individually. At first, I bought cheap replacements.

Soon, though, I realized that buying a cheap screwdriver every few months would eventually cost me more in the long run. I decided to buy high-quality tool replacements as items broke. The result? Now, 15 years later, I still have those replacements. I shouldn’t have to buy another hammer or pair of needle-nose pliers ever again.

2. Handbag

You’re likely to use a purse every single day, Melanie Sheridan, a consultant, pointed out. Sheridan said that it’s not just about matching your outfit, though.

Women are increasingly looking for functional handbags, according to consumer trend analysis company NPD. A cheap $20 handbag is likely to deteriorate fairly quickly, requiring you to purchase another one after a few months.

“It’s worth finding brands that won’t fall apart,” said Sheridan. “I look for sales and shop the outlets to save what I can on these more expensive bags.”

A good purse that you can count on to carry your important items each day is worth paying a little extra.

3. Toilet paper

There are few things in life that you’re more likely to use on a regular basis than toilet paper. And when it comes to quality, it’s easy to tell when you’ve opted for a cheaper brand.

“Generic toilet paper is flimsy, less absorbent, and significantly less soft,” said Nate Masterson, marketing manager for Maple Holistics.

While he pointed out that there are plenty of items that you can buy off-brand without poor results, it’s worth it to spend more on better toilet paper.

You’ll use less toilet paper to accomplish the same goal and avoid some of the unpleasant side effects that come with generic toilet paper brands.

4. Clothing

We all wear clothes. I like to buy a few high-quality items that have a classic appeal, rather than trendy styles that are meant to be discarded next season. (Although, if you do have threads to get rid of, you can sell your unused clothes to make a little money back.)

It might mean a small wardrobe, but it also means I save more money in the long run since I rarely need to buy new clothes.

Amy Manley, an entrepreneur starting her own clothing line, also feels that splurging on clothing makes sense. However, she also likes to spend a little more on clothing that aligns with her values.

“I incorporate the type of fiber, manufacturing origins, and company mission into my purchasing decision,” Manley said. “These values, including environmental or social quality, correlate with garment construction quality and these items often last longer than those made quickly and cheaply.”

5. Coffee Maker

Making coffee at home, rather than buying it from a coffee shop, is basically saving money 101. After all, 62% of Americans drink coffee on a daily basis, according to a 2017 National Coffee Association report. That could mean big savings for you over time.

If you’re going to make your own coffee, consider splurging on a better machine, suggested Natasha Rachel Smith, a personal finance expert at TopCashback.

“It’s a part of your everyday life, so why would you cut corners and not purchase a good coffee maker?” Smith said. “Whether you enjoy specialty or plain coffee, the money you save by having a coffee maker at home will quickly add up to make up for its price and then some.”

6. Foundation (and concealer)

“It’s possible to wear some drugstore makeup, such as eyeliner, lipstick, and mascara,” said Sheridan. “But for foundation and concealer, I go to Ulta or the makeup counter at the mall.”

Foundation and concealer often apply a barrier on the skin. Blush, eyeshadow, and other makeup items often go on top of foundation and concealer, so they aren’t in direct contact with the skin all the time. Low-quality ingredients in foundation and concealer can irritate the skin or even cause a breakout, said Sheridan.

She also likes that buying more expensive foundation and concealer allows her the opportunity to speak with someone who can help her with more accurate skin tone matching. You don’t have to go through several bottles (and spend a bunch of money) to find the right fit for your complexion.

Looking good (and maybe even a little more natural) is worth a few extra dollars to Sheridan.

7. Sheets

You sleep on your sheets every night, said Jason Bauman, an SEO specialist at a law firm. He recommended spending a little more on sheets that can help you get better rest each night. The National Sleep Foundation points out that higher skin temperature can lead to poor sleep results, so consider sheets that can help you keep cool.

“There’s almost nothing, except for a raise, that will do more to improve your workweek than a good night’s sleep,” Bauman said. “You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars, but the money you do spend will be worth it.”

8. Shoes

Bauman is also willing to spend extra money for high-quality comfortable shoes. He learned this lesson after buying a pair of cheap loafers for his first job out of college.

“I didn’t want to spend a lot of money for real oxfords,” Bauman said. However, after a few weeks, his feet were almost unbearably sore at the end of the day. Not only that, but he also had to replace the shoes as they quickly fell apart.

“Not only were the shoes uncomfortable, but over the course of a year I’d spent more than if I’d just bought more expensive shoes in the first place,” Bauman said.

9. Phone charger

We’re all pretty dependent on technology to help us stay connected and even to work. What would you do without your phone?

With that in mind, Smith recommended getting a more expensive phone charger that lasts longer and is less likely to fry your phone.

“Purchasing aftermarket phone chargers may appease your needs and wallet in the short term, but [you’ll] probably have to replace the charger in a couple of months,” said Smith. “Splurge a little to purchase the correct charger for your phone to avoid additional expenses in the long run.”

10. Cookware

I might eat off cheap plates and drink from mismatched glasses I bought at the thrift store, but my pans are higher quality. Several years ago, tired of flaking nonstick surfaces and cracked casserole dishes, I spent money on pricier cookware.

The items I bought have lasted more than 10 years, and I don’t need very many of them. I only bought the cookware and sizes I use most. It’s saved me time and money over the years.

Deciding to spend more on everyday items

Not everything is worth splurging on. However, there are some purchases that are worth the extra cash. Consider your situation and what you’re likely to benefit from each day. Sometimes it’s a matter of comfort or convenience, and sometimes it’s more about the long-term savings.

“Purchasing low-quality items to save a few bucks can cost more in the long run,” said Smith.

But she also pointed out that sometimes it’s about more than your financial bottom line: “The overall rule is to never neglect quality or your needs just to save a few dollars.”

Interested in refinancing student loans?

Here are the top 6 lenders of 2018!
LenderVariable APREligible Degrees 
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1 Important Disclosures for Earnest.

Earnest Disclosures

To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or possess a 10-year (non-conditional) Permanent Resident Card, reside in a state Earnest lends in, and satisfy our minimum eligibility criteria. You may find more information on loan eligibility here: https://www.earnest.com/eligibility. Not all applicants will be approved for a loan, and not all applicants will qualify for the lowest rate. Approval and interest rate depend on the review of a complete application.

Earnest fixed rate loan rates range from 3.89% APR (with Auto Pay) to 5.87% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 2.47% APR (with Auto Pay) to 5.87% APR (with Auto Pay). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 8.95% for loan terms 10 years or less. For loan terms of 10 years to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95% (the maximum rates for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate loans are based on a publicly available index, the one month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Your rate will be calculated each month by adding a margin between 1.82% and 5.50% to the one month LIBOR. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Earnest rate ranges are current as of Month/Day/Year, and are subject to change based on market conditions and borrower eligibility.

Auto Pay discount: If you make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic, monthly deduction from a savings or checking account, your rate will be reduced by one quarter of one percent (0.25%) for so long as you continue to make automatic, electronic monthly payments. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance.

The information provided on this page is updated as of 08/21/18. Earnest reserves the right to change, pause, or terminate product offerings at any time without notice. Earnest loans are originated by Earnest Operations LLC. California Finance Lender License 6054788. NMLS # 1204917. Earnest Operations LLC is located at 302 2nd Street, Suite 401N, San Francisco, CA 94107. Terms and Conditions apply. Visit https://www.earnest.com/terms-of-service, email us at hello@earnest.com, or call 888-601-2801 for more information on ourstudent loan refinance product.

© 2018 Earnest LLC. All rights reserved. Earnest LLC and its subsidiaries, including Earnest Operations LLC, are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.


2 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.

Laurel Road Disclosures

Savings example: average savings calculated based on single loans refinanced from 9/2013 to 12/2017 where borrowers’ previous rates were disclosed. Assumes same loan terms for previous and refinanced loans, and payments made to maturity with no prepayments. Actual savings for individual loans vary based on loan balance, interest rates, and other factors.

Application detail: 5 minutes indicates typical time it takes to complete application with applicant information readily available. It does not include time taken to provide underwriting decision or funding of the loan.

Instant rates mean a delivery of personalized rates for those individuals who provide sufficient information to return a rate. For instant rates a soft credit pull will be conducted, which will not affect your credit score. To proceed with an application, a hard credit pull will be required, which may affect your credit score.

Total savings calculated by aggregating individual average savings across total borrower population from 9/2013 to 12/2017. Individual average savings calculation based on single loans refinanced from 9/2013 to 12/2017 where borrowers’ previous rates were provided. Assumes same loan terms for previous and refinanced loans, and payments made to maturity with no prepayments. Actual savings for individual loans vary based on loan balance, interest rates, and other factors.


3 Important Disclosures for SoFi.

SoFi Disclosures

  1. Student loan Refinance:Fixed rates from 3.899% APR to 7.804% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 2.470% APR to 6.990% APR (with AutoPay). Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at either 8.95% or 9.95% depending on term of loan. See APR examples and terms. Lowest variable rate of 2.470% APR assumes the current index rate derived from the 1-month LIBOR of 2.08% plus 0.64% margin minus 0.25% ACH discount. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, the fixed or variable interest rate offered will depend on your creditworthiness, and the term of the loan and other factors, and will be within the ranges of rates listed above. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account. *To check the rates and terms you qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit inquiry. Unlike hard credit inquiries, soft credit inquiries (or soft credit pulls) do not impact your credit score. Soft credit inquiries allow SoFi to show you what rates and terms SoFi can offer you up front. After seeing your rates, if you choose a product and continue your application, we will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit inquiry. Hard credit inquiries (or hard credit pulls) are required for SoFi to be able to issue you a loan. In addition to requiring your explicit permission, these credit pulls may impact your credit score.
  2. Terms and Conditions Apply. SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet SoFi’s underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. To qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. If approved, your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, years of experience, income and other factors. Rates and Terms are subject to change at anytime without notice and are subject to state restrictions. SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment or PAYE. Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Financing Law License No. 6054612. SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp., NMLS # 1121636. (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org)

4 Important Disclosures for LendKey.

LendKey Disclosures

Refinancing via LendKey.com is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via LendKey.com. If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on LendKey.com reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse, any educational institution.


5 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.

CommonBond Disclosures

  1. Offered terms are subject to change. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900). The following table displays the estimated monthly payment, total interest, and Annual Percentage Rates (APR) for a $10,000 loan. The Annual Percentage Rate (APR) shown for each in-school loan product reflects the accruing interest, the effect of one-time capitalization of interest at the end of a deferment period, a 2% origination fee, and the applicable Repayment Plan. All loans are eligible for a 0.25% reduction in interest rate by agreeing to automatic payment withdrawals once in repayment, which is reflected in the interest rates and APRs displayed. Variable rates may increase after consummation. All variable rates are based on a 1-month LIBOR assumption of 2.08% effective July 25, 2018.

6 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.

Citizens Bank Disclosures

  1. Education Refinance Loan Rate DisclosureVariable rate, based on the one-month London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) published in The Wall Street Journal on the twenty-fifth day, or the next business day, of the preceding calendar month. As of October 1, 2018, the one-month LIBOR rate is 2.22%. Variable interest rates range from 2.72%-8.32% (2.72%-8.32% APR) and will fluctuate over the term of the borrower’s loan with changes in the LIBOR rate, and will vary based on applicable terms, level of degree earned and presence of a cosigner. Fixed interest rates range from 3.75%-8.69% (3.75%-8.69% APR) based on applicable terms, level of degree earned and presence of a cosigner. Lowest rates shown require application with a cosigner, are for eligible, creditworthy applicants with a graduate level degree, require a 5-year repayment term and include our Loyalty discount and Automatic Payment discounts of 0.25 percentage points each, as outlined in the Loyalty and Automatic Payment Discount disclosures. The maximum variable rate on the Education Refinance Loan is the greater of 21.00% or Prime Rate plus 9.00%. Subject to additional terms and conditions, and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change. Please note: Due to federal regulations, Citizens Bank is required to provide every potential borrower with disclosure information before they apply for a private student loan. The borrower will be presented with an Application Disclosure and an Approval Disclosure within the application process before they accept the terms and conditions of their loan.
  2. Federal Loan vs. Private Loan Benefits: Some federal student loans include unique benefits that the borrower may not receive with a private student loan, some of which we do not offer with the Education Refinance Loan. Borrowers should carefully review their current benefits, especially if they work in public service, are in the military, are currently on or considering income based repayment options or are concerned about a steady source of future income and would want to lower their payments at some time in the future. When the borrower refinances, they waive any current and potential future benefits of their federal loans and replace those with the benefits of the Education Refinance Loan. For more information about federal student loan benefits and federal loan consolidation, visit http://studentaid.ed.gov/. We also have several resources available to help the borrower make a decision at http://www.citizensbank.com/EdRefinance, including Should I Refinance My Student Loans? and our FAQs. Should I Refinance My Student Loans? includes a comparison of federal and private student loan benefits that we encourage the borrower to review.
  3. Citizens Bank Education Refinance Loan Eligibility: Eligible applicants may not be currently enrolled. Applicants with an Associate’s degree or with no degree must have made at least 12 qualifying payments after leaving school. Qualifying payments are the most recent on time and consecutive payments of principal and interest on the loans being refinanced. Primary borrowers must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or resident alien with a valid U.S. Social Security Number residing in the United States. Resident aliens must apply with a cosigner who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. The cosigner (if applicable) must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident with a valid U.S. Social Security Number residing in the United States. For applicants who have not attained the age of majority in their state of residence, a cosigner will be required. Citizens Bank reserves the right to modify eligibility criteria at anytime. Interest rate ranges subject to change. Education Refinance Loans are subject to credit qualification, completion of a loan application/consumer credit agreement, verification of application information, certification of borrower’s student loan amount(s) and highest degree earned.
  4. Loyalty Discount Disclosure: The borrower will be eligible for a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their loan if the borrower or their co-signer (if applicable) has a qualifying account in existence with us at the time the borrower and their co-signer (if applicable) have submitted a completed application authorizing us to review their credit request for the loan. The following are qualifying accounts: any checking account, savings account, money market account, certificate of deposit, automobile loan, home equity loan, home equity line of credit, mortgage, credit card account, or other student loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. Please note, our checking and savings account options are only available in the following states: CT, DE, MA, MI, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, and VT and some products may have an associated cost. This discount will be reflected in the interest rate disclosed in the Loan Approval Disclosure that will be provided to the borrower once the loan is approved. Limit of one Loyalty Discount per loan and discount will not be applied to prior loans. The Loyalty Discount will remain in effect for the life of the loan.
  5. Automatic Payment Discount Disclosure: Borrowers will be eligible to receive a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their student loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. during such time as payments are required to be made and our loan servicer is authorized to automatically deduct payments each month from any bank account the borrower designates. Discount is not available when payments are not due, such as during forbearance. If our loan servicer is unable to successfully withdraw the automatic deductions from the designated account three or more times within any 12-month period, the borrower will no longer be eligible for this discount.
  6. Co-signer Release: Borrowers may apply for co-signer release after making 36 consecutive on-time payments of principal and interest. For the purpose of the application for co-signer release, on-time payments are defined as payments received within 15 days of the due date. Interest only payments do not qualify. The borrower must meet certain credit and eligibility guidelines when applying for the co-signer release. Borrowers must complete an application for release and provide income verification documents as part of the review. Borrowers who use deferment or forbearance will need to make 36 consecutive on-time payments after reentering repayment to qualify for release. The borrower applying for co-signer release must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. If an application for co-signer release is denied, the borrower may not reapply for co-signer release until at least one year from the date the application for co-signer release was received. Terms and conditions apply.
  7. Estimated average savings amount is based on 14,659 Education Refinance Loan customers who saved on loans between August 1, 2017 and July 31, 2018. The calculation is derived by averaging monthly savings across Education Refinance Loan customers whose payment amounts decreased after refinancing, calculated by taking the monthly payment prior to refinancing minus the monthly payment after refinancing. We excluded monthly savings from customers that exceeded $4,375 and were lower than $20 to minimize risk of data error skewing the savings amounts. Savings will vary based on interest rates, balances and remaining repayment term of loans to be refinanced. Borrower’s overall repayment amount may be higher than the loans they are refinancing even if monthly payments are lower.

2.47% – 6.99%3Undergrad
& Graduate
Visit SoFi
2.47% – 5.87%1Undergrad
& Graduate
Visit Earnest
2.47% – 8.03%4Undergrad
& Graduate
Visit Lendkey
2.95% – 6.37%2Undergrad
& Graduate
Visit Laurel Road
2.48% – 6.25%5Undergrad
& Graduate
Visit CommonBond
2.72% – 8.32%6Undergrad
& Graduate
Visit Citizens
Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality and will make a positive impact in your life. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print understand what you are buying, and consult a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time. Please do your homework and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.