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:
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.”
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.”
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1 Important Disclosures for Earnest.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 888-601-2801 for more information on ourstudent loan refinance product.
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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.
4 Important Disclosures for LendKey.
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.
6 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.
Citizens Bank Disclosures
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|2.47% – 5.87%1||Undergrad & Graduate||Visit Earnest|
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|2.95% – 6.37%2||Undergrad & Graduate||Visit Laurel Road|
|2.48% – 6.25%5||Undergrad & Graduate||Visit CommonBond|
|2.72% – 8.32%6||Undergrad & Graduate||Visit Citizens|