- Money priorities differ from person to person, depending on what you value.
- There are some things, like a college education, that cost a lot of money but can give you a great return on investment through your salary later on.
- Here are six pricey things, from a financial expert, that are well worth the money.
We all like to be – or at the very least try to be – smart with our money. But that doesn’t always mean choosing the least expensive option. In fact, sometimes the pricier item or experience can be the one that is most worth your hard-earned cash, while the cheapest can be the biggest waste.
“Most of us spend money on things we don’t really care about at the expense of the things we do without even realizing it,” Stefanie O’Connell, financial expert and author of “The Broke and Beautiful Life,” told Business Insider. “So step one is defining your priorities, then tracking your spending (an app or a simple pen and paper works) to see if you’re actually spending in alignment with those priorities, and making adjustments as needed.”
You should also weigh the added value something can bring to your life. “Before spending a lot of money on an item or service, it may be good to understand what value it brings to you,” Roger Ma, certified financial planner and founder of Life Laid Out, told Business Insider. “Does it help you save time or help you avoid doing something you don’t enjoy, does it make you feel more confident, or will the experience be something you remember for a long time?”
Here are six expensive things, from financial experts Ma and O'Connell, that are completely worth the money.
About 70% of students graduate from college with student loan debt, and there have been plenty of debates on whether getting a higher education is even worth it. Despite this, Ma said that education is most definitely worth spending money on.
"An investment in yourself is typically worth it," Ma said. "Increasing your knowledge could ultimately increase your human capital - that is, how much money you're able to command from your employer. Besides, learning new material keeps life interesting and exciting."
Travel can be good for your body and your overall well-being, NBC reports. O'Connell said that it's something she spends money on herself. "I love to splurge on travel because it brings me joy," O'Connell said.
As Business Insider previously reported, people are happier when they spend their money on experiences rather than things.
3. A mattress
Sleep is essential to good health, according to the National Institute of Health. It only makes sense to invest in a mattress that provides optimal comfort, even if we can't get the suggested seven to nine hours nightly.
"We spend 5-8 hours a night on our mattress, depending on our sleeping patterns. Getting a good night's rest affects every other part of our life," Ma said. "If we don't get a good night's rest, we won't be productive at work, may not get that promotion, and may just feel like crap. A good mattress is good for your health and will pay for itself in the long run."
4. Clothes that fit well
If your clothes don't fit well, they won't look good, regardless of what designer made them. So instead of thinking about what brands to splurge on, think about how to make something a custom fit.
"I think fit is much more important than the name on the tag," Ma said. "No matter what price you pay for your clothes, make sure they fit."
That means paying for alterations, such as shortened sleeves or pant legs, he said. "Nice-fitting clothes make a huge difference."
5. Services that save you time
Both Ma and O'Connell agree on splurging on services that help save you time. "Time is the one thing you can't get back," Ma said.
"If you work in a time-intensive job (and even if you don't), then outsourcing certain services could be worth it, including cleaning, painting, and general house repair," Ma said. "Living in NYC, I swear by delivery services as well (food, clothing, etc.) and doormen - they make my life so much easier."
"My boyfriend and I both use meal subscription services like Hello Fresh, and we recently hired someone to clean our apartment once a month," O'Connell said. "We're at the point in our lives where time is our most valuable resource, so paying for things that help us buy back some of our time makes a lot of sense."
6. Health items
Who wouldn't want to invest in his or her own health? For O'Connell, it's the most important expense.
"I'm big on healthy things - group fitness classes, fresh produce (I'm a vegetarian), and the occasional fresh-pressed juice (even though it can be ridiculously expensive)," O'Connell said. "Beyond my physical health, I find these expenses provide a ton of value to my mental health."