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5 things that are worth the money

Ramit Sethi

Unlike a lot of the other advice out there telling you to cut back on everything and live in a tree house until you die (“no burial costs needed when you let Mother Nature do her thing!”), I encourage people to spend extravagantly on the things you love – as long as you cut costs mercilessly on the things you don’t.

Today, 5 things that I think are worth the money. Then I want to hear from you.

1. Flowers. If you’ve ever bought flowers for someone from a run-of-the-mill florist, you know the difference between what you see and what your recipient gets. It’s like buying a Big Mac and getting a cardboard sandwich.

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flowers
This is not a joke. See real reviews here.
The best flowers are from a site called Ode A La Rose. Yes, they’re expensive…and yes, they look even better than the photos and last forever. Save the site for a special occasion.


flowers
This bouquet costs $95 but is 100% worth the money.
If you’ve never bought flowers for someone…come on. At least go surprise your mom today.

2. Your phone and computer. Just buy the best and stop messing around. You use these things for hours every single day. If you’re trying to save $75 on 1GB of storage, you are going to hate yourself very soon. By the way, the key to buying the best is actually keeping it as long as you can.

Here’s how I did it with an old phone. By the way, this video is from 2008 so cut me some slack.


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3. Books. I have a simple rule for books. In fact, it’s called Ramit’s Book-Buying Rule:


Ramit Sethi tweet
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This is true for anything education-related. If I see a course and it costs $10, $2,000, even $25,000 – I don’t blink an eye. If I need to fly across the country to meet someone for coffee, I’m on a plane. Here’s how I set up my savings accounts to save for things like this.

Big thanks to my parents for teaching me this principle.


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4. Extra phone chargers, pre-cut vegetables, and anything convenience-related. One of the best purchases I ever made was buying a second phone charger – one for my living room, one for my bedroom. For $29, I can feel happier every single day. Think about the little inconveniences in life that can be solved with less than $50 – you run out of Tupperware, or you have to do laundry every week because you run out of gym shorts, or you avoid eating celery because you have to cut/wash it. As long as you can afford it, spend the money, solve the problem, and move on.

5. Unforgettable experiences. I remember traveling and saying, “No, we shouldn’t book a tour from the hotel. It’s always a rip-off.” I ended up not doing the tour at all. I should have just booked the damn tour, even if it cost me an extra $50.

The older you get, the rarer it is to truly have a new, unforgettable experience. Most of the meals I have are forgettable – and I live in NYC. Most airplanes I travel on are the same.

So when I get the chance to experience something new – seeing a new show, or going to a cocktail class – I jump at it.

You probably won’t remember the extra 200 thread count sheets you got 5 years from now (btw if you think thread count is the way to measure sheets…do some homework).

But if you get the chance to go through an experience – a meal, a museum, even a weird night out with friends – those are the things you’ll never forget. It’s worth it.

Share your comments below.

-Ramit

P.S. If you want to know how I automatically save for these things, get the same system I use for my personal finances in Chapter 5 of my book (it’s less than $10 at Amazon).


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119 Comments

 
  1. Dorita

    Audible subscription. I spend a fair amount of time driving amidst traffic, audible gives me bang for buck and I do not feel like I’m losing out on time.

  2. Gretchen Williams

    Personal trainer. Yes I pay about ten times what a nice gym membership would cost. But my trainer holds me accountable and she has kept me on the path for nine years, during which time I went from leg pressing 55 pounds to 327 pounds. I would not have done that on my own. Worth every penny.

  3. Shel Horowitz

    Travel. There are plenty of ways to do it frugally while having a richer, more authentic experience (for instance, joining networks like Servas or Couchsurfing that allow you to live life as the locals do, staying with people in their own homes—or taking public transit, which is a wonderful way to meet people). Even if taking a tour, choose one that gives you free time to explore and experience serendipity. My life is so much richer for experiences like befriending a group of Spanish Muslims in a restaurant in Cordoba and being taken to their mosque…chatting in Spanish for three hours on several dries in Guatemala and Costa Rica where we were the only passengers in a van-for-hire…being challenged to a chess game by an old man in Paris (in 1986) who turned out to have been a member of the Polish Resistance in WWII and took us to discover the Jewish section of the city…taking a frozen but thrilling balloon ride over the Fairy Chimneys of Cappadoccia, Turkey…touring a private art collection in Colorado whose owners were trying to figure out how to turn it into a museum (and dozens more great memories from around the world).
    I’ve put together some of my travel stories (and some from others at http://frugalfun.com/travel.html

  4. Shel Horowitz

    Not “dries”–“drives.” And there should be a close-parenthesis after “from others.” Sorry about that.

  5. Jeff Callahan

    @Dorita

    Audible hands down. Love this.

    For YEARS I said I wanted to read more, but I never did. Now I’m up to 2 books per month. And it’s awesome, I’m learning so much in a short amount of time!

    Life is easier and more fun when you shape your environment to facilitate your behavior.

  6. Rob

    I paid $100 for a belt (I’m the guy who hates spending money on clothes. The most expensive other clothing item I own other than my suit is probably less than $50.) The $20-30 dollar belts that I kept buying at Target or Department stores would only last a few months. I did some research and decided to buy a heavy duty leather belt from Saddleback Leather. Anytime I have to put on one of my old belts, I feel like I’m trying to hold my pants up with a flimsy piece of cardboard.

  7. Cultural Affair

    I discovered that taking my truck to the mechanics through the dealership is the best choice I’ve ever made. I’ve tried other places and those other places always either do something stupid, misquote or overquote. The dealership always goes above and beyond for me. Sometimes it costs more and sometimes it doesn’t but I’ve never been disappointed with their service and results. I will never look for anyone else to do anything on my truck ever again. I will stick to my dealership. I also travel a lot nationwide so nationwide I’ve gotten great service. Sometimes it’s better to pay a higher price on things when you know you will be happy every time you pay for a service.

  8. Mel

    Pyrex baking dishes for meal delivery. If I take food to a new mom or to a pot luck, the foil dishes are crap and often buckle or break or leak, and they get hot, too. A Pyrex one is cheap (under $10) and I let the recipient know I don’t expect them to be returned, though sometimes they do find their way back to me.

  9. Bill Ravenscraft

    Two things: 1) tailored clothing. I don’t care about my blue jeans. They are for working around the house and yard, but I want to look my best in my dress shirts and suits. I am willing to pay $75 to $150 or more for a custom tailored shirt that I can design myself. Plus, the fit is incredible! 2) Good shoes. I love the scene in the movie “The Game” where Michael Douglas is climbing a ladder in an alley and drops a shoe. He says, “There goes a thousand dollars.” The woman he is with says, “Your shoes cost a thousand dollars!?!” He replies, “That one did.” As someone who stands for many meetings and walks around a very large campus at work, good shoes are so important! Just pay the money for good shoes! Cheap shoes that don’t fit well and fall apart after 9 months aren’t worth it. I get my shoes resoled and refinished about every 5 years. They come back as brand new and still feel as comfortable as when I bought them.

  10. Aaron T Woodin

    I “overspent” on two things on a trip to Antigua. Excursion boat to nearby Barbuda (booked through my hotel) and a trip to a sporting clays/archery range. Boat trip was beautiful and relaxing, and Barbuda itself was incredible. Despite the fact that I target shoot and hunt here in NY, I had never shot at clay pigeons and it was a LOT of fun! And because I was exceptionally good at air pistol and archery the staff gave me a lot of extra “shots.” Both of these excursions were spendy, but they really enhanced the trip and they’re among the “top” things I remember from that vacation.

  11. Anna Weisend

    For me it’s
    *A landscaper to do the fall clean up
    *A great A/C system
    *The really good parmesan cheese

  12. Carmen

    Skin and hair care, health care in general, bras, shoes, mattresses, and personal development.

    I grew up low-income so, I know how real the struggle can be to want to purchase a high quality product that is listed at a higher price but, you have to say no to it less you want the lights to be cut off or go hungry for the next couple of weeks.

    HOWEVER, I’m so grateful that my mom did teach me that some things are worth splurging on. Especially things that will help boost your life in a positive way (she’s really big on health in particular) and she constantly stressed having quality shoes not only for your foot health but your wardrobe health as well (She said shoes always complete the look and I agree).

    ” I encourage people to spend extravagantly on the things you love – as long as you cut costs mercilessly on the things you don’t.”

    This one statement of yours has helped me change my behaviors when it comes to spending money. I feel less guilty now (I still have my guilt moments from time to time though)and it has help me manage my money ten times better than what keeping a budget could ever do (which has never lasted two weeks for me, lol).

    Thank you.

  13. Justin Couture

    Preventative maintenance on your car.

    Even if nothing has broken down on my car or is about to fail, when it’s in the shop scheduled for maintenance, I have it checked out to make sure everything’s in working order. Nothing worse than being stranded at the side of the road for something preventable.

    Similar to what other folks have said:
    * High-quality ingredients / good food
    * Nutritional supplements
    * Personal trainer
    * Skin/healthcare

  14. Matthew

    Good quality clothes and tailoring them to fit you. You look and feel 1000% better when you wear clothes that really fit you properly, and good quality clothes, if you take care of them, will last a lot longer than cheap clothes that look like garbage after the first wash.

  15. Chrisa

    A good mentor! I guess it fits under education and experience but still they are hard to find and worth it!

  16. Jeff Lundstrom

    Really good espresso because small daily indulgences are what keep me sane

  17. KORY

    Paying Extra for Leg Room on planes. I’m 6′-8 and used to squirm and fold my legs up to save $30-$50 per flight. I realized this is a horse shit way to start/end your vacation, especially for someone who only travels a few times a year.

    and Photography Gear/Classes – I started a very small side business as a photographer about a year ago. I’ve always loved taking photos and started buying some nice equipment. A few friends and family started to pay me for family pics, and its grown from there. Now when money comes in, I don’t feel bad about putting it back into my business towards new gear or education that can help me make cooler images.

  18. Aaron V

    Tailoring:

    I always spend on tailoring of fine clothes. There’s two benefits: If you invest in good wear, it should fit properly, and make you look as good as its’ worth. And, it gives me incentive to keep in shape. I always find value in that.

    Food:

    Put in your body the right ingredients. Output cannot be greater than input, so I have no qualms spending on good food.

  19. Angie

    Two things 1) Quality clothes. I would rather pay more clothes that will last than cheap stuff that fall apart after wearing 3 times. Investing in a good wardrobe to look good is crucial to feel good and look good to others. Quality pieces look like it and last.
    2) A cleaning service. It is worth the limited time I have at home with my daughter and husband to not spend it cleaning the house. Not to mention the time and energy saved in figuring out who is responsible for cleaning what. It just gets done.

  20. Nico

    Good quality underpants….yes, seriously…it can make or break my day.

  21. Adam Arbour

    FOOD! Anything food related, whether it be a week’s worth of groceries from Whole Foods or an expensive night out at our local Farm to Fork restaurant. My fiance and I have decided that we might nickel and dime in other areas of our life so we can spend without thought in this one. Outsiders will say, “You went to Whole Foods, you mean Whole Paycheck…”, we just smile and note their invisible scripts in action.

    Thanks Ramit and IWT team!

  22. John Hardy

    Thrift stores. I once bought every red polo shirt in my size because I needed them for work. I spent as much on 5 shirts in there as one shirt would cost me in a retail store.
    My bike. I don’t own a car and in the city I never had to worry about finding a parking space, or keeping it exposed to bad weather. I bought my last bike 7 years ago and it still has some of the original parts.

  23. Bree

    Three things I know are worth paying extra for:
    1. Good shoes.
    2. Good bras.
    3. Fancy toothbrush.

    For years I would buy crappy Target shoes and uncomfortable Victoria’s Secret bras because I couldn’t stomach spending $150 for a bra or more than $30 for shoes. They all looked fine, but they were uncomfortable to painful, and at the end of the day I couldn’t wait to take them off. I’d use whatever toothbrush my dentist gave me, and then buy replacements on sale – I never thought about it, even though my grandpa was a dentist, and my mom a hygienist!

    When I was in my late 20s, I was introduced to the concept of paying for shoes that fit, that lasted, AND that looked cute – so worth it, for my feet, my back, my fashion sense, and even (in the long run) my wallet, because they lasted longer than flimsy $20 Target shoes. I can go to my shoe lady and she knows what I’m looking for, knows what designers to recommend, and knows I appreciate her advice. Or, if I hate all the shoes I see, I can go to my cobbler – yes, I have a cobbler! Custom made shoes are worth every single penny – I would eat ramen for a year to afford them if I had to.

    Anyone who wears bras knows the pain of a terrible bra – terrible material, terrible fit, tags or wires or other poking/scratching things a constant irritant all day, ugh! Getting properly fitted (by someone who knows what they’re doing, not a 20-year-old VS employee with a tape measure around her neck), getting the correct cup size, and having the right straps is crucial – and not just for those with big busts. This improved my day to day life by approximately 500%.

    Anyone who isn’t using a Sonicare toothbrush is brushing their teeth too hard, I guarantee it. That causes all sorts of problems down the road, from gum pain to loose teeth. I was lucky enough to have a dentist catch me and my hard brushing habits early, switch me to Sonicare, and save me thousands of dollars and a lot of pain. The really good ones are around $200, and again, worth every penny.

  24. Alex

    I remember cutting back on costs to save money when buying a book or even a chocolate bar! I can’t believe how much penny-scrimping I did and still sometimes do. My mom was always very conscious about her spending and she had a very “cut back on costs” mentality because she had worked a low-paying job before she met my dad so, and that’s the way I was raised. That could be where I get my penny-scrimping from.

    Some things I think that are worth the money are travel to cool countries around the world. Don’t cut costs there, you’re only robbing yourself of a fun time.

    Books, business and personal development courses. Self-education is ridiculously valuable and shouldn’t be cut back on. The wisdom of great philosophers and teachers is invaluable. Leaders are readers. Why not pay 1-3,000 bucks for a great course if it can give you a return of $100,000+ over a year or two of consistent work?

    Fashion. The way we dress sends an impression to others around us and gives others an idea about who we are. Jeans, suits, blazers, formal shoes, runners, belts, jewelry, are all worth the money.

    A chocolate bar! If the one you’re looking at is $2 and the one you really have to have is $3, spend the extra dollar! I would cut back on that dollar every time and regret it 10 seconds later because it was only a dollar.

    For me, my Rich Life is all about developing lots of awesome personal and professional relationships, being able to travel to the countries I want to, ability to live on my own terms, helping men start their development in their social life, going to fun parties, being able to buy the books I love, and writing crazy yet helpful personal development articles.

  25. cole

    1. good bike tires – and good car tires for that matter – worth spending $60-80 per bike tire when city riding on my commuter bike – i ride it every day – no flats and they last for months! day in day out worth every dime i paid the value they provide exceed the cost.

    2. a very high quality mattress – i’m talking like 2k-3k for one – worth every penny when you sleep on it every single night for 5 years – $2500 over five years = $0.73 per night – so worth it!

  26. Sven Skarie

    Floss Piks In the Car. 4 Iphone charging cords. Living room, computer bag, car, office. Agree to splurge on computer and buy a nice one. Tech/software develops far too quickly and having the capability of handling it. Audible for books (i listen at 1.5x speed)…. Kindle for books that I want to be interactive with and highlight make notes. I love the idea that no course, or book, should be overlooked this year has been my year of education both external skills and frameworks for living a self driven efficient effective life. I sometimes think about the cost of the education, but the value of what I’m learning far outweighs the cost usually.

  27. charissa

    Mattresses and food. I don’t mean amazing, memorable restaurant meals (though those could probably be worth it too!), I mean every day food. Call me a hippie, but I find that knowing where my food comes from, and what it food ate to give me incredible peace of mind.

  28. Todd

    My list is very similar to yours, with one key exception (#5).

    #1. Unforgettable Experiences. As you mentioned, as one ages, it’s more difficult to have unique or interesting experiences. This is #1 for me because even though I’m only 43, I’ve had cancer twice now, so want to live life to the fullest now that I’m in remission.

    #2. Personal growth investment. This is an extension of your #3 “Books,” because most of my personal growth comes from attending (or taking online) courses rather than strictly reading books. While I do buy many books (including yours :), I find the personal interaction (particularly if I have to travel to take the course) on another level – and sometimes, that can be an unforgettable experience as well, such as when I took a cooking class in Paris.

    #3. Phone, computer (and camera!). I completely agree with you here; however I also include “camera” because photography is extremely important to me (and my wife, too.)

    #4. Convenience items. Again, I completely agree with you on this. I bought 5 wifi hotspots for my apartment here in India, because the concrete walls pretty much block wifi from room to room. It is really annoying to walk from one room to another while talking on Skype/FaceTime and the signal drops. $100 or so and an hour setup time, problem solved. Most people I know wouldn’t “spend” money on that, but when my wife & I are FaceTiming family and want to move from the living room to the kitchen to get a glass of water, it’s really nice that the signal doesn’t drop.

    #5. Luxury items. For me, the luxury item is Swiss movement timepieces. Most people I know wouldn’t spend more then $100 for a watch (or $299 or whatever the going rate for a Smart Watch is…). Personally, I feel a luxury timepiece is well worth the money, particularly if you’re in need for precision timekeeping. Many of the classic luxury makes do not depreciate much (if at all); some actually appreciate. There’s also something a bit elegant and sophisticated with having a man-made analog device on one’s wrist as opposed to having a digital device.

    I could go on and on about stuff I feel is worth the money (coaching, service providers ala landscapers, good Scotch whisky, etc) but for the sake of brevity, I’ll stick to five, just like you did. 🙂

    Funny sidenote: I was walking back to my desk this morning after getting a cup of coffee, and noticed your photo on a colleague’s screen (he was reading your blog). I had a good 15 minute chat with him about your material & courses. I recommended ZTL to him. Good times.

  29. Wendy Priester

    Dinners with friends or traveling to visit family. Worth the money and the time to reconnect to people you love.
    Also, a good haircut from a stylist who knows what they’re doing! Makes you look good and feel good too.

  30. Rachel Bowman

    Alpaca socks. Flying to the right city instead of saving money to fly to a city that’s close by. Parking in the parking garage instead of a lot that’s miles away (or getting car service if we are not traveling with the kids).

  31. Sue Goatbe

    I spluge on attending Broadway plays in my city. And always get seats near the front. It doesn’t seem worth it to me to sit so far back that you cannot even see the actors’ facial expressions. I would rather go to one play that watch month’s worth ov television.

  32. Sneha

    1. Getting a housecleaner service weekly or biweekly. Frees up time
    2. I agree with you on books. I buy whatever I want to read for me or for my kids. No excuses
    3. quality daycare/preschool – peace of mind is worth everything.
    4. Cool gadgets for hubby
    5. massages – nobody should have to justify feeling awesome for whatever cost.

  33. Judith Rosenberg

    Taking your kids with you when you travel. They grow up seeing the world, and then they move to another country and do amazing things (www.aleutia.com). You have the memories and the next generation sees even more of the world.

  34. Karen Dudek-Brannan

    1. Good food-I’d rather spend more money and get quality food and nutritional supplements than put crap in my body.

    2. Personal development-Any product or service that helps me learn a new skill or information. This could include therapies, courses, books, etc.

    3. Healthcare-I’d go to my current doctor even if he wasn’t covered by my insurance. I’m a runner, and if my doctor doesn’t understand my active lifestyle I don’t feel they’ll make the best recommendations.

  35. Jordan

    The rule of thumb I’ve always used is to spend the extra on anything between you and the ground: shoes, your bed, tires for your car, etc. I’ve immediately regretting skimping on all three of these purchases.

    Morning coffee from the local gas station: spending the extra dollar and change really makes my 90-minute commute suck less. Yes, I could make the coffee at home, but I always fill up on gas in the morning anyway and all the minor inconveniences (cleaning the pot, brewing, having a gaggle of coffee cups in my car) make my morning coffee seem like another chore.

    Totally agree on not skimping the phone/computer. I’m on one of these devices 10+ hours a day, might as well stay current enough to not deal with tech. age issues.

  36. Avery

    Towels. Life is too short to suffer through scratchy, threadbare towels. For $20, you can have a nice bath sheet. I buy 2 new ones every January on sale with a coupon. Something I use and enjoy almost every day.

  37. Dean

    Buy great shoes–Allen Edmonds to be exact. Don’t skimp on what you put on your feet.

  38. Kara

    I think belonging to a Country Club (or downtown club) is worth the money. I know a lot of people think they’re too ritzy and snobby, but I’ve always belonged to one and love it. They are great places to build a network that is usually both active and entrepreneurial. I have had a ton of fun and made great friends and great connections.

    A question for Ramit (inspired by this post) – what are things you consider worth the time/effort?

    In this era of hyper-productivity, convenience often reigns supreme. My top choice for worth the time is a real fireplace and a real Christmas tree. Yes, they’re messy and time-consuming, but the end result is totally worth it. Plus, half of the joy is the work to get there!

  39. Jonathan

    Hobbies and interests – buy one item you love, not a bunch you kinda like.

    Easy examples for me personally….

    A few years ago I had set aside up to $1k to buy a guitar with. The one I found that I fell in love with was $700, so I was more than happy to take it home with me. Some of my friends said, “you could’ve bought a bunch of guitars for a grand, why didn’t you?” Well, if the best one I found was $700 and I didn’t like the others as much, why buy guitars I think are simply good enough instead of one I want to play every day? And honestly I do play it nearly every single day.

    Another one, this will may seem extravagant for what it is. Years ago my wife bought me a yo-yo that cost $110. Yes, one hundred and ten dollars for a yo-yo! I’ve bought dozens of yo-yos in my lifetime, many of them were $30-50 apiece. You know what I use? I use a couple $10 ones I leave kicking around (that I can let my kids steal from me and learn using) and my $110 one. That’s it. All the other ones have been sold, thrown out (damaged), or sit in storage, basically.

  40. Anton

    Travel to new places. That’s my favorite way to put miles on my soul.

  41. Haia

    Spending extra time or money on building relationships by doing or getting something uniquely suitable for each grand/child–whether a trip or a special treat. e.g. I keep my freezer stocked with smoked salmon that one granddaughter loves. She knows whenever she come over and looks in the freezer, that I have been thinking of her. Good relationships with family, friends, and colleagues have great ROI. These relationships feed my energy and creativity for other aspects of life, including work.

    Preventative health care. Going to the best doctor available. Getting second opinions.
    Thank you gifts for people who put in effort to help you.

  42. Mike Bittle

    A musical instrument, in my case, guitar(s). A quality instrument sounds better, feels better and inspires you to play more which is a great way to clear the cobwebs and relax.

  43. Amy

    A good pillow. I always figured a pillow was a pillow and a stiff neck was just the way it was. Nope. My chiropractor had me buy a pillow and it was life changing.

    Also, good bike shorts. Not relevant unless you cycle but apply that to functional clothes.

  44. Peg

    I totally agree with several of the items listed by Ramit – and in the comments above. I would say the most important items for me are:

    1) Education (books & courses, etc)
    2) Cleaning service (it is sooo nice to come home to a neat and clean house and it definitely frees up time for things I’d rather be doing)
    3) Giving (not only the small donations to various worthy causes, but also having the ability to provide someone you know the means to achieve or have something that will have an impact on their lives and that they would not be able to afford otherwise – now that I think about it, this should probably be #1) 🙂

  45. Putri

    Snow removal service. We get a ton of snow almost every winter here. It’s worth it not to have to clear the driveway by hand during really inopportune moments (before going to work, or after a long day at work)

  46. Pamela

    In no particular order:

    Food: produce, meat, cheese, eggs, etc.
    Skincare – every day twice a day it gets applied, might as well use the stuff that I feel good about using and having on my face “because I’m worth it”.
    Makeup – it looks and applies differently than the cheapie stuff.
    Special nights out: if you’re gonna do it, might as well do it and not sweat over how much things cost.
    Books, learning experiences, education, etc. – if I want to learn how to do something, or improve something I already know how to do in a small way, spending the money on it is never a problem.

  47. Jesse Gay

    A good chef’s knife and cutting board.

    related: Whatever your favorite dishes are, buy enough for a week so you don’t have your food schedule (or inclination to cook) interrupted by dirty dishes. I like large bowls, pint glasses, and large tea cups.

  48. Judy

    Getting laundry and dry cleaning picked up from your home on Friday (Dirty) and returned to you on Saturday (All Clean) and ready to wear.

  49. Goldie Geltwman

    Good walking shoes-essential!

  50. Sadia

    1) Housecleaning: With my full time job and my side hustle, I found that I was barely having enough time to cook, clean, and organize my life, much less go to the gym consistently. My asthma and my husband’s severe allergies also contribute to risking our health if we’re in a clorox-scented bathroom for too long. Agreeing to hire a biweekly housecleaner was the best decision we have ever made: the house is always clean, I’m motivated to keep it tidy, and I have more time to spend on relaxing and doing something I love and am good at.

    2) Spending on my family. My parents spent a ton of time and energy on raising me and the least I can do is pay it forward by helping alleviate the financial burden of the rest of my siblings’ education. It’s been a personal goal of mine to pay for my siblings’ college education and knowing that my siblings can hustle hard in college and reach their goals makes every penny well-spent. There is only so much pleasure you can gain from spending on yourself until you realize that spreading the wealth (literally and figuratively!) makes your world the kind of place you want to live in.

  51. Evianne

    Haircuts. My sister and I both have curly hair. She spends $20 to go to whoever’s free at Supercuts; I spend $100 to see a guy who specializes in cutting curls (it’s an entirely different technique). She always complains about my hair looking better, but thinks I’m absolutely crazy to spend so much on a haircut.

    Do we get what we pay for? Well, sometimes my sister hates her cut so much that she wears her hair tied back for the next six months (!) until the next one. Conversely, I find myself gazing at my reflection in every shiny surface around when I leave the hairdresser. Worth it.

    Another one: pasture-raised eggs. For a few dollars more, you get eggs that have 20% less calories and cholesterol than conventional (seriously, look at the packages and compare), and they taste so amazing that you’ll want to eat them all the time. So not only are you happier and healthier, but you’re also supporting small farmers and the humane treatment of animals. That’s the most wins you’ll ever be able to get for an extra $3.

    (In a similar vein, buying high quality produce TASTES better, which means it’ll be a whole lot easier for you to eat your veggies. If you’re eating juicy, crisp, flavorful produce vs. bland, mealy, watery crap, you’ll actually find yourself craving salads over chicken tenders. For real.)

    Goes without saying that Ramit’s picks on this one would also be at the top of my list.

  52. David

    A high quality ergonomic desk/office chair if you spend more than an hour a day at the computer. Sure, the sticker shock on a Steelcase or Herman-Miller can be heart attack inducing, but those awful $100 chairs from Staples will ruin your back and cause you pain every day. Even if you ignore the trauma to your poor spine — consider that those cheapie chars fall apart after 2 years MAX (usually one year), while a Steelcase will still be giving you proper support 15 years from now if you take care of it.

  53. Susan

    As an elderly person, I have found it worthwhile long term to spend money on the following:

    — Good tools and whatever is needed to maintain them if you are going to use the tools frequently (tools being anything from a computer monitor to a chef’s knife to a snowblower).

    — High quality food (whether purchased or home-grown) is also worth the expense in terms of nutrition, flavor, and health benefits (assuming, of course, one is referring to actual food and not junk food).

    — The highest quality living environment one can afford (in terms of air quality, water quality, noise pollution, access to green space, etc).

    — Experiences shared with significant others

    — Live music performances

  54. Luna

    A good kitchen knife. I cook a lot and always used to use whatever cheap knives my roommates had. A friend gifted me a sturdy, high quality chef’s knife and I’m obsessed with it. It saves so much time and strife, especially if you cook a lot like I do.

    A good haircut. I tried a Great Clips haircut this year just to see if I was missing out on a person with secret talent at a bargain cost. Huge mistake. I ended up getting it fixed for $90 but now I love my hairstylist, both for his personality and how my hair looks. It’s so worth it to find a salon where they are invested in their craft and your happiness. Everyone sees your hair every day, and with a good haircut I don’t have to style my hair- huge difference from the 2 weeks post Great Clips, when I felt like I was wrestling with my hair daily just to feel confident enough to go to work.

    Echoing what many others have said with this one, but food. Local produce is worth it for so many reasons. Vegetables taste better, so you’re happier with your healthy meal. You’re supporting local economy and sustainable use of land. You’re investing in your health and your community, two things most people take for granted until they don’t have them anymore. I don’t buy everything at my weekly market, but I support it as much as I’m able. I had a CSA for the first time this year and loved it. It encouraged more variety and creativity in my meals and felt like a surprise gift every week.

  55. Alejandro

    Good computers and phones are a must.

    I never hesitate about food, I buy organic and quality, whatever is going to my stomach and distributed to my blood and organs, has to be good.

    I don’t buy top of the line clothes, usually go with common brands and change them every year, that keeps me using new clothes for about the same amount. But a while ago I used to get all my suits tailored-made, that has no match.

    Concerts

  56. Ted

    Good list Ramit. I agree. For me personally, I would add

    1) Safety equipment (good motorcycle helmet, gear, good scuba computer, replacing worn climbing gear, etc.)
    2) Fitness related costs that you will actually use. If you want to join a second gym near work so you can go at lunch (and you’ll go) great, do it. If you want to join another class to learn Krav Maga, or tap dancing, or whatever, great, do it.
    3) Shirts (and pants, but shirts seem to be a bigger issue for most people) that fit. If you have an unusual body style for any reason, invest in shirts that fit. They make you feel more confident, and look substantially better. Totally worth it.

  57. Julie Christie

    GREAT tweezers!

  58. Alison N.

    By far the best spending decision that I have ever made was opening a subscription to become a group organizer on Meetup.com, which costs around $18 / month.

    Within less than a year of starting my own group, I went from being a socially awkward loser with no friends and no girlfriend (I’m gay) to living a rich life full of friends, fun, and loving relationships.

    Best of all, the skills that I learned as an organizer helped me in other aspects of my life as well:

    *I became more confident as a result of my new, social self-image.
    *I can now communicate better with my relatives, co-workers, and other acquaintances – both in person and online.
    *I had a chance to improve my professional skill set by experimenting with an online business.
    *I had the opportunity to give back to my community and improve the lives of others.

  59. Jaimie Crooks

    Hiring an absolutely epic coach to get better results, SO much faster, and with more accountability, less stress, and more of that warm fuzzy and electric “OMG I feel SO understood, clear about my goals and supported in accomplishing them, wait am I flying!?!” feeling.

    Also agree regarding books and education. I spent $50k on education last year – best investments EVER, way more than my home. My personal and professional growth have both been astronomical and I was able to develop my dream business and quit my job. (Freedom = priceless). I’ve spent another $30k on education and coaching this year, again worth every penny and extra proof to my clients of just how committed I am to my growth and theirs.

    Also Audible (I average 2 books a week and my mind is continually blown), flowers and anything that amplifies convenience drastically. I recently bought a top rated washer dryer for the first time to replace an insanely noisy shitty old washing machine that came with my apartment and shortened the lifespan of my clothes. The new one makes almost no sound and takes care of so much more of the process of laundry saving me SO much time faffing so I can stay busy with any of a million other things that actually harness my skills and passions, as well as enabling me to not stress about wear and tear on my clothes so I can avoid shopping. Ka-ching.

    I’d also add Hendrick’s rather than cheap gin, it’s worth it for a clearer head alone. And investing in taking real time out to reset the brain at a location that gives you butterflies – that’s when I have my best ideas!

  60. Greg

    I agree with your list of 5 and will add some more. I am a spender, so it is easy for me to spend for quality/experience, but I don’t always. My wife is very frugal and I’ve convinced her on many occasions that it’s worth it.

    1) Working from home – I took Ramit’s class “Dream Jobs” many years ago. I did lots of soul searching and learned a lot from the course. Ultimately, I did not switch jobs, but rather made the most of the job I had – asking to move from San Francicso to Portland, OR. I kept my SF salary, which was like getting a 30% raise; I reduced my daily commute time from 1.25 hours each way to 15 seconds (time it takes me to walk from my bedroom to my office) and I gained immeasurable flexibility in being able to pick up my kids when needed, coach one of their teams or grocery shop at 10am if I am free. I end up going well above and beyond in my job (easier to do with 2.5 extra hours per day) to avoid any semblance of doubt about my availability and performance, but it is most certainly worth it!

    2) Sleep – I spend 1/3 of my time sleeping, so almost any investment in improving sleep is worth it!
    2a) BED – I have a sleep number bed that reclines – it’s changed my life. I spent $5-$6K on it, even though I’d only spent ~$1K on mattresses before. The comfort and convenience (easier to watch TV just before bed) is well worth it.
    2b) PILLOW – I bought a MyPillow online. I did loads of research and realized from it that pillows are a personal preference. Enough people liked MyPillow and it seemed different and had a money-back guarantee, so I decided to try it. Best money I ever spent – I take this pillow with me wherever I travel now too!
    2c) SLEEP MASK – these make a huge difference on planes, public places, and hotel/friends’ rooms where you may need/want to sleep. Get a good one that covers your eyes well!

    3) Great seats at a concert, show or sporting event. I don’t go to many of these anymore (kids!), but when I do, I pay for the best seats I can find. If I can’t be in the first 10 rows, I strongly consider not purchasing the ticket. I’ve learned over the years that the experience is worth it.

    4) A refrigerator in the garage. I can’t believe I went for so long without one. I actually have a deep freezer for a half cow I purchased in addition to a cheap, but large refrigerator/freezer that fits extra booze and items that are eaten less frequently that don’t need to clutter up our main fridge.

    5) Lava soap. A bar of Lava at the kitchen sink makes it so much easier to clean grease, dirt, sap, etc – all the things that you can’t get off with regular soap.

  61. James Wallace

    A good night’s rest on average for most people is something like 8 hours. That’s 1/3 of your life that you will spend in bed. By golly, spending money on a high quality bed and bedding well worth the money! Think of the money that you’ll spend on a car… why scoff at spending thousands of dollars on quality sleep?!? Personally I go for organic latex mattresses—as good or better than memory foam at eliminating pressure points without the toxic off-gassing; naturally dust mite resistant;… the list goes on and on as to why anyone who cares about quality rest should invest in such a mattress. Beyond that, quality organic wool bed cover will help protect the mattress from sweat, spills, and other fluids as well as help regulate body temperature throughout the year. Same applies to wool-stuffed pillows as opposed to poly fill or other toxic foams. If you care this much at this point then you might as well go all out and spend the money on some quality organic cotton and wool bedding. For that matter, if you have the money, then by all means spend it on quality organic everything and help support farmers and manufacturers that actually care about the environment and what goes into and around our bodies. That’s my 2 cents!

  62. Katherine A. Kelley

    Replacing broken tools you use frequently (vs using it broken), a box full of batteries in common sizes, having multiple of used frequently household tems in each area of home such as scissors, tape, paper towels, etc. I have more I could list – others have listed great ideas. My list comes from growing up with parents that saw any spending on anything as spending vs investing, time-saving, mental health-saving, etc. I’m so glad I’m showcasing my kids the later.

  63. Jamie K

    Meditation Experiences from Chopra Meditation. I can unplug and check out from the noise in airports, airplanes, waiting rooms, etc.. Perfume for women, cologne for men. Nothing worse than smelling cheap or bad.

  64. Jonathan Franklin

    High quality sunglasses (not just cheap colored glass, that lets in all the harmful rays)
    – You only have one set of eyes, they deserve the best.

    Invisialign
    – once again, you only have one set of teeth and so many avoidable diseases are linked to poor dental hygiene due to crooked teeth. Not only do invisalign make you look better but they create lasting habit change, due to how often you have to clean your teeth. Great investment and totally worth it.

  65. dirk bennewitz

    Investing in the beginning. I am a Yoga Teacher and Author in Germany and i got my first Workshop in NYC last year. It did NOT make the money back. But like you Ramit, i fly across the ocean for a workshop. And what happened? I met somebody from Randomhouse USA, and after that Contact, they maybe publish one of my books in the States. And i got more Invitations, And i will come back in February and March. Good work makes more work come, in my experience. Thanks Ramit

  66. Helen

    Love this sentiment of letting yourself off the hook (and setting yourself up so you can – note to self).
    1. Definitely Books Books and more Books. Love Books. You can travel to unknown places, and spaces inside your head.
    2. Food and food experiences
    3. Getaways, whether for an hour, a day, a week…..Holidays, whether home-made staying with friends or family, re-visiting, or far afield to new exotic places. A great chance to re-visit and re-ignite your fire.
    4.Making the effort to see and meet old people and new people whether family/friends/unknown
    5. Getting help – personal or professional – if someone’s magic/expertise can help you make a bit more space or strategy for yours.

  67. Carl

    Sushi. I never cut corners. I find the best sushi bar in town and make it my go to.

  68. Inna

    High quality everything. There is a Russian saying: ” We are not rich enough to buy the cheap things…”–because the cheap (and low quality!) “stuff” will not last, or serve the purpose. Eventually, you will have to spend more on its replacement.

  69. Zach

    Golf, whether it be equipment, apparel, greens fees, or travel, I love everything about it. Plus I’m good at it, which makes it easier to love. Also Cheese it Grooves, because they’re the best snack in the history of snacks, and real cheese matters.

  70. Hugo

    100% with you on the convenience-related expenses.

    I haven’t done my own laundry in 5 years. Sure, I spend $20 bucks every 10 days or so on wash and fold, but I save 4-5 hours easily each time I do it. That is time that I can spend out with my girlfriend, reading, playing video games or just sleeping!

    Another one is using the Skycap counter at airports. Sure, I may have to tip the person $2-3, but it saves me 15 minutes (usually more) of waiting at the check-in line. I honestly don’t know why people choose to go inside to check-in when they have Skycap right there. If you are dropping $200-300 on a flight, 3 bucks is almost nothing.

  71. Arwen Rogers

    Well constructed, light-weight, running shoes and quality groceries. Health is the ultimate investment and I believe it has paid off! I will turn 40 this year but no one can tell. Take good care of yourself. You are always worth it.

  72. Dave

    Life is too short to drink juice made from concentrate!

    (Buy the house brand if funds are tight. Just make sure to buy the real deal.)

    It’s been said that buying many, many things is like buying oats. If you want nutritious oats, expect to pay a fair price. If you’re satisfied with oats that have already been through the horse, those come a lot cheaper!

  73. James

    A high quality running watch and high quality running shoes. For years I stuck with a basic model that was decent, but it could never do the things I wanted like recording intervals or run cadence. I spent $350 on one of the best Garmin watches and I have loved it ever since. The best thing I love is it automatically uploads my workouts to my phone and computer so I can easily analyse my run without having to manually enter it into a spreadsheet.

    Running shoes, pretty self explanatory. If you run in bad shoes, you’re likely to get injured very quickly. I spend a lot of money on running shoes, and save money on my normal everyday shoes. A $10 pair from K-mart is good enough for me to wear casually.

  74. Remi

    Shoes, eyewear and skin care

  75. Marcos

    Anything that saves you time is worth the money. I don’t like accruing things, it makes it hard when it comes time to move, but I do not mind spending top dollar to save time. Time is precious, as the Maltese saying goes: “An ounce of gold won’t buy you an ounce of time.” So, yeah: Uber, direct flights, etc.

  76. Eva Meijer

    – Flowers for sure. I’m from a flower country (Holland), so we love to have some flowers around us. Doesn’t have to be expensive here at all and it looks happy and like home. Even when I travel for a longer period in an exotic place where they have flowers, I’ll put some flowers in a glass in my hotelroom.
    – Food: love nice ingredients like good ham on your sandwich or tasty food but this is also linked to the experience often.
    – unforgettable experiences, often when travelling. This is probably the most important one, from travelling to the South of Italy for a cooking class and olive oil tasting (forgot most things about this pasta making.. but not the trip or the people I met) to travelling half way across the world to meet someone.
    – Books, magazines, study material, courses. For relaxation, entertainment (when I find the peace) and to study. Essential.
    – Skin care products and clothes esp. shoes, a nice bag and overcoat that somehow go well together: when you have a tricky skin as a woman you need to invest a bit (ok, plus I love it;)). Those 3 fashion items can correct or uplift any outfit and should be of good quality. You feel better and they make you look like you know what you’re doing;)

  77. Peggy

    * my sanity. Requesting cutting back my days at work, without as much of an alternative as I’d like. Feels extravagant and risky but we’re not going to starve and spending (giving up) money is preferable to being miserable and ill through work.
    Agree with others on:
    *time with those you want to be with
    *mattress
    *books
    *personal development
    *travel

  78. Josh Shear

    Totally agree on extra chargers. One in the bedroom, one in the living room (where my desk is), one in the car.

    Good food, also, by the way. Better for you, sometimes, but I’ll take some homemade ice cream from Leopold’s or pie from Lulu’s here in Savannah over something I get from the grocery store freezer every time.

  79. Sonia Brown

    I agree with most of whats been written already, especially on books & travel but the #1 area where I spend the most is giving. I adopted a classroom at my old elementary school (in a low income neighborhood) and I give away groceries, shoes, coats, uniforms and school supplies.

  80. Polina

    1) underwear – because I rely on my looks. Anything that makes me comfortable makes me confident. Confidence looks amazing on me.

    2) really high quality gear – because if I’m stuck on a mountain this is what I will be relying on for dear life

    3) books and movies. Lets my mind soar.

    4) travel fund – I make a point of traveling often. There is nothing more useful in life than new people and experiences.

    5) gym membership – few things have transformed me so much in such a short time.

  81. Vickie

    I agree with your list and would like to add: Glasses. I am extremely nearsighted and need to wear glasses all day every day. They are on my face and I want my face to look good. My insurance pays a portion but most people would be surprised to learn that my glasses actual cost is over $1000.

  82. Mo Akif

    Guys, I’m outraged…no one has said HEADPHONES! (I even searched for it)

    You don’t need to be “into music” or an “audiophile”, I’m neither of those things. Just believe me when I tell you that a high quality pair of wireless headphones with decent sound isolation can completely change the way you experience entertainment (whether it’s movies/music/video games) AND learning. (audiobooks/podcasts/etc.)

    You can try on a decent pair at a local BestBuy before being sold on the idea, but this goes hand in hand with a high-quality phone and computer – headphones are a gamechanger.

    Back in the olden days, I imagine people had swords that they would sharpen, take care of, and upgrade from time to time. It was their tool to protect them, and their lives depended on it. Today, we have phones, computers, headphones. Treat them like swords.

  83. Ryan

    1. Great shoes. I don’t worry about costs if the shoes fit just right. I have a size 15 so generally availability trumps price. Bad shoes equals bad feet, ankles, hips, back and everyting else. It’s never worth skimping for shoes.

    2. Great hotels. Five star, four star, or if nothing better exists rough it with a three star. Pay the money, you’re on vacation to relax. If you’re on business, you want to feel you best, don’t you? (see #4 below for more)

    3. Good food. As a former 300 pounder with various medical conditions, I’ve retrained the way I eat. Better quality foods are among the lifestyle changes I’ve made to get myself healthy.

    4. The once-in-a-lifetime, or at least once-in-a-decade experiences. I took my goddaughter to NYC for her sweet 16 earlier this year. I ponied up to stay at the Lotte Palace Towers across from St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Other than her mom (my cousin) my family was against this. I was “wasting my money,” “biting off more than I can chew,” “why not wait until she’s older and can pay for some of it.” I ignored them all and we had an awesome long weekend in the greatest city in the world. I also ponied up to go to game 6 of the World Series. It was heartwrenching to watch my hometown Indians lose badly in front of my eyes, but it was worth every penny not to listen to Joe Buck for 3 hours.

  84. Albert

    1. Shoes. I don’t buy $1000 a pair shoes, but good shoes that fit my feet well are definitely worth paying more for. Buying all your shoes from the clearance rack is just another “stop buying lattes” tactic. Nothing beats a good pair of work boots or nice dress shoes you can stand all day in.

    2. Tools. Buying good quality tools is super important. I can’t expect to be able to do my best work with cheap tools that barely work. Whether they’re for the shop, the kitchen, or the office, getting good (not necessarily ultra high end) quality tools is really important.

    3. Ingredients. Using good ingredients in your food makes a huge difference. Use freshly-grated parmesan cheese instead of the stuff out of the green can- you’ll notice the flavor immediately. Freshly chopped herbs, nice produce from the farmer’s market. Incorporating just a few nicer items into your usual dishes can add a lot of variety and satisfaction.

  85. Terrin

    Phone Case – I once dropped my phone in the toilet and saw my life flash before my eyes (that’s not an exaggeration). Now, always buy the best, most durable, phone case no matter the price, becuase I’d rather pay $75+ for a phone case than have to replace my entire phone.

    Sneakers – Some call people like me a “sneakerhead” (I don’t prefer that title). The nostalgia related to the sneakers that me and my friends vied for as kids causes me to pay more than the average person would for a pair of sneakers that were originally released from 20+ years ago. However, the resell value is pretty significant on these shoes. So, I could use them as an investment if I so choose.

  86. Lauri Mackey

    Good pillows, excellent bath towels, my mountain bike that gets ridden 2-4 times per week along with the right clothing to mountain bike in. Excellent wifi at my home studio, computers/laptops/phones that are completely badass. Eyelash extensions and permanent hair removal by thermolysis.

    My sleep is super important so the good pillows, mattress, and sheets are a must. The mountain bike with the accompanying attire that I never thought I would wear in public are essential, especially now that I help coach a local mountain bike high school team.

    The eyelash extensions are pure vanity, but the thermolysis just saves me time. I never have to pluck my eyebrows, wax an upper lip, there is ZERO hair in my armpits and my bikini line will never look like the bearded lady. Totally worth it.

  87. Somashekhar

    If the earning is limited definitely expenses made needs to limited according to the earnings. It is difficult me to agree with you that I can’t offer little extras when situation costs it. Ultimately I have run the family with other needs requested by the family members, wantings etcc.

  88. Laura

    Aside from the items already mentioned…

    – Professional photographs: The photos taken by someone who knows what they are doing (versus working at the photo center at Target/Walmart) is huge. If you have kids, they make great presents for grandparents. And having a professional photo on your Linked In profile looks much better. I’m really sorry we didn’t start doing this when my kids were smaller.

    – Art: We collect art, so that is one area where we “spend out”. We look at it every day!

  89. John

    I thought buying a Big Mac and getting a cardboard sandwich is what normally happens?

  90. Tuesday's bits: 5 things that are worth the money - Dollar Bits

    […] 5 things that are worth the money – “Unlike a lot of the other advice out there telling you to cut back on everything and live in a tree house until you die (“no burial costs needed when you let Mother Nature do her thing!”), I encourage people to spend extravagantly on the things you love – as long as you cut costs mercilessly on the things you don’t.” […]

  91. Patricia

    Good hiking shoes. It’s a pain not to have a good pair when hiking.

  92. Debashish

    I don’t check the price when I’m buying produce, especially, fruits. If it’s high quality and I want it, I just get it.

    And I absolutely swear by buying the best when it comes to phones and laptops. Bought my smartphone 5 years ago, when it was the most expensive model on the market, and it’s still serving my daily needs today. Same for my laptop. Not the most expensive, but still more than twice what was accepted as the average price. Still using it without complaint, 3 years later.

  93. Leigh

    Good bedding. My sleep quality impacts everything else. High-quality sheets, the perfect pillow, and a great mattress pay off in other areas of my life.

  94. Charlie

    So true, my friends think I’m crazy that I spent $1000 on an espresso machine, but it’s my passion and I love making beautiful lattes for my girlfriend every morning.
    I also don’t waste $50-100 a week going out drinking because I don’t like alcohol, so that saves me a lot of money to spend on things I love!

  95. Sam

    There are many comments on quality shoes and clothes. What types of brands for women do you find last a long time? Sometimes the more expensive items that I have bought have not been very good; so I just keep buying clothes at Target 🙂 Where do I find the high quality stuff?

  96. SM

    In my 20s I penny pinched around things I really wanted , the more I scrimped, the lesser i seemed to have. I simply changed my attitude towards money – if I wanted something nice I just got it, and I started being especially generous with others. I do not know if it is my belief system , psychology or simply the “universe”, I just have more money now – higher paying job, random bonuses and increments, golden touch with my investments…

  97. Kelly

    Anything you, at that moment in life can assist you in making memories with PEOPLE! Human connection is why we exist so lets spend the money to connect!

  98. Tom

    Equally applicable to shoes, jackets and bags. I always a bit more on those because they last longer and if you break it down to years or months, they end up being cheap in the long run.

  99. Brian Turner

    A couple in line with what you’re thinking and one that’s not.

    I’m 6’4″ and I will pay extra for business class leg room and a larger rental car.

    I used to get on an extension ladder to clean the gutters 24 feet up, but after paying almost $1,000 for covers on the gutters; no more. I’m safe and carefree year after year.

    Finally, time with my son at the junkyard. Time is my most valuable resource, but when my son said his car needed a $50 bolt-on part, I said wait for the weekend and we’d go to the junkyard. It was his first visit. Saturday, crappy day spitting rain, cold, tromping around a muddy junkyard looking for Toyotas with the right part by crawling under cars. We eventually found it, easily removed it and it cost us $2. My son also got an emblem off a car trying to think of how to use it. I suggested he get lots of different ones and create an art piece (he’s really into art). He gets quiet; I can see the wheels turnin’.

    I could have taken your advice, paid the $50 and be done with it, but spending my more valuable time with my son gave me the bigger benefit.

  100. Jenn

    A pedicure every other week. It’s 90 minutes of relaxation at the end of a hectic workweek, and totally recharges my batteries.

    Also — private dance lessons and drum lessons (at 46 years old, I’m learning how to play the drums!). Having one-on-one instruction allows me to progress much faster than I would in a group class setting… the instructor can identify and fix any problems immediately, and push me past my comfort zone. It’s double the cost of a group class, but I advance 3-4 times faster, so it’s worth the $.

  101. Pax

    Apps. People are so cheap about apps, but the typical $1-$5 is coffee territory and the time and energy spent whining about it not being free isn’t worth it. Buy and move on.

    Also, supporting the ecosystems that generate the apps that make your life better is totally worthwhile.

  102. James

    My five things:

    1) Healthy nutritious food: Saving money by buying ramen and other nutrient-deficient foods doesn’t appear to pay off in the long run and they don’t taste good.

    2) Tailoring/Dry Cleaning: If I need to look good for an interview or other networking event, looking my is a top priority.

    3) Computers/Phones: I’d be lost without my phone/computer (literally) since I travel for work often enough.

    4) Doctors/Dentist/etc Check-ups and Appointments

    5) Travel to Friends/Family: Because life is much better with them

  103. Izin

    Things I will not skimp on:
    anything that makes my life easier and feels good
    -My health- recently relocated to another country within Europe. With work and all the travelling didn’t have time to register with a doctor. However my eyes were constantly itching and watery. After 5 weeks or more of self medicating and using different eye drops , I finally decided to go private. What a difference. Money well spent. Eyes felt clean and calm after the ophthalmologist put in the first prescribed eye drops.
    -Books- I love books. Every year I have to declutter my library. I am forever visiting bookshops and buying books. In Barcelona even though I hardly speak or read Spanish, I love going into the bookshops to browse.
    -A cleaner
    -Linen sheets
    -A very good bottle of perfume – some ladies have a thing for shoes/handbags, I love a good bottle of perfume
    -Food
    -Wine
    -Experiences with my loved ones

  104. Romain

    I’ve found that spending money on quality clothes is key: I’ve spent $115 on a quality shirt, $130 on a quality jeans, $130-150 on good leather shoes. All of these are unique, a great fit, and I wear them multiple times a week. Compare that to the cheap clothes on sale that you wear once only to stay hidden in your drawer forever.

    Second think I spend extravagantly on is food (whether it’s at a restaurant or buying a delicious ribeye steak to cook at home) and craft beer. I remember I had a special edition Founders beer at a bar, with a unique mango & chili taste. When I then went to my local supermarket and saw it in a 1-liter bottle priced at $20, I didn’t bat an eye, and bought it. Felt good!

  105. adam haridopolos

    i think you have this right. a good hone and computer are worth every penny. my only qialification is that it is not necessary to buy these items with all the bells and whistles. like when you buy a car. it is important to buy a reliable, safe, well made auto, but many of the extras are hardly worth the price; they can sound great but turn out to be rarely used.

    not so sure i exactly agree with you on books. i tend to do exactly what you said. in fact, last week i walked into a local book store and spent $100. but i have piles of books around my place that i bought years ago and still haven’t gotten around to reading.

  106. Andrea

    I love traveling, and when I have lived abroad in Spain, it’s amazing. They say in France, people spend more on food because of the high quality. I have to agree with that. I hope we get more quality outdoor markets here in the U.S. I also love buying quality chocolates! A world of difference, let me tell you! Quality over quanity, anytime! 🙂

  107. Yoamny Feliz

    I don’t mind spending money on things that are worth it, but I don’t want to get into debt to get it……guess I need to start looking for a better paying job 😉

  108. Nick

    I agree on the books. My suggestion is streaming music. I subscribe to Spotify, well worth the $10/month. Offline playlists, no commercials on radio, and playlists that I can use on all devices. It’s awesome!

  109. Ron

    Paying $900 for a pair of tickets to see Hamilton for my wife’s babymoon.

  110. vsp

    4. Phone Charger:s. Have a travel bag packed and ready to go with duplicate chargers, plugs, adaptors. It is a small and invaluable investment ~$200. Same with your favorite toiletries in max 3 oz sizes. This alone has saved me untold stress.

    3. Books. I used to buy every book that vaguely seemed interesting and the books were piling up. No more. Will you read the book? There are stats out there somewhere on the number of unread book purchases lying around taking up space. I some research and determine the value for me before I purchase. This strategy has made me more focused and helps me manage my time.

    2. Phone Computer: Yup. Buy the latest and greatest because sadly it will be old within months.

  111. Z

    1. I pay for my children’s school lunches. Yeah, I could save $150 a month on food if I made them myself. However, I hate making sandwiches, I hate trying to come up with something other than sandwiches, I hate grocery shopping, I hate packing it… I HATE making lunches. It makes me want to stab myself in the eye.

    It’s incredibly, totally worth it to pay the money and enjoy not even thinking about it.

    2. I love shore excursions on cruises. Yeah, it’s crazy expensive and probably a ripoff. But — I hate trying to figure out where to go by myself in a foreign country. I absolutely enjoy being held by the hand and guided around where I don’t have to think about where to go, how to get there, booking it, being on guard, and all the annoying details. I go on vacation to NOT THINK and DRINK. I drink rum punches on a Spanish galleon sailing into Soufriere with people dressed up like pirates who ferry me around the island eating delicious food and bathing in mineral springs. That’s probably not even a sentence, but I don’t even CARE. 😉
    Best. Day. EVER. Worth 200 bucks.

    Boom.

  112. Best smartphones under 10k

    Hey,

    I will agree for these 5 things that are surely worth for our money. In all these 5, I will feel more happy with my mobile and my computer. Those are always with me to make me happy and to grow forward in my career. The other thing is the unforgettable experiences. These are quite common for ever human’s life. I faced many of such situations. I accept all my experiences, though it is good or bad, still I learned many things for those.

    I appreciate your effort put the things together in this post.

    Thank you

  113. Billy

    1. Pleasurable activities with others : Worth it – always.

    2. Expressing gratitude through gifts or time shared with others. Giving gifts to others (making yourself useful) Giving something thoughtful to someone else radiates happiness for me. Same goes, giving gifts to clients is something in my task list for next year.

    3. Blissful sleep : Comfortable bedding materials and good ambiance lighting (room by room basis) – Lighting changes everything about a room, how you feel – I just bought for 500$ of down comforters and pillows. Best purchase ever. That with my buckwheat pillow for switching out sometimes… makes sleeping a pure pleasure and complements our mattress worth 3k. That brings me to 4.

    4. Meditation tracks : Yeah, it makes me feel good and changes my days. I meditate before sleeping and cleans my mind.

    5. Books. Yes of course… I think I can’t pass that up. As of most recently I have switched to digital reading on my ereader (yes, it’s 2016 and I bought a Kindle… but I love my purchase and have read 6 books in the past 2 weeks as a result.)

    6. A coffee grinder : seriously… i bought this in 2013 and I never went back. Good beans don’t cost as much, I even was with a subscription with Tonx for a while and love their coffee. Coffee is a ritual.

    7. Appart from my phone and my computer… one of my favorite things I bought is a ScanSnap ix500. It really helps to unclutter my workspace. Older stuff are archived to Evernote or other means. Current projects are sometimes done on paper without the computer for first phase.

    8. Headphones : I bought a pair of bose quiet comfort a while back. Although they might not be the most hi-fidelity compared other bands, they ARE comfortable and highly appreciate the fact I can wear them AND use the microphone to make voice commands and call.

    9. A great water bottle. I am although thinking of upgrading to an even better one. You know, I love it. I love drinking water from my bottle. Delicious. Plus, it prevents me from always drinking sugary drinks.

    10. BAGS and Containers : I bought for over 1000$ of bags and suitcases and travel accessories in the past years. Each bag has it’s proper use and having a great bag for each task is so great.

    11. A good set of modern clothing washing and drying machines. Seriously. the whole thing paid itself over the years in economy in energy used. My old one required THREE cycles to dry… and the washer overflowed all the time. Not sexy… but one of the best decisions I made. Same could be said of having an energy efficient refrigerator… but with a family of 5 a good set of clothes washing appliances trumps an energy efficient fridge.

    12. Learning experiences and travels. Although I am not a travelling person all the time I have realized that travels and special trips end up being key points in my life.

    13. Candles and scented melting wax… The melting wax is much longer lasting than the Berger lamp oil that ran out a while back. I love the smell I have candles and other scented and lighting things in all rooms of my home.

    14. Pilot G2 pen shell. I lost mine recently but among the things I carried everyday I had a very nice pen shell to insert g2 pilot cartridges. I loved that even though it was something like 50$. A great pen and writing notepads are a must.

    15. Ok, phone chargers in every room of course… but I am often on the go… and I own 3 portable batteries and I bought 6 last christmas to different people. I EXCESSIVELY use external batteries. Having several, I can cycle through the 3 of them, switching batteries in my bag for the uncharged and charged and always having one with me in case of need. No need to wall hug to suck in power.

    Worst buys I regret :
    – In app purchases for virtual items in games (seriously?!?)
    – Cheap charging wires that break after 2 weeks a month.
    – Clothing from Le Chateau (they really don’t stay nice that long)
    – I don’t listen to TV – I should have cut out sooner … now I have 120$/month less in expenses but I rather wish I have realized this sooner.
    – several subscription services that don’t let me OWN things I would rather revisit.
    – The STUPID smart tv in my samsung tv that is just slow an clunky compared to what I can plug in via HDMI…. Could have saved 330$ for a function I NEVER use. I much rather use my Playstation or Xbox or Apple TV than navigate through THAT…
    – Buying CHEAP prefab bookshelves that break. Yeah, they are 50$-150$ but they will break… As a result of my most recent move, two more of my 6 original bookshelves broke down. If I buy something in the future it will be one of those old solid wood bookshelves – they WILL last a lifetime and be much nicer.
    – Anything that I tried to cut corners and bought cheap but ended up having to buy over and over instead…. replacing things that broke.
    – Certain magic tricks I never ended up performing… just sitting in a shelf in my workshop. (Not so much a regret… just something I think I would have rather spend my money elsewhere finally…)

  114. Billy

    Oh my… I forgot : comfortable clothing (pyjamas, sweaters and matching suits, good quality ties, comfortable and classy shoes.

  115. Will

    It’s perfect time to make some plans for the future and it is time to be happy.
    I have read this post and if I could I want to suggest you some interesting things or advice.
    Perhaps you could write next articles referring to this article.
    I desire to read more things about it!

  116. Kristen

    I couldn’t resist commenting. Perfectly written!

  117. Dhaval Sunil Prajapati

    Great Post, Ramit! I love #4!

    I often times see people victimize themselves into thinking they can’t pay for some conveniences which can make their lives so much easier and won’t cost them an arm and leg. Too many times these ‘conveniences’ are perceived as luxuries due to their negative self talk.

  118. Donnie Gardner

    I couldn’t agree more on the unforgettable experiences. I make sure my wife and I go on dream vacations every two years! We live for Hawaii for two week January 2017. We sacrifice on expenses like cable and going out to eat to enjoy the incredible experiences. Great advice!

  119. Heather Shannon

    Mattress was the first thing that came to mind. Memory foam has done wonders for my back. It doesn’t have to be expensive, but it’s not an area to cut counters. Sleep impacts EVERYTHING.

    Winter clothing. This year I got a new coat and boots for Chicago winter–I HATE winter and every day I am excited about how warm the new coat and boots keep me. It’s worth whatever it costs to not be miserable all winter long.

    I agree on the healthcare thing. I don’t worry about going in-network. I research and find the best provider for what I need and figure out how to make it work. It pains me to see people prioritizing less important expenses and cutting corners with mental and physical health. Much like the mattress thing, these areas of our lives affect everything else.