When to Splurge or Skimp?

2017-08-28T13:52:10+08:00By |Lifestyle, Spending|

We regularly spend money on items or services that we both need and want. Take some time out to decide, when exactly should you spend readily and when should you be a miserly miser?

 

We all love money. We love having money. We also love spending money. I mean, who doesn’t like nice things? But is it really necessary to get premium quality for everything we own? Unless you are very wealthy, we often have to make decisions on what to buy and how much to spend on it. For example, you want to buy a new desk for your bedroom. Google “bedroom desk” and you are quite literally assailed by advertisements, marketing, and furniture websites.

The struggle is real. This article, will help you to make better decisions on when you should splurge or skimp. While it is impossible to cover every single person’s needs, wants and personality, this should serve as a general guideline to narrow down your choices and hopefully make it less of a struggle on deciding when to splurge or skimp.

 

General Guidelines

Things you should spend on in general should fall into a few categories. Frequency of use, health, comfort, career, and interest. Shoes are a great example of something everybody uses.

I highly recommend getting high quality, comfortable pair of shoes even if all your travel each day consists commuting to work and back home. This is directly related to health. Our feet are the foundation of our body. Biomechanical (the internal and external forces of the body) studies have shown that every step we take affects other parts of the body.

Specifically, if your shoes do not provide the comfort and support you need, other parts of your body must overcompensate which is not immediately noticeable but, over time, can lead to long-term health problems such as joint, back, ankles, hip pain, and more. In short, get a great, comfortable pair of shoes that can last you for a long time and do not skimp on them.

 

Splurge

These are items that are vital to you as you use them every day and make a big difference in your life. Here are some of the items that we feel you should spend more on.

Underwear – Without attempting to sound *ahem* indelicate, great underwear lasts longer, itches less, is more comfortable and just feels better to wear.

Mattress – Sleep is a basic human need and getting a good night’s sleep is important to recharge to tackle the next day and the challenges it brings. Cheap mattresses don’t provide the proper lumbar support and comfort that a good quality one does and while mattresses can be scarily expensive, every time you lie down to go to sleep or take a nap, you will feel that it was a worthwhile purchase.

Clothing – First impressions count. It is an unavoidable fact of life that we are judged based on how we look and present ourselves. This is the game that is presented to us so we must learn to play it. Now, I’m not saying to get out there and get dressed in head to toe in Givenchy. Instead, it may pay to give some attention to your personal appearance. Studies have shown that looks matter in the workplace and that attractive people are generally more successful.

Even if you believe that you are not genetically blessed, you can change a lot by simply having good personal grooming habits and, this is really important, getting clothes which fit properly.

If you work a desk bound digital job in jeans and a t-shirt, you may be scoffing at me now saying that it doesn’t matter since you don’t have clients to meet and all your work is involved a computer. Fair point. However, for people who work in big corporations with an enforced dress code and more importantly, for people who meet clients frequently, you have to look the part. This is the reason men wear suits (or at the very least, a good shirt and pants) to a job interview. It is the same mentality to instantly have your co-workers and superiors have a more positive impression of you and carries over to everyday office work.

Career – This is a wide-ranging topic but basically, whatever your skill sets are, invest in the proper tools. If you are a video editor, you clearly need a powerful PC that won’t explode when you attempt to render a long video. Craftsman? You need good tools to help produce good work. Photographer? You need a good camera, not a smart phone camera, but a proper one.

Courses that help you in your work are also worth spending on. Sometimes your company may have a program that helps pay off some part or all of your course fees, so do check with your manager and HR to see if that’s a possibility.

Furniture – Good furniture that is ergonomic and more importantly, helps with your posture. It is just a great feeling to get home knowing you have comfortable chairs, sofas or a bed to fall into. Don’t need to get anything fancy, just well made, comfortable furniture.

Service – It is great to learn how to do basic repairs and maintenance for your car, house, and personal gadgets. But, if your stuff breaks down, don’t skimp on a sketchy repair as it may quite literally do more

Food – Nutrition is a point of key interest to everyone these days. Food is a necessity and it is important to have a well-balanced meal that won’t make you feel too heavy or feel like you still need to eat. There are a lot of great websites and blogs about how to eat healthily and well without breaking the bank.

 

Skimp

Technology – When it comes to chasing technology, it’s good to stop and thing: do you really need an upgrade? It is very easy to get swept up by marketing, compelling advertisements, and more. Be objective. If your gadget is still functioning well and doesn’t hinder your interests or career, why do you need an upgrade?

Fashion –  For the average person, chasing fashion trends is simply not worth it. Instead, look for classic, timeless styles that fit well to look good. Constantly chasing trends for the sake of it will result in an overflowing wardrobe and money lost, unless you are a fashionista or have a career in fashion, in which case you may indulge yourself within your means.

Impulse purchases – You would likely have experienced buyer’s remorse before. Once the initial thrill of purchasing an item that you absolutely wanted at that moment melts away, buyer’s remorse is that gradually sinking feeling of regret, when you say to yourself “I think maybe I should not have bought that…”. Yes, sometimes it is good to scratch that itch but if you find yourself making this a habit, consider changing your habits or ways to avoid impulse purchases.

Premium upgrades – This can be seen in a variety of industries where they offer a “premium” upgrade. This is effective because people LOVE the idea of exclusivity and it has been proven that people are willing to pay for it. Stop, be objective again and consider the benefits. Video games are guilty of this, especially big titles that put up multiple different versions of the same for sale at drastically different price points with “benefits” to people who pay more.

 

Conclusion

The key takeaway here is to be objective and reason with yourself. You might not need the newest gadget in town, but there are other things you can save for and spend on. Things such as vacations, your hobbies and a nice treat at a restaurant. Just make sure you spend within your means, and that you’re always looking to build up your savings and your wealth. (Pay yourself first!)

Another way you can pay yourself is by purchasing your new clothes, booking your trips, or even getting your groceries through ShopBack Malaysia. That way, you get cashback on all your purchases. Those little cents add up, you know.

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Contributor at Shopback
This article was contributed by Nicholas Ho, a writer from ShopBack, the top cashback and online shopping site in Malaysia and Southeast Asia. Partnered with over 1300 online merchants regionally – such as VPN.asia, Booking.com, and Lazada – ShopBack is the smarter way to shop.
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