With the high cost of living in many parts of the country, it’s no surprise that so many people are trying to live more frugally. This often means avoiding certain expensive purchases — especially nonessential ones — and limiting spending in other areas of life so as to be able to save more or make ends meet.
But if you’re living frugally, you don’t necessarily have to avoid spending any money at all. You just might want to be more careful with how to allocate your funds. In some cases, it might even be worth breaking your frugal habits, if it means improving your quality of life now and in the future.
That being said, here are some big-ticket purchases that you shouldn’t skip out on, even if you’re living a frugal lifestyle.
If you’re currently sleeping on an old, lumpy mattress, you might want to invest in a good bed. Sure, it might cost more money upfront, but you’ll be glad you did it.
“Your sleep health impacts your overall health, and way too many of us are sleeping on the same broken-down bed we have had for a decade or more,” said Jay Zigmont, PhD, CFP, founder of Childfree Wealth. “Spending the money on a good bed will not only get you a better night’s sleep, but it may also improve your health and lower your stress level. Good beds aren’t cheap, but they are worth it.”
If you’re a homeowner, you might not want to spend thousands or tens of thousands of dollars on home renovations. But certain renovations could be worth the money, especially if you’re planning to sell your home and want to get the most profit.
“Large-scale house renovations can be expensive and time-consuming endeavors, but there is a possibility that they will result in a rise in the value of the property,” said Vikas Kaushik, CEO at TechAhead.
Replacing old appliances, adding on a deck or a spare room, updating your siding, switching to energy-efficient systems and more could increase your home’s value. Just be sure to weigh the costs and benefits before getting started.
Jake Claver, a finance expert, qualified family office professional (QFOP) and the CEO of Syndicately, suggested investing in quality over quantity when it comes to furniture and other purchases.
“Investing in high-quality furniture may seem extravagant, but it’s actually cost-effective,” said Claver. “Well-crafted pieces last significantly longer than their cheaper counterparts, which often need replacing after a few years. Consider a solid hardwood table or a high-grade leather sofa — these items don’t just serve their functional purpose, but they also retain their value over time.”
Estate Planning Services
You might not immediately think of spending your money on estate planning services, but if you’ve got substantial enough assets to pass down to your loved ones, it might be worth investing in.
By going with an estate planning expert, you can protect your assets, minimize taxes for your heirs or beneficiaries and navigate legal complexities. You can also prevent potential disputes regarding who gets what.
Solar-powered appliances may be a pricey upfront investment, but they’re also often worth the money. In some cases, they can even increase your home’s value, if you ever decide to sell it.
Alan Beard, a seasoned financial expert and the managing director and CEO of Interlink Capital Strategies, suggested starting with a solar oven.
“One unique investment I’ve made that’s worth every penny is a solar oven. While it may seem extravagant, this eco-friendly marvel has saved me money and aligned with my sustainable living goals,” said Beard. “Not only have I cut my utility bills, but I’ve also embraced a greener lifestyle… This unconventional purchase has been a cost-effective and environmentally conscious choice that I’m proud of.”
Home Weather Station
A home weather station is a system that lets you track changes in the weather, humidity and more. If you’re trying to be more environmentally-conscious, installing one could very well be worth breaking your frugal habits for.
“It might not be on most people’s radars, but it provides a unique advantage. I can track local weather conditions, helping me make informed decisions and prepare for extreme weather events,” said Beard. “By staying ahead of the weather, I’ve reduced energy costs and ensured my family’s safety. This device is like a personal meteorologist, providing insights that go beyond convenience — it’s a financial and safety asset that’s often overlooked.”
Comprehensive Health Insurance
While health insurance is no longer required by law at the federal level, it’s still worth having, as it can provide you and your family peace of mind. Not only that, but it can help keep your finances safe if something medical comes up.
“Health is an area where cutting corners can be risky,” said Ben Gold, founder of Recommended Home Buyers. “Having a comprehensive health insurance plan ensures you’re covered in case of unexpected medical expenses, preventing potentially catastrophic financial burdens.”
According to Kelley Blue Book, the average listing price of a new vehicle is $49,500, while the average cost of a used vehicle is $26,510. This is a substantial difference, especially if you’re living frugally.
That’s why you might want to consider getting a reliable used vehicle rather than a new one. Used cars don’t depreciate quite as quickly as new ones, but they can still get you from A to B.
“Look for models with a good track record for reliability and reasonable maintenance costs,” suggested Gold.
Energy-efficient appliances come with an initially high upfront cost, but they pay for themselves over time.
“While they may seem costly upfront, energy-efficient appliances, such as refrigerators and water heaters, can significantly reduce utility bills in the long run,” said Gold. “These appliances not only lower your energy consumption but also qualify for tax incentives and rebates.”
Home Gym Equipment
The cost of a gym membership can vary greatly, depending on where you go. So, if you’re interested in saving money while still getting a great workout, consider investing in some at-home equipment — like a treadmill.
“If you’ll use it, a treadmill or walking pad can be a great investment, even if you’re someone who lives frugally,” said Carter Seuthe, CEO of Credit Summit. “If you will get frequent use out of one, that can allow you to avoid paying for a gym membership, which in the long run will save you money by eliminating your monthly bills.”
Keep in mind that you can be money-conscious while still keeping fit. However, you don’t necessarily need to purchase an entire home gym to make that happen.
If you want to keep things simple and more affordable, consider getting a fitness tracker or a smart watch.
“In today’s fast-paced world, your health is of utmost importance, and there are specific significant purchases that are truly worthwhile, even for those who tend to be thrifty,” said Eugene Klimaszewski, president of Mammoth Security. One such item is a reliable fitness tracker.
“These gadgets assist in monitoring and enhancing your physical health, tracking everything from your daily steps to heart rate and sleep patterns. A fitness tracker can motivate a healthier lifestyle,” said Klimaszewski.
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