Sometimes life can feel overwhelmingly expensive. With almost everything becoming more expensive by the day, it’s hard to keep up.
But whether you are starting your career or are already making good money, there are some things that you should never put off paying for. Because in many cases, putting off these expenses can cost you more in the long run.
So even if you are on a budget, here are seven things you should pay for without hesitation.
Paying for dental work may seem like a luxury.
It’s expensive. It’s time-consuming. And let’s be real, it can be frightening.
But if you avoid paying for dental work, it can actually end up costing more later. And if you have kids, it’s even more important to take care of any issues when they are younger.
If your kids need dental work or braces, putting it off can mean that they may face oral surgery in the future, or other health problems. And as an adult, getting regular exams, cleaning and fixing dental issues can help with a host of dental-related health issues.
Owning good-quality tools can be expensive. Whether it’s a well-designed table saw, a high-quality cordless drill or a good set of wrenches, tools can help you with a host of maintenance tasks.
But if you cheap out on tools, you may end up paying for the decision in other ways. Poorly designed tools can make a job much harder, and more time-consuming. And cheap power tools may not last as long as their high-quality counterparts.
While it may be more expensive, amassing a collection of quality tools over time can help save you headaches (and money) on those pesky home and automotive projects.
While there are many convenience and single-use items for your household that aren’t required, having a good organization system can be a massive stress-reducer. And while it may be tempting to just use old boxes with Sharpies to label them to organize your home, it is not recommended.
Coming up with organization systems for each room in your home can help keep the clutter at bay, and might even save a few stubbed toes. And if you have kids, it’s almost a necessity to have toy organization systems in place to avoid looking like a tornado passed through their room every evening.
Food is pricey, but think about how important it is.
You eat three meals a day, and what goes into your body is all it has to fuel your brain, muscles and other systems. As the old saying goes, “you are what you eat…,” and paying for high-quality foods can improve many areas of your life.
According to the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, buying cheap and overly-processed foods can lead to a number of massive health issues, including many cancers. Obviously you want to avoid any health issues if you can help it, so buying whole foods and unprocessed ingredients can help.
It’s easy to forget car maintenance. Especially if everything seems to be running fine. But if you don’t maintain your car engine and transmission, it can get very expensive down the road (pun intended).
Sticking to the manufacturer-recommended maintenance schedule is easy when it’s included with a new car purchase, but if you own a used car, make sure to look up the maintenance schedule for your vehicle.
Things like routine oil changes and flushing your transmission can add years to the longevity of your car. And if your car has a timing belt (as opposed to a chain), neglecting this service can severely damage the engine if the belt breaks.
Bottom line: Maintain your car and avoid costly repairs later.
Do not put off investing.
While opening a Roth IRA or investing through your workplace retirement plan may be the last thing on your mind if you’re paying off debt or struggling with your finances, putting it off can cause a much larger financial problem.
Time is the most important aspect of investing, allowing your investments to compound over time. In fact, if you wait just 10 years to invest for retirement, it can cost you a whole lot of money.
For example; if Bob starts investing $250 per month starting at age 25, and Joe waits until age 35, (both with an estimated rate of return of 7%), Bob could end up with $656,203 at age 65, and Joe would only have $304,993.
So even if you can only put $50 per paycheck away, starting now makes a big difference.
Insurance can be costly, but not having insurance can cost you even more.
Insurance lets you put the risk of financial loss onto the insurance company for a regular fee, and if something bad happens, it will pay the costs. And while most people don’t need insurance for everything, there are some types of insurance you should have:
- Car insurance
- Homeowners/Renter’s insurance
- Health insurance
- Life insurance
- Disability insurance
You may also want to consider identity theft protection insurance, long-term care insurance (when age 60 or older) and an umbrella policy. All of these types of insurance can protect you from potentially catastrophic financial emergencies.
While it is becoming harder and harder to save money, there are some expenses you simply should not skimp on. It may seem wise to avoid spending money as much as possible, but not paying for quality items or preventative services can actually hurt you in the long run.
Of course, everyone’s financial situation is different, and you will need to pick and choose what to spend money on and what to put off. But make sure you consider the risks of pushing expenses into the future…it may be worse for you later.
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