Your goal, of course, should be to save money and not splurge. However, there are products and services where it’s worth splurging. There’s that old saying that you get what you pay for and sometimes it just makes sense to shell out the extra money on stuff like top-quality kitchen equipment that will last for years instead of just months. Another area where it pays to splurge is in buying shoes. It’s just worth spending more to get high-quality shoes. While you could go to Wal-Mart and buy a pair of sneakers for maybe $19 how long will it be before your feet started hurting when you wear them? Most experts say that while spending more on quality stuff can seem counterintuitive when you’re trying to save money, the fact is that there are things you could splurge on that could actually motivate you to reach your financial goals and cut down on that evil troll called impulse buying. Another item where it makes sense to do a little splurging is toilet paper. Find a brand you like and feels good and use it despite the cost.
Spend your money where you spend your time
A second way to look at things is what’s called the comfort factor. This means spending your money where you spend your time. Let’s suppose, for example, that you work at home and spend eight hours a day in front of your computer. If you subtract eight hours from your 24-hour day for when you’re sleeping you’re spending eight out of 16 hours or half of your waking time in that chair.
Here’s where the comfort factor comes into play
Here’s where the comfort factor comes in. Ask yourself would you rather spend all that time in a cheap chair just “making do” and enduring the misery or would you rather spend it in comfort? The more of your day you spend at a task the easier the answer to this question should be. As for me, I would rather spend half my waking time sitting comfortably rather than suffering from the agonies of back pain. As you can see, the decision to splurge becomes even easier when you frame it this way.
If you’re typical then reading things as percentages can be a bit abstract. You might have an easier time if you look at it in concrete numbers. So here they are. Ten hours a day times five days a week times 52 weeks a year equals 2600 hours you ‘ll be sitting in that chair in the next year. Of course, you’ll have some weeks off for vacation but there are also days when you work late and even weekends so let’s say that just evens out.
If a mediocre office chair at Staples cost $100 but a top-of-the-line ergonomic chair that would conform to your spine, support your back and relax your muscles costs $800 then spread that $700 over 2600 hours. That works out to be about $.25 an hour. Now stop and think. Wouldn’t you pay $.25 an hour to be totally comfortable? My guess is that your answer would be yes. The numbers get even more favorable when you realize you won’t have to buy a chair once a year. The lifespan for a quality chair is at least five years so that puts the number down to about $.05 per hour. A comfortable chair is one of those things you could splurge on.
Check out some of the other things that you use every day such as your computer where the comfort factor will probably work out to be roughly the same as that of a quality chair. Ditto a smartphone or your mattress. Then do the math. If it takes 10 seconds for your computer to open an app and you could shave that down to two by installing a solid state drive that would be a valuable purchase. This is especially true when you add the time saved – not including your frustration. Does your computer lock up a lot because you’re short on RAM or maybe its processor is just slow? Then it would be in your best interest to upgrade your current computer or get a new one. Wouldn’t it be worth it if you could get through your day with little or no discomfort and frustration – not even taking price into consideration? Get the right chair, the right computer, the right smartphone and you’ll be preventing stress instead of spending money somewhere down the line to alleviate it.
If you work in an office
Suppose you don’t work at home. In this case, it may be difficult for you to find items you use most of your day where the comfort factor would work. First, write down all those things you do every day then evaluate the gear you need for those tasks. Here’s a fairly plain vanilla list to get you started.
- Eight hours at work — office chair, office desk, computer, monitor
- Two hours commuting — car, car paraphernalia
- One hour for cooking — kitchen pots and pans
- Three hours in the living room — recreation, video games, music, TV
- One hour reading — iPad/Kindle
- One hour exercise– treadmill, elliptical, jogging
You might find that you can’t convince your company to buy you a costly ergonomic chair. However, you might be able to get it to splurge on an ergonomic keyboard and mouse or a larger monitor. In the event that they don’t buy off on any of this, the comfort factor says it might be better for you to spend the money yourself, especially if it’s going to make you healthier or happier.
If you like to spend time unwinding by gardening get yourself some nice gardening equipment. If you jog it could be worth the money to get better shoes or a more expensive bike for your weekends. Does your family like to cook every day? Just think how much easier the work would be you had top-quality cooking utensils.
If you have a lengthy commute
If your car is an old rattletrap and you have a lengthy commute you might not go so far as buying a new one but you could get some better support for your back a, better music system (maybe one that includes hands-free calling) a nav system or something else that would make those long hours less awful. According to an article published on CNN.com, the average American spend 200 hours commuting to work. Might as well get your back comfortable if this is how long you will be sitting.
Finally if you have any type of back pain and you have an old mattress get a new one immediately. You spend a third of your life on that thing and the aftereffects of a bad night’s sleep can affect the other two-thirds severely. A good mattress is definitely one of those things you could splurge on without feeling guilty.