It’s generally a good idea to live frugally and save money by not buying things that are expensive because of their brand or their use as a luxury item. But there is an old saying that “poor people can’t afford to buy cheap things” – meaning that you will sometimes pay more – whether it’s in money or in time – if you only look for the cheapest option. In this post I’ll share six expensive things that I believe are always worth the money.
1. Washing Machine
I did most of my family’s laundry by hand for about three years. I would put it in the bathtub, fill the tub up with water and add detergent, then agitate the clothes with a laundry plunger thingie. I dried the clothes in a spin dryer and hung them up to dry in our teeny little apartment. The whole process took me… I don’t know, forever? It was so tedious and so much work and the source of SO much stress. Then we moved to a house with a washing machine and voila! Life was good again. But it was not to last. A year later we moved to a place without a washing machine and quickly realized that no, we needed a washing machine after all. We bought a used one for $140 off craigslist (which was a significant expense to us at that time) and it was truly worth every penny. I’m still using that washing machine and I still feel extremely thankful every time I load it. Sometimes I just sit there and watch the clothes sploshing around in the drum. It’s a nice, peaceful feeling. I hope my toiling days are done for good!
2. A new computer every five years or so
This year (2018) I bought a refurbished Apple iMac. It cost about $910 including the tax. Before that, I was using a six-year-old Toshiba laptop, running on Linux (after the original Windows got upgraded to Windows 10 and made it completely useless). Once I decided to start focusing a serious amount of my time and efforts towards this blogging thing, I realized that my old Toshie wasn’t cutting it. I work at a fast pace, and the old laptop was forcing me to wait with just about every task. Plus, I wanted to use Photoshop, which doesn’t run on a Linux system. I tried using Linux photo editors and they were just not good enough for what I needed. Thankfully, my husband supported the idea of upgrading my computer and it’s been totally worth it. My “new” computer is so fast and it can run all sorts of programs all at once. It can keep up with my demands as a very busy blogger who spends a lot of time researching, writing, editing images, coding, you name it.
3. Apple Phone
Last year (2017) my husband and I upgraded our old Nokia Lumia 635 smartphones for Apple iPhone 7 smartphones (at the time of writing, the iPhone 7 is two years old). Both our phones had limited capabilities because of the Windows OS which was just super glitchy. We got our new phones from WalMart for only $99 each, which was actually even cheaper than our old Lumias! Since we use our smartphones for so many things, it was worth it to get up-to-date ones. A huge plus for me is that I can take photos on my iPhone and use the “airdrop” feature to instantly transfer it, wirelessly, to my iMac. It saves me so much time with my blogging work. Also, it seems like in general Apple products retain a higher value in the second-hand market.
4. Traveling to see family
My husband’s family is in Finland, and mine is in Minnesota. Since we live in Texas (as of 2018), it means either people have to travel to visit us or we have to travel to visit them. Up until a few years ago we never had enough money to travel. As soon as it became feasible, we planned a nice long visit back to Finland, and the next year a nice long visit back to Minnesota. Shortly after both of those visits, we both lost members of our family. Needless to say, we don’t regret spending those thousands of dollars to visit our families, not even a little bit.
5. Renting or buying a place that is totally “move in ready”
We once made the mistake of moving into a place where the rental company promised to fix many things prior to our moving in. Things like… holes in the roof and in the exterior walls, broken fixtures, cracked floor tiles, garage doors that don’t lock… They promised to fix it all, buy they fixed none of it. It made the experience of living there a daily stress!
Of course, we realized it was our fault for trusting “their word” when all they as a company were concerned with was money. So for a year we had squirrels in our ceilings, rats in our walls, in our garage, even getting into our utility closet which is technically INSIDE the house (*shudders*). They did paint the walls for us before we moved in, but they didn’t clean any of the underneath surfaces before painting so gradually lots of the paint fell off on its own. There were wiring problems (sometimes lights would suddenly turn on or off) and the stove knobs set on fire one time. Having two small kids in that house was a TOTAL NIGHTMARE and honestly, it was quite a test! Boy were we glad it was only a rental. Our next rental was a completely renovated home, everything nice, everything as we’d like it BEFORE moving in. SO nice to be able to sleep at night without waking up to a screaming rat in the wall! (They are disturbingly loud… )
6. A baby swing
With my first baby, I was really sold on the idea of baby and me having maximum closeness at all times. We did co-sleeping and co-everything. With baby number two, I assumed I’d do the same thing. But she had her own little ideas. At three weeks old, she decided it would be fun for the whole family if we gave her a bit of an extended crying time right in the sweet spot between 2am and 4am. She would cry and cry and nothing we did could get her to stop. In came good old Amazon Prime. We ordered this swing and two nights later, we had a happy SLEEPING baby, all night. Yes, it was *kind* of an impulse buy, it was the best impulse buy EVER.
What expensive things do you think are worth the money?
Obviously, this list is based on my opinions and is specific to my situation and what I consider expensive. You may see something on my list and think, “I would NEVER waste my money on that!”
I’d love to know which expensive things you think are worth their money, let me know in the comments!