In my last post, I shared with you my real secret and mindset that has helped me chalk up my savings easily - the concept of utility cost which I use before I make any purchases.
There has been a lot of critics and haters alike on my viral post of how I saved $20,000 in a year, where many chastised me for being cheap, not spending enough, etc. But there is a huge difference between being cheap and being frugal (which I'll write more on next time). Contrary to what some people think, Budget Babe does indeed spend on certain stuff. So today, I thought I'll share more on what I find worth spending on, while demonstrating further my concept of utility cost.
What is worth spending on?
1. A good mattress
I personally feel spending on a good mattress is a necessary investment, as it is really important to get a good night's sleep. Furthermore, a good mattress can give you ample support and rejuvenate you for the next day.
Skimping on a mattress frequently leads to back problems, disturbed sleep, discomfort, and many other problems. The biggest cost though, comes when you have lack of a good rest at night. Health issues aside, the reduced concentration that comes with a bad rest would affect our work performance and slow our productivity down. We may even end up spending more on coffee in order to fuel ourselves to get through the day.
Not worth it, if you asked me.
While I'm generally careful in selecting my insurance policies and tend to avoid overpaying for my insurance, I would not skimp on my insurance coverage, particularly for hospitalization.
Hospital bills have skyrocketed in the last decade, and with our modern lifestyle today being exposed to so much toxins, chemicals and radiation, there has been a higher incidence of illnesses commonly associated with a developed society such as cancer. These fees are no joke either. I got a wakeup call when a friend of mine was hospitalized last year and her bill came up to $10,000.
Frankly, my biggest worry now is of my dad, as he does not have ample insurance coverage and I learnt about the importance of it too late (after he crossed the maximum policy enter age) to be able to get him enrolled in a good policy. Now, I can only hope that his Medishield and my savings will be sufficient for whatever happens, and pray for the best.
3. Healthy foods
While I don't see the need to purchase Boost juice drinks every other day, I make an effort to ensure I get sufficient protein, (good) fats, carbohydrates, fibre and other essential vitamins from my food. Perhaps I'll share more on some easy and healthy meals I make every now and then for work in a future post, but for now, the emphasis is on eating clean and healthy whenever you can.
Yes, chips, instant noodles and canned food are cheap, easy to make and delicious too. I love them as much as everyone else, but I find that the savings are not worth sacrificing my health. If, like me, you find time a key challenge in trying to eat or prepare healthier food, do look out for my post next time on what I do to overcome this.
A poor diet can lead to more health issues later on, which means spending even more money. Considering that I'm stuck with this body for life, I rather try to take good care of it as much as I can.
4. Organic skincare
I don't know about you, but my face is one of the most important things to me. Considering it's the first thing people see when they look at me, and how presentations are a regular part of my work, I value having good skin and looking presentable most of the time.
I used to suffer from chronic acne, and the amount of money I blew while trying to treat it was quite ridiculous. The makeup was another thing, as having bad skin meant I had to spend more money on concealer as well as more time in front of the mirror to hide the blemishes.
Ever since I switched to organic skincare, I've been able to go out more frequently with light or even no makeup at all. As my bare skin is no longer severely tarnished with pimples, blackheads or blemishes, I'm able to skip foundation most of the time now (and only use it when I have a major presentation or meeting a new client).
Skimping on good skincare --> bad skin --> spend more on makeup to cover up --> worsens skin conditions --> more makeup..... It can be a pretty vicious cycle, so I rather forgo all that fuss and anxiety and ensure I have a good skincare regime to prevent all that instead.
5. Comfortable underwear
Given that we wear this daily, I find it important to get good-fitting underwear which makes me feel good and comfortable while wearing it. For work, I have a few classic nude and seamless underwear to ensure no lines show up under my work skirts or dresses. As a dancer, I have plenty of sports bras for proper support. For everything else, I have a few pieces in different colours to match my outfits as well as a few different designs that I tend to wear often due to certain cuttings of my clothing.
I don't spend on branded underwear though. Just comfortable ones made of long-lasting, quality material.
6. Essential work outfits
Without my job, I would have no income, so it is important for me to ensure I have chic work outfits that communicate my professionalism. Since I generally wear my work clothes for long hours in a day, I make sure they are comfortable as well.
I tend to go more for basics and classic outfits that will never go out of trend, particularly those that will allow me to mix and match with my other wardrobe items to form new looks. In this way, the utility value of each item increases the more I'm able to wear it.
7. Comfortable shoes
One of my pet peeves is having to wear uncomfortable heels for work while walking long distances. I realized I get cranky more easily and am much slower due to the reduced speed of walking from the painful shoes. Thus, it is really important to spend on good shoes, especially if you're going to be walking in them a lot.
I generally spend on my work heels and dance shoes as I use them the most often.
8. Good soap and kitchen tools
I once tried skimping on dish soap and washing sponges by buying cheaper ones...it was a terrible mistake. The sponges tore easily whereas the dish soap was not powerful enough to clean it thoroughly, so I ended up washing and rinsing the dishes multiple times before they were clean enough.
Kitchen tools are another area I would think twice before skimping on. The cost of replacing them if they break down too often is simply not worth it. Instead, I try to go for multi-purpose kitchen tools and spend more on the ones I use often.
What are some other things you find worth spending on? Do share with me your list, and I would love to add them here if they make sense!