By Jeannie Riess | Dr. Budgets
Working within a budget doesn’t mean you can’t spend money – it’s quite the opposite! A budget brings awareness to your spending and encourages you to spend money on what’s really important to you. If an annual vacation is a top priority for you, then divert the $20/week ($1,040 a year) you are spending on coffee drinks into a travel fund.
When you save money on things that are trendy, utilized infrequently, or flat out not that important, you can splurge on what really matters.
Below are some examples.
Spend: Workout Shoes (OR Pants)
Save: Workout Tops
Your feet need to be supported if you’re a runner or hiker, and a good pair of shoes will outlast a few pairs of cheap shoes. Good shoes can prevent injury to your ankles and knees and are worth the investment. If your exercise of choice doesn’t involve shoes (Yoga, Pilates) or doesn’t require good shoes (the elliptical or cycle machines), then put your money toward good workout pants. Workout tops are simply not worth spending a lot of money on – you can find very cute tops at Target and Forever 21, or wear the free shirt you earned from your last half marathon!
Save: Trendy Tops
Trends in jeans tend to have longer cycles, so they’re worth the investment. Although boyfriend jeans are the new “it” jean, skinny jeans had a good run for at least five years. Before that, bootcut jeans were the go-to jean for a few years. Trends in tops cycle through much faster, so your money is better spent on jeans. I say “Nordstrom for jeans and Forever 21 for tops.” Nobody cares that your shirt was inexpensive if your butt looks good in your expensive jeans.
Spend: Boots and Heels
Save: Flats, Flip Flops, and Tennis Shoes
Skip the $50 flip flops and put that money toward the shoes that make a statement (and you’ll wear most often): boots and high heels.
Spend: One Fantastic Bikini
Save: Extra Bikinis
Spend your money (and time in the dressing room) on a bathing suit that makes you feel great and that you love. Unless you’re a beach bum, you just need one fantastic suit – so don’t spend your money on a few less-than-stellar suits (which can quickly add up).
Spend: Your Everyday Bag
Save: Clutches, Beach Bags, and Trendy Purses
You want the purse you use every day to be on trend, versatile, and something you love – that’s a tall order for a cheap bag! Investing money in a purse you love is worth it since you’ll use it pretty much every day. Spend some time finding a great bag that fits your needs and lifestyle, and opt for a style that is more classic than trendy. When it comes to bags and purses, you can skimp on beach bags, clutches you only use a few times a year, and super trendy purses for a night out.
Spend: Foundation, Moisturizer, Cleanser
Save: Mascara, Lipstick, and Blush
The rule I like to follow here is to invest in the products that really make a difference in how your skin looks (foundation, moisturizer, and cleansers), because there are significant differences between cheap moisturizers, that are one-size-fits-all, and a good moisturizer made for your skin type. The differences between expensive mascaras, lipsticks, and blushes compared to the drugstore brands aren’t enough to justify the (sometimes) $25 price difference.
So, there you have some of my personal guidelines for when to save and when to spend. What do you think? Do you agree or disagree? Do you have your own guidelines for when you save and when you splurge? Please share your thoughts with me in the comments section below!
Please share this post with someone who you think will benefit from these tips, or send them to our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/drbudgets) for more information on when to save and when to spend. Also, check out our blog next month for the “guy” version of this blog.
- Published in Spend Wisely