5 Things that You Should Spend Money On

We in the personal finance blogosphere love to fill the internet with ideas on how to save money and discuss everything under the sun that you should not spend money on. Well, today, I’d like to discuss a few things that I believe are acceptable purchases.

Photo by bfishadow via Flickr

1. Security

This is a topic that I think people begin to take more seriously when they start a family. I know I did. While you can definitely go overboard, generally, when it comes to the safety and security of your family, you should be willing to spend some money.

What exactly should you be spending money on with regards to security? First, I recommend a quality alarm system. On a day-to-day basis, an alarm system is a very cheap service and is very effective. Secondly, depending on your views and where you live, you may consider owning a firearm (be sure you do plenty of research and training if you consider purchasing a firearm). Third, you may consider a safe to store valuable items. If you are planning to store significantly valuable items, consider bolting it down or attaching it to your home somehow in order to prevent a thief from taking the entire safe.

Lastly, with the recent tragedy in Haiti, it has come to my attention that stocking basic supplies such as food and water is a wise strategy in the case of an emergency. An above average degree of self reliance and independence can be an additional layer of security that might be worthwhile to consider.

2. Education

Most people agree that investing yourself or investing in your education is a wise use of money. For the most part, I would agree, but I do think that some people waste money on continuing education for the sake of avoiding a job. I encourage you to make sure that your education will be applicable in getting a job or help you generate an income. Also, you should factor in debt levels if you are considering taking out a student loan.

Also, investing in education for your children is one of the best things you can do for your kids. As someone with young kids, I have been saving for college with one of the investment vehicles for my state, and putting aside some money to pay for a quality preschool.

3. A Good Suit

This is mostly for men obviously, but women can apply this to the appropriate option for them. A good suit is something that every man should own. A classic, traditional style that works in many circumstances is a wise investment. For example, can you wear your suit for a funeral, a wedding, a work presentation, a formal social gathering?

Owning a quality suit can assure you that you are prepared for an important meeting in your career or some other important gathering. Save a few hundred bucks and buy a quality suit that will last you for years. Then, be sure to take care of it.

4. Tools

When it comes to your home, it can get expensive to fix things and get things done. As such, it is a great investment to have some essential tools like a power drill, a set of screw drivers, a set of wrenches, pliers, etc. By having a standard set of tools to work with, you can be prepared to fix things yourself and save money in the long run. Furthermore, accomplishing things such as hanging pictures can be much easier if you have the basic tool set.

In just the last few months, I have saved several hundred dollars by fixing the garbage disposal myself and also doing a complete new install of a dead bolt lock on a door. I did both of these projects with basic tools that you could have for less than $100.

If you’re a newbie in this area, go to your area Home Depot, Lowe’s, or hardware store and talk to somebody who works there about the basic tools that every person should own. They will be able to assist you in picking out reasonably priced options that will last for years.

5. A Quality Computer

In the internet age, a quality computer is an important item to have. My home computer is a one-year old iMac. We use the computer for word processing, browsing the Internet, email, photo organization and home videos. I also own an Apple Time Machine for continuous data back up purposes.

An old, heavily used computer can sometimes become more of a headache than a useful machine. It’s important to keep your computer “clean” by not cluttering the system with questionable downloads and other files. By taking care of the computer, you can keep it running quick and reliably for years.

Do you have any items that you would add to this list that are appropriate things to spend money on?

About the Author

By , on Feb 18, 2010
Kevin
Kevin is the writer behind 20smoney.com. 20smoney.com focuses on aggressive investing, developing income streams, money management and more with advice targeting 20-somethings. You can read more about his pursuits of online income and financial freedom.

Leave Your Comment (5 Comments)

  1. Griff says:

    I think I would agree with you list. Although, when it comes to security, buying an alarm system for your house would be going over in my opinion. Maybe because I live in a safe neighborhood, but I think locking the door with a nice deadbolt is good enough.

  2. Jennifer says:

    Why is owning a suit “obviously” mostly for men? Women often wear suits for interviews, everyday work and formal occasions as well. I own many suits, and my husband just bought his first one, and we’re both professionals in our 30s. It’s not a big thing, but the “obviously” rubbed me the wrong way for some reason, as does the commenter’s suggestion that the equivalent for women is a church dress.

  3. My husband and I follow the “one good suit” rule too! The equivalent for women is a “Sunday best dress” and what I have is a black and white dress that is appropriate for both weddings and funerals. One or two Sunday best outfits (two if you have to deal with summer vs. winter wear) is absolutely worth the money.

  4. Mario says:

    I agree to this list, especially with the tools. One word of warning though. People should know their limitations when it comes to DIY repairs. Yes, DIY programs on TV and magazines will make it look really easy but be reminded that each situation may be different so extra care and thought should always be taken before diving into a project. Sometimes it ends up more costly when a professional has to come in to fix the homeowner’s initial attempts on repairs.

    Also, one thing I’d like to add, while it is good to keep in mind the acceptable things you can spend your money on, it’s also important, in my opinion, to sometimes spend money on other things or activities that make you happy no matter how frivolous it may seem to others. After all, it’s your money and if you worked hard to earn that cash, it’s okay from time to time to splurge. Just don’t go overboard. Life is too short. I could go “kaput” tomorrow and I sure don’t want to reach the end not knowing what it’s like to, for example, own and play an expensive guitar, or get a really nice massage in Thailand.

  5. Mrs. Money says:

    Love this! I think there are things I am happy to spend money on. One is good quality food!

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