Here in the Money department, I spend a lot of time talking about budgets and being conservative. But you know what—there are times when you need to spend money, and that’s what I’m focusing on today.
Shoes – okay, you can probably get away with a pair of cheap flip-flops from time to time, but you do need to buy some good quality shoes. If you stand at work or you’re a runner or you’re going grocery shopping or doing any other kind of activity that requires you to spend time on a hard concrete floor, you need the support of good footwear. If you’re trying to work long shifts in flimsy shoes, you will injure your feet, legs, and back. Living in pain is not worth the money you’d save by wearing discount shoes.
Insurance – it’s crucial that you carry good home, life, health, and auto insurance. Yes, it’s an out-of-pocket expense we’d all rather not pay, but when crisis strikes, you need to know that you are covered. And when it comes to auto, don’t just get the smallest policy required by law – get the full insurance. You’ll thank me later.
Food – I think the grocery budget is the first thing to take a hit when we try to economize. I’ve been there, done that—tried to spend less on food, and ended up being hungry, which made me grumpy, which made me less productive … and no fun to live with. Make sure you have enough variety in your kitchen to keep you fed. Now, you can buy cheaper brands and you can choose this bread over that bread and save money that way, but if you buy only the very cheapest stuff, you’ll just be unhappy, and your nutrition will suffer, too.
Health – what a nice segue, going from food to health. I can think of few better ways to spend your money than on keeping yourself healthy. I don’t advocate pricey gym memberships and fancy workout clothes and $100-an-ounce health potions, but I am a big believer in making sure your body has what it needs for proper functioning.
We each have a certain amount of money to spend, and we should be mindful of the ways we choose to spend it. This list is fairly rudimentary, and I’m sure you can think of other things that should be on it. The point is, there are times to economize, and there are times to go ahead and make the purchase. Learning which is which is a huge step toward financial responsibility.