The Best Money I’ve Ever Spent

The Best Money I've Ever Spent

I’m all about saving money, but I also think money’s meant to be spent. My money philosophy is simple: as long as you’re meeting your financial goals, then you can do whatever you want with the rest. Even if it’s something “frivolous” like a $300 dinner.

So, I’m not afraid to spend money. But how do you spend it wisely, and on the stuff that really matters to you? Now that we’re closing out on 2017, I’m in a reflective mood. I thought it would be a fun exercise to look back and think about the spending that stands out to me the most. Specifically, what are the best things I’ve ever bought with my money? Here are my top three:

1. Pre-Marital Therapy

Cost: $190 ($19 per session)
What I really bought: Investing in my marriage

I’ve always been hyperaware when it comes to relationships. So much so, I refused to move in with any boyfriends unless I thought the relationship was going to last. I didn’t care if it was cheaper to split the rent, or that I lugged around my weekend bag to and fro for years, like a bag lady. My worst nightmare was “sliding” into marriage, because of inertia.

I mean, you’ve seen how long it takes me to decide on buying a measly T-shirt.

Since marriage affects you your entire life (in theory), there’s no way I wasn’t going to take it seriously.

After a handful of longterm relationships, my husband was the only one I moved in with. And that was after we talked a lot about money. I wouldn’t move in unless I was sure we could get on the same page in terms of financial goals.

Then four months after I moved in with my husband (then boyfriend), and after two years of dating, I suggested we go to couples therapy.

Dating. Couples therapy. Yes, those two can mix, despite tweets like this:

Couples therapy

We didn’t have any of the drama that Selena and Justin have, and there were no doubts we’d get married someday.

So why go to therapy if you’re not married and you don’t have any real issues?

Because the best time to fix a problem is before the problem starts.

And I could see a massive problem coming down the road.

It was ME.

Specifically, my non-existent communication skills. I didn’t know how to express my needs in a healthy way. When hurt or angry, my only communication strategy was The Silent Treatment. I saw my mom using that tactic growing up, and my past boyfriends put up with it, so I had no incentive to change. Just like money skills, communication skills are learned, too. 

This resulted in my husband and me failing hard at having productive conversations about touchy topics. We’d work through it a day or two later, but I could see how the stonewalling was hurting my husband each time. And for the first time, I cared enough to want to change.

To further complicate things, my husband had a divorce and a child under his belt. I had neither of those. There were some, um, feelings to unpack.

Poor communications skills plus lots of feelings swirling around in my head was a disaster waiting to happen.

So for two and a half months, we paid $19 per session to talk through whatever unresolved feelings we had with a third party. It’s an incredibly privileged position to be in: 1. To have extra money to take preventative measures, and 2. To have decent insurance to cover 80% of the costs.

While we’ve been married for less than a year, I can’t say the sessions will make our marriage last forever, but that’s actually not the point. It’s about practicing how to show up and do the work. The sessions showed me exactly what I needed to know: that IF a problem comes up, we’re willing to work through it together.

2. Taking Mom on Vacation

Cost: $3,600
What I really bought: Quality time with family

Hands down, the most rewarding money I’ve ever spent is anything for my mom. It’s not because I’m a big softie, either. She never asks me for anything because she’s independent as hell (where do you think I get it from???).

The first “material” thing I bought for my mom was an iPhone for a few hundred dollars. Every time she Facetimes me to show me what she’s cooking, or to say hi to one of our cats, I feel a surge of happiness. She not only gets a boost of confidence for knowing how to FaceTime, but FaceTime is the second-best thing to visiting in person.

But my favorite spending has been on family vacations.

A few years ago, I’d read a blog post called “The Tail End” on the blog Wait But Why. The premise of the post is that you only have a limited number of days with your loved ones. So if both my mom and I live for another 30 years, and I visit her once a year, I potentially have only 30 more opportunities to hang out with my mom. Ever. If that.

I thought about all those times I could have visited, but didn’t.

Some other time, I’d told myself.

But maybe there won’t be some other time.

The time is now.

And what made me particularly sad was how my mom had never been on a vacation before. So for the past couple years I’ve made a conscious effort to take both my mom and my uncle (who practically raised me) places to expand their horizons. The first trip was to New York City, the next was Las Vegas and the nearby national parks, and this year we went to Hawaii.

I still remember how exhausted I was, driving us from Vegas to Arizona. But every now and then I’d look in the rearview mirror and see my mom, holding her camera out the window, marveling at the southwestern landscapes she’d never seen before.

Or this year in Hawaii, I woke up at 2am, noticing the light in the living room was still on. My mom was on the phone, and had been for hours, bragging to her friends about her trip.

Those are the moments that are worth every cent.

I’m not the only one who thinks that. Funny enough, a few weeks ago I was listening to a Tim Ferriss podcast where he talked about getting inspired by the same exact post I linked above, and organizing family trips. So yeah, let’s go on the record here, that Tim Ferriss totally copied me.

3. Solo Travel

Cost: $5,000 (three trips)
What I really bought: Self confidence, adventure

I’ll make a bold statement: I think everyone should travel alone at least once in their lives.

There seems to be a trend now where people like to bag on how much traveling alone sucks. Maybe it’s because the trend right before that was about how traveling alone was the fool-proof way to “find yourself”. I blame those books Wild and Eat, Pray, Love.

Traveling alone can be really hard and lonely. When you’re by yourself the logistics and problems are all on you. But while I love traveling with my best friend, there’s one thing I’ve only been able get when I travel by myself: random adventure.

Case in point: me, so many times.

When I say ‘adventure,’ I don’t mean going bungee jumping in New Zealand. I’m talking about the adventures that don’t cost much money at all. I’m pretty sure the only way I got into a famous club was by rolling up to the door by myself. Or those happy accidents that would have never happened to me otherwise. Like missing my flight and staying out all night with someone I just met at the airport. And the people I would have never met if I was with a friend. Like the bookstore worker I chatted with and who then showed me all her favorite local spots. You ALWAYS meet people when you’re by yourself. It’s how it works.

Besides adventure, solo travel reminds me what I’m made of, when things are scary or hard. Imagine landing in Vietnam, not speaking the language, no transfer booked to the hotel, and 10 cab drivers are circling around you like sharks. What do you do?

And lastly, traveling alone is about not making excuses. I’ve traveled alone because I wanted to go somewhere and either my friends had no money, no vacation time, or just plain didn’t want to go. So was I going to let that stop me, just because I had no one to travel with? Life’s too short to wait around for other people. And your significant other doesn’t have to stop you, either. I went to Japan without my husband (then boyfriend), and that was a good sign for me–that we don’t have to do everything together to have a healthy relationship.

Final Thoughts

So for me, the common themes are relationships and memories. I’ll never put a budget on those items, because what I get for my money is worth much, much more.

I’m curious, what are the best things you’ve ever bought? From material goods, experiences or relationships, I want to know!

Image: Unsplash

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  • Wait! What? It was not the $60 t-shirt? Noooooooo! Haha. Just kidding. Your list is great. Personal finance bloggers don’t talk enough about spending money. I love that you do. Happy new year.

    • I’m never going to live that down, am I? 😉 The $60 T-shirts are just icing on the cake.

  • Adventure Rich

    I think a few of the best things I have bought (no particular order) are buying insurance and quality goods when it counts (investing in peace of mind), paying for running and bike race entries (investing in my health and competitive side), paying for grocery deliver (investing in more time with my family), and partially paying for college via student loans (investing in my future/ability to provide for my family) 🙂 Happy New Year!

    • Insurance is a great one! Although I’ve definitely griped some about paying for insurance and not actually using it. But peace of mind is priceless. I’ve also been set back from joining races because of the money! I wanted to do a half-marathon, but I didn’t want to pay the fees. I always told myself I can run a half-marathon by myself. Well, that still hasn’t happened. Sometimes you need to put money down for some accountability. Love the grocery delivery hack!

      Happy New Year to you, as well!

  • I love this! It’s so easy sometimes to get caught up in the dollar value of what something costs that we forget that some purchases are more than that. I just had to put $2200 into my car and that number makes me want to puke. But, I didn’t just buy some seat belt and airbag sensors, a block heater and regular maintenance items. I bought piece of mind that if we do get in an accidental, our airbags will actually deploy. And, that when it’s minus 30 out, the car will start and we’ll be able to get to work. That piece of mind is well worth the large price tag (no matter how painful it was to pay out).

    • Thanks, Britt! I definitely see what you mean about getting caught up in dollar value, but I wouldn’t put you in the cheap camp. You’re frugal! Over $2k in car costs would make me mad, too. But I’m with you, it’s a necessary evil and totally worth spending on your safety.

  • Eddie

    Hey Luxe!
    Your New Zealand pics look awesome ! Glad you had a blast !
    I could not agree more with the solo travel part. It is such a rich experience! I love my friends and family but I love the novelty of getting lost in a foreign (or domestic) city and just being totally happy whilst walking relaxed and alone among a crowded street. A guilty pleasure of mine is to pretend to be a local wherever I go, it is a lot more convincing when you’re alone. In retrospect, traveling alone may be safer since you look like less of a tourist. Idk maybe?
    Anyway, happy to have you back! Enjoy the rest of 2017 !
    Ciao

    • Hey Eddie!

      NZ was definitely a stunner, not gonna lie, and we DID have a blast. I could look at sheep all day, I’ve learned.

      YES re: solo travel. With solo travel means adventure isn’t that far behind. And I’m not an easygoing traveler either. I don’t like going along with other people’s ideas, so I love the freedom of being able to do exactly what I want, and on my own pace (fast!). And 100% agree with you on pretending to be a local. Those have been my most memorable experiences. I joined a tour group once (and hated it), and no one in the group would actually talk to the ppl from the country we were in, which blew my mind. So I went off on my own a lot and hung out with so many locals just by walking around by myself. I remember I was trying to go to a sandwich shop and realized it was a 20 minute walk. Lo and behold, a guy I’d met the day before (asking for directions) pulled up on his motorbike and I made him to give me a ride to the shop!

      Excited to be back!

  • Premarital therapy is a pretty smart investment! I thought of doing that getting married but…eh cheaped out. 😅

    The best thing I’ve ever bought was our rental because I know now being a property manager is something I definitely don’t want to do for the rest of my life! The second best thing (and much cheaper) is the hosting and domain for my blog! 😆😆 My #3 is just a list of foods…tacos, katsu, In-n-Out…so on.

    • Frugal Asian Finance

      Mr. FAF and I have also thought about going to marriage counseling a couple of times, but we also cheaped out eh.

      Premarital therapy sounds like a great idea! I’m glad your insurance covers that. I haven’t checked if my insurance covers marriage counseling, but I think it might be worth finding out. After all, I’m sure Mr. and I would have a huge fight again one day. >_<

      • You should definitely look into it! If something is going to affect you you entire life, isn’t that worth a couple hundred bucks or a thousand bucks? I’ve had insurance from a big company and a small company, and the sessions were mostly covered. Just look at your plan under the ‘mental health’ section. I didn’t have to ask anyone for pre approvals, either. You’ll definitely get into a big fight again with Mr., but you might be able to resolve it better if you develop some tools to deal with it!

        • Frugal Asian Finance

          Thank you, Luxe! I will look into that. I agree that marriage counseling is important and might be worth the money in the long run. 🙂

    • I guess I’d say that divorce is expensive, so spending a couple hundred bucks on therapy is totally worth it.

      I thought about Airbnb when I was on my trip. We had a couple snafus that hosts had to deal with and I was like, man, it must be super annoying to be a host and deal with all this stuff! Then I got annoyed last night because I tried to do something on Airbnb and then they wouldn’t let me without uploading a government ID. So I noped out of there.

      Ooh, the blogging costs is a good one–you get to reach X amount of people for just a couple hundred bucks a year. Worth it.

  • What a great post! It’s refreshing to think that money is meant to be spent because I’m so focused on saving that I always feel guilty when I spend money. One of the best things I ever “bought” for myself was help with my yard. I hired a company to mow and trim the yard twice a month for $100. It was some of the best money I ever spent. What I really bought was free time on my weekends, a great looking yard, and freedom from the guilt I felt every time I went outside and saw my grass overgrown.

    • Hi Courtney, thanks for the compliment! I want to live a full life, and there are just some things that you need to pay for in order to do that. I’d say that buying back some of your time is a great use of money!

  • This resonates hard. I’ve mentioned it on the blog before, but one of my big life goals is to be able to take my mom to Ireland. She has never been and would love to go.

    I also completely agree on travelling solo. I’ve done it on 3 separate occasions and I won’t lie–each was gruelingly lonely but also taught me a lot about myself and what I value in life thanks to all the time to reflect and watch myself be.

    • Glad it resonates with you! I do remember you mentioning Ireland on Twitter! I just saw the latest Star Wars movie and was like, ooooh, at that green island one of the characters is living on. Looks like a beautiful country.

      I hear you about the solo travel–it can definitely be lonely, especially in terms of the eating, but I do feel like some destinations are better for traveling alone than others. I’m very Type A in certain ways, so I’ve learned that sometimes you need to go with the flow, and then good things happen to you!

  • Lenka Pešková

    I did two of those things, both after I was dumped by my long term boyfriend (after 5 years by email :-D). At the end I actually moved to another country all by myself. In my home country therapy is still seen as something “strange” but for me it was the best investment in my life. Now I know when something happens I have “a mind tool” how to handle it!

    • Five years and an email? That’s jail worthy! Any way, sounds like that wasn’t such a great loss, because moving to a new country alone is next level. For many people, moving to a new city 30 minutes is scary, so I admire that. And I think therapy is seen as strange in many countries, here as well. There’s something that we don’t like about admitting that things aren’t perfect, and that everything should be effortless. That’s not realistic! “Mind tools” is a great name! That’s exactly what I think we got from our sessions.

  • GYM

    Those are some great examples of spending money on experiences and self improvement. My husband and I also went to premarital counseling and it was great! She acknowledged that my husband is a great communicator haha and I am hyper aware that my communication skills needed work coming from a dysfunctional codependent family like mine. When I tell people we went to premarital counseling I get a worried look- there’s so much stigma surrounding it when people should realize that we all have a lot we can work on. Adopting the attitude that you want to improve yourself is healthy and nothing to be ashamed about 🙂 rock on sistah!

    • Oh yay, so we’re not the only ones who did pre-marital counseling–woop! Yeah, my husband was praised for his communication skills, too. I was the problem child creating all the drama 🙂 I know what you mean about the worried look. I really wish pre-marital counseling didn’t automatically mean you’re “incompatible.” Everybody’s incompatible in some way; marriage is about how you work through it. I’m tired of these tropes that if it were meant to me that it would be effortless! Totally agree that there’s nothing wrong with trying to improve yourself or prevent problems!

  • The Land of Milk and Money

    Honestly, I teared up a bit at the part on how many chances there may be left to hang out with someone. Beautifully said.

    I live overseas (a 15 hour flight) from my family and recently spent a small fortune on plane tickets so my mum could come visit. Totally worth every second of budgeting that made it possible.

    • To be honest with you, I teared up a little myself while writing this. That’s how I know when I wrote something good. When it makes me emotional, too. 🙂

      I’m so glad you prioritized those plane tickets for your mum, even if they were expensive. I feel the same way–I’ll whine about a $15 cab ride but I never ever complain or regret money spent on time with family.

  • Yessss! I love this. Travel with family is also something we’re really prioritizing. Sure, going on scuba diving trips with my grandparents these last two years has been expensive, but they legitimately might have been their last two big trips (fingers crossed that isn’t true, but my grandmother is not doing the best right now :-/ )

    I’ve also never solo traveled before (I mean, besides work trips), and I’m starting to wonder if I should…

    Also I was very confused until this line: “…and 2. To have decent insurance to cover 80% of the costs,” as I kept thinking “how does a single session not cost at least a $100??” Love that you were able to recognize the start of an issue before if became a full blown problem

    • Grandparents scuba diving is a pretty awesome mental image. I’m so glad you got to do that–I’m sure you’ll remember that experience for many years to come. And that you recognized the importance of spending time with family while your grandparents were doing well. I truly hope your grandmother gets another trip 🙂

      Solo travel for me has mostly been about wanting to go somewhere and not wanting to wait around for other people. So if you have a destination that the Mr. isn’t into, I’d def encourage it. One thing I do is go to restaurants right when they open. Not only do you get to eat at famous restaurants without a wait, but it’s a little less awkward for you, too.

      I’ve had insurance from a big company and a small one, and both covered therapy to a certain extent. You should check yours! It’s under the mental health section. I was told I may need pre approval, but I never ended up having to do that. And yes, cleaning up a little mole hill is a lot easier than cleaning up a mountain…

  • Thinking about only being able to see my parents a very specific # of times over the next two decades, hopefully-really set things in for me. My parents are in their 60s so instead of 30 years, I’m hoping to have very healthy 20 years with them. It’s amazing that you took your mom and uncle on trips to expand their horizons. I would like to take my parents to restaurants offering different cuisines to do that same thing- they have very limited experience with non-Chinese food. I can’t wait to take my parents on a vacation, hopefully in the near future.

    Best things I spent money on? Grad school and therapy. I hate to admit it but going to grad school made me more understanding towards myself, my family, and people in general. I also honed in on empathy and listening-two things I never really thought of until grad school. And going to therapy wouldn’t have happened if I didn’t educate myself on mental health and have the opportunity to destigmatize it. I learned so much about myself, how I usually “work through” issues, and how I can communicate the things that are most uncomfortable. Personal growth and development really is priceless. P.S. Your insurance is amazing! I think about how much I used to pay and how much the clinic I worked at used to charge and damn, $19 per session is a steal!

    Love that you used a photo of Justin and Selena-they really are such a mystery but that’s none of my business. I think wanting to work through it with your partner is a good sign and relationships are always going to involve work, family relationships included.

    I hope everything I am saying makes sense, I am still feeling weird post wisdom teeth removal so for all I know I could be typing gibberish.

    Bookmarking this post to share with everyone and their moms ASAP!

    • Thankfully your parents are somewhat close by though, right? I don’t have a direct plane or bus ride to see mine, so that’s definitely a barrier for me. She also doesn’t live in an area where there are jobs, which is why I moved away…

      I think taking your parents to different restaurants is a great idea! Mine would just complain about how she could just make the same stuff at home for way cheaper, heh. And I hope you guys do get to fund a trip for the parents. I never realized how rewarding it is to be able to take care of someone else’s expenses until I actually did it.

      I know what you studied in grad school wasn’t what you actually wanted to do, so I’m glad you got something positive out of it, anyway. And I can tell you’re good at listening based on how much I bug you on Instagram 🙂 I’ve worked at a big company and a small one with different insurance, and mental health stuff was covered at both. I bet more people have these types of things covered, if they just check.

      I feel like doing to a counselor before marriage is often viewed as bad sign that the marriage won’t work, but I think it’s the opposite. Marriage isn’t effortless, just like you said. Somehow people still have that fantasy.

      Hope you are almost recovered from post-dental work and can eat Trader Joe’s snacks soon!

  • Great post, and I can personally relate to and/or strongly appreciate all of these things! That thing you mentioned about having only x opportunities to spend time with relatives really hits home. In my family, we’d been grappling with aging grandparents, some of whom have since passed, and that’s another area where those feelings are very real.

    Both the traveling solo and travel for family thing are things I know to be worth it. Because of how my family does money (she’s too generous with us, and we’re really bad at assertively reaching for the bill!), I haven’t actually done as much of the paying for travel for my mom thing as I want, though my sister and I are planning to take her on a trip this coming year.

    • Thanks!

      Sorry you’re dealing with the reality of aging grandparents. I never knew mine so that’s one thing I’ve missed, but my dad passed away when I was a teenager. Unfortunately, hanging out with your parents isn’t really on your radar at that age…

      I think lots of parents are like their mom–they still want to provide in some way and how they provide is by paying for some stuff, so I can see how it can be tough to treat the parents (my father in law is like that, too). But organizing a trip for her should work just as well. Excited to see where you go!

  • Saving with Sense

    Loved this post! It’s awesome that you were so self-aware and willing to work on your communication skills that you went to couples therapy! Investing in your marriage and future is well worth the money and time!

    I’ve also realized how precious the time we spend with our loves ones is. I’m fortunate that my immediate family lives less than an hour away from me and I can easily visit them. I started treating my parents too, mostly with things that they wouldn’t buy for themselves. For example, this year, I gave my mom a Patagonia sweater and a pair of Allbirds. (I’m slowly turning her into a trendy millennial 😝 haha). She loves how comfy and warm they are!

    I totally agree about solo traveling! I think it’s super important for a person to be able to be alone and not rely on other people to enjoy life. It’s unfortunate that society shames us for doing certain things alone, like traveling or eating. I’ve had lots of fun traveling alone and have been able to meet great people through my solo travels too! 😀

    • Thank you, Cyn! Well, my communication skills were pretty abysmal and we’d keep running into the same problems over and over unless I did something about it. So I was really trying to avoid future headaches.

      You are super lucky indeed to be so close to family! Where my mom lives there aren’t many jobs in my field, which is kind of why I moved away in the first place. Ha, I love that you bought your mom millennial sneakers. I’m sure she’s the hippest mom on her block!

      I think it’s really important to be able to entertain yourself without being lonely, and traveling solo is the ultimate way to do that!

      Thanks for stopping by, and see you around 🙂

  • Floor seats to a Beyoncé concert solo. It got interrupted due to lightening and after an hour wait she gave us the entire perform. I’m going to tell my grandkids about that night. My DSLR. I bought it on a whim but it helped me fall back in love with photography and that has opened several opportunities for me. A Megabus ticket to spend a weekend with my granddad. Took me 8 hours and a missed bus to get there, but I had a great time visiting him.

    • Love these. The Beyonce concert stands out to me because I’ve easily spent over $1000 on Jay-Z tickets in my lifetime. They were so worth every penny because I always had floor seats. One time I even got to row 6 and he pointed at me twice. Unforgettable experience.

      • I am so mad at myself for not buying Jay Z tickets last year. I didn’t know where I would be geographically and employment-wise, so I didn’t want to get one. I’ve missed out on a good time. Actual true performers. Oh so prayer.

    • Experiences, hobbies, and family–those are some solid choices! I’m sure that Beyonce concert was epic, and I was definitely missing a nicer camera (well, more legit than my iPhone) on my last trip. I used to take the Megabus and loved sitting on the top level!

      Thank you for stopping by!

  • Wow, I feel like this post could have been written by me! Lol. So much of this reminds me of myself, from the non-existent communication skills to solo traveling because my friends couldn’t and/or didn’t want to. Another one of the best things I’ve spent money on was orthodontic treatment (which I’m almost done with!) Braces are expensive no matter how many discounts you can get, especially as an adult, but I’ve always been self-conscious about my teeth. Now after 30 years, I will smile with confidence and that for me, is priceless!

    • So glad I’m not the only one who had no idea how to communicate! I expected people to know exactly what they did wrong, and would get even more mad when they couldn’t figure it out! Oh jeez, YES, braces. I had those myself for two years, and now I look back and wonder how I wasn’t constantly self-conscious about my teeth for like, a whole decade.

  • Erin @ Reaching for FI

    What a fantastic list, Luxe! I especially love that you were self-aware enough to know that there were things you needed to work through/need to learn how to work through things period before your marriage. So many people think pre-marital counseling is a sign of weakness in your relationship when it’s really working to make it as strong as possible going in. Why wouldn’t you want to invest in that?

    Solo travel. I haven’t really done much of it (especially because a lot of time I travel it’s to visit friends) but it’s definitely high on the list of priorities.

    • Hey Erin,

      Yes, exactly, why is premarital counseling a sign of a bad relationship??? I personally think that attitude is super outdated. It’s kind of like how online dating used to have a stigma and is a lot more accepted nowadays. And when that happens for premarital counseling I can brag about how I was an early adopter, heh.

      Hopefully you’ll be able to use those Chase points for a solo trip sometime soon!

  • I really, really like this. It’s got me reflecting for sure.

    • Thanks, Pete. When I have you basically speechless then I know I’ve done a good job 😉

  • Great list, and all sound amazingly well-spent. Having done the therapy thing as well, I agree that it can be a complete game changer. There’s something about solo travel that I love too. Finding travel companions that share your same pace is amazing, but there’s something about having full control that’s refreshing.

    • Awesome you’re in the therapy camp, too! What’s easier to fix? A small problem, or one that’s been festering for months or years? Re: solo travel, I think part of my problem is I can’t ever find anyone who matches my pace (except my best friend), and the freedom to do whatever you want, whenever you want, is way too addicting.

  • Solo travel is the business! I’ve met so many great people, a couple of whom are still friends, while traveling alone. You’re right that adventures await when you’re by yourself. I love being on my own timetable and changing my mind at a moment’s notice. To this day I think my first European backpacking trip was the best solo trip I’ve taken. Maybe because it gave me the bug.

    I too want to take my mom on a vacation. She’s never been to Europe and I think that she would love Paris or Madrid or Copenhagen. Thanks for reminding me to make that a savings priority.

    As for the best things I’ve ever bought…hmmm it’s been a year and my Stuart Weitzman boots still make my heart go pitter patter. They’re just so daggone versatile and make me feel super feminine. My trip to Cameroon with my best friend was also money well spent. We’ve been friends since freshman year of college but she became part of my entire family with that trip. Another great thing I bought was my estate plan. I created a trust for my assets and had all of my estate documents prepared. That was so worth the cost to know that if anything should happen to me that my loved ones will be well taken care of.

    • That’s so awesome you’ve made friends you still keep in touch with post-trip. Isn’t that what travel is really about? I did the Euro trip with my best friend after college, and I can totally see how it would have been a blast alone, as well. Since we stayed in hostels, it would have been super easy to meet people.

      Yes! Def take mom on a vacation, even if it’s a state away. Still fun anyway. I’ve thought about taking my mom to Paris. Man, that would be a trip for her, with a different language and all. I do like to pick places where she can wander by herself (like a cruise ship or something) so Paris may be a little advanced.

      Yay for boots that make your heart skip a beat, and for the practical choice of an estate plan. That’s definitely got me thinking about planning my own.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  • I love how you differentiate between what you bought and what you really bought! I just took a trip with my grandma earlier this year and I know what you mean about how it was so worth it. I’ll make sure to give “The Tail End” a look; sounds like a worthy read.

    So, the best things I’ve ever bought (and what I really bought): services I find to be essential in running my blog (an outlet that helps people + myself in so many ways), quality clothes that are so “me” at a reasonable price (confidence I always look good and feel more like myself without stressing about it too much), electric cooker + a few groceries (a lifestyle change I enjoy that saves money), travel (lessons and experiences I will never forget)… The list goes on. It’s easy to forget finally being able to afford things I need and some I want – after 12 years, I’m debt-free as of today, Luxe! 💃🏻 – is a blessing in itself. Thank you for the reminder!

    • If you think about it, the thing you buy is almost never what you ACTUALLY buy. I just bought an expensive set of matching toiletries. What I really bought was beauty in organization, and luxury.

      OMG, congratulations on finally being debt free–so awesome! I bet it’s an amazing feeling to not owe anyone anything, and probably feels a bit strange to have a bit more money again. And you’re right, how lucky are we to be able to buy things we both need AND want. Someone below mentioned why I didn’t list expensive clothes. Because I recognize them as wants, and other things are more important to me.

      • I know! The most expensive clothes I have aren’t in my best of list, though they also aren’t regrets. They just don’t make the cut vs. some other stuff. And speaking of clothes, there was a shirt I’d had on hold for ages that I got today, and it was amazing to buy it with money I actually had. Sad it took til now to figure that out, but also happy I got there. I’m now planning out where the extra money gets saved up in 2018; thank you for being a huge influence on my money journey! ❤️

        • Awww, but you’re the one who did all the work on your money journey! Seriously. And being able to buy stuff and be able to afford it is the best feeling ever.

  • What a great post and you are right, these all seem well worth their price. It’s so easy to let time slip without visiting family and unfortunately that time is always gonna glad to see you we’re able to travel with your mom.

    • Hi DDD,

      Thank you! Yes, family is so important, but I think it’s also one of those things most of us take for granted (even me). So I hope that maybe my post encouraged at least one person to call their parents!

  • Lake Girl

    I live pretty frugally and get a bit nervous when it comes to spending large sums of money. This past September I went on my bucket list, dream vacation to Alaska. I saved money from January to August and paid for the trip in advance! Best money I have ever spent and no regrets! Lake Girl @ My Little Blue Kayak.com

    • Hi Lake Girl,

      Wow, Alaska seems amazing–color me jealous. I loved that you saved up specifically for the trip–it means your trip was an intentional purchase and you didn’t go into debt for it!

  • My wife and I spent a decent amount on marriage preparation classes, as well as a huge (well, to us) chunk of change on our honeymoon. Now we’re spending some money on childbirth classes (because she’s pregnant!) as well as parenting classes and books. Everything has been worth it!

    • I had never heard of marriage prep classes, but sounds like it would probably be very useful! If I become a parent, I plan on reading all the things, too. Better to be overprepared, right?

      Thanks for stopping by!

  • Mr. Groovy

    Haha! The best $10K I ever spent was on a useless graduate degree. I met Mrs Groovy at graduate school.

    • Priceless. Look what Mrs. Groovy has done for your finances! You hit the jackpot!

  • Accidental FIRE

    Great post. I’ve solo traveled a TON and met so many amazing people. As an introvert I looked at it as a way to force me out of my shell. I’m still great friends with some people I met in far flung places many years ago while on a solo vacation.

    • Thanks! I’m so glad you travelled alone, and as an introvert, too! And it’s so cool you still keep in touch with some of the people you met!

  • Hi Dave,

    Thanks for stopping by! And totally agree with you–there’s too much judgment about what others do with their money.

  • You’re speaking my language. All of my coats are “expensive.” I always spend money on things that are utilitarian, as I’ve noticed cheaper items just don’t perform as well. Plus, if you have a really nice coat, you can wear a Hanes t-shirt and jeans underneath, and you’ve still got an outfit 🙂