What purchases are worth the splurge?

Boats, designer clothes, iPhones – the list of luxury goods available to consumers is endless. But which ones are worth their salt? Where will consumer money be most satisfied before it gets tired and demands something new?

Defining “value” is a deeply personal exercise. Some items offer excellent performance and are definitely worth their price. Others are more about feelings, connection and experience. While it’s not always necessary to splurge, there are plenty of products and services that are not only better quality, but will also save you money in the long run.

Better service, lower cost

There’s nothing better than finding a product or service that’s cheaper and better than the old options. For example, cable has become synonymous with ever-increasing prices, not to mention taxes. Those with a “smart” TV or streaming device can replace cable with monthly subscriptions to Netflix, Hulu, YouTube TV, Amazon Prime, and Disney+. Streaming services provide a personalized experience, deliver a lot more content for less money, and are always there when users want them.

When it comes to finding better products for less, Amazon Prime is one of the top contenders. For one low monthly fee, consumers can skip shipping or set up monthly autoship, get free music, eBooks and video content, enjoy discounts at Whole Foods and more.

Warehouse memberships are another great value. Costco and Sam’s Club typically offer better products, but for less money, selling them in larger quantities, plus the added benefits of travel agents, car discounts, free shipping and more.

Better quality, better life

Granted, saving $3 on a box of 4,000 crackers doesn’t always sound like a home run. But sometimes avoiding the cheapest option will knock it out of the park. Paying for products that improve quality of life can really pay off in the long run.

A good example is an excellent mattress and pillow. Scientists continue to attribute orthopedic problems, stress, high cholesterol and many other ailments to sleep quality. More than ever, it’s clear that a more expensive, better-built mattress can improve sleep and health, improve work performance, reduce stress levels, and improve quality of life.

Other great purchases include electric toothbrushes and quality running shoes. As an upgrade to the humble manual toothbrush, an inexpensive electric toothbrush can save many unpleasant and expensive trips to the dentist. A good pair of running shoes will outlast a cheap pair, saving you money on replacements. It will also prevent injury, save money on health care, and avoid pain and suffering.

Finding the “best” option for the money can pay dividends over a lifetime of use. For consumers who cook every night, premium cookware and knives are a smart buy and should never need replacing. A kitchen equipped with a few high-end tools will yield better results, less cleanup, less clutter, and a happier cooking experience. They can even make healthy cooking easier and save money on restaurant meals. For example, one study showed that consumers who cook at home eat more vegetables.

Beyond material goods, experiences can be worth spending more. Taking time for self-care can relieve stress and improve quality of life. Massages, manicures, and facials can relieve pressure points and built-up tension. Once considered “luxury” services for the elite, they have become common self-care measures. Money spent on vacation is well spent; new experiences in a relaxing setting can help consumers rest and recharge so they can perform better at work and develop personal relationships. Simple yet effective self-care plays a vital role in better overall well-being, leading to higher incomes and lower health care costs later.

A high quality investment today can last a lifetime

What about those really expensive items? What is “expensive”? Typically, this is simply considered “costing a lot of money”. However, economists define it as a price that makes consumers feel like they are paying too much for what they get in return. When consumers think they are getting what they pay for, it is fair trade. They get a bargain when they feel they are getting more than they paid for. Additionally, it may be more affordable in the long run to buy a quality product once than to buy a cheap product repeatedly.

A skilled financial planner can help consumers map out a path to financial success, including what they can pay for an item of value. Investing in better products and experiences is a good decision for those who can afford it. A financial planner or advisor is another worthwhile investment, not only to save clients the amount of their fees, but also to turn that investment into a long-term dividend and maximize purchasing power.

Everyone is looking for ways to save money, but buying higher quality products and services at a higher upfront cost can reduce repeat expenses and improve quality of life, which saves money. time, money and long-term health. Although some products are worth it for almost everyone, consumers need to identify their priorities and make wise decisions. Working with a financial planner can help them understand what they value and take the first step towards investing in products and services that are worth their price.

President, Partner and Financial Advisor, Diversified, LLC

In March 2010, Andrew Rosen joined Diversified, bringing with him nine years of financial industry experience. As a financial planner, Andrew forges lasting relationships with clients, supporting them through all stages of life. He obtained his Series 6, 7 and 63, as well as P&C and Health/Life insurance licenses.

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