Saving money is a continuous and demanding effort for most of us. In certain situations, however, you shouldn’t pinch pennies. Here are four expenses where you should make sure you’re spending enough.
1 / YOUR BED
You spend one third of your life in bed, so why not invest in making it a comfortable place? Experts agree that the adequacy of your mattress directly affects the quality of your sleep. Amer H. Khan, MD, and a specialist in sleep medicine and pediatric neurology at Sutter Roseville Medical Center, says that choosing the right mattress for you—one that’s firm but soft, hypoallergenic, etc.—is essential to improving sleep. “A great mattress can not only improve the quality and duration of sleep, but also improve breathing by reducing allergens,” explains Dr. Khan. “You may also experience less discomfort from aches and pains that cause nighttime awakenings.” After selecting a good mattress, buy nice sheets to get the full money-well-spent effect when you hit the hay.
2 / A CAR SEAT
When purchasing a car safety seat for your infant or toddler, it’s crucial to make an informed decision and be prepared to pay for a top-quality product. Dr. Khan emphasizes several factors that must be considered, among others. “Safety is the main objective, so ensure that the seat has been tested by an impartial service and is proven to work as advertised,” he says. “Next is making sure the seat is the right size for the child’s weight, as well as for fitting the vehicle properly.” Dr. Khan also says the seat should be convenient for easy placement and removal.
3 / CHARITY
Why should you spend your hard-earned dollars on charity or to help others in need? “When gifts of goods, time and money come from the heart, they benefit those who give as much as those who receive,” says Kimberly Foss, CFP, CPWA, and founder and president of Empyrion Wealth Management, Inc. in Roseville. Foss has counseled clients who are having a difficult time adjusting to retirement, and says, “They come alive when they volunteer in their community...you cannot put a dollar value on these transformations. A local senior center is often the best place to begin to explore volunteer opportunities.” Foss suggests that supporting a charity financially and volunteering time can also bring a family together around a heartfelt issue and create a lasting legacy. “Active philanthropy is much more rewarding if it’s planned, targeted and involves more than writing a check,” she says.
4 / EXPERIENCES
Going out on a special date and taking the kids to a theme park are experiences that make memories. Kids may not remember the presents they got for Christmas, but they will remember childhood trips. Take lots of pictures, and then make an effort to print them out and organize them in photo albums to be cherished years later. While it’s not necessary to splurge on a special outing—even a picnic in the park qualifies—if you do spend money on an experience, it will likely be money well spent.