Some may think this is a little backwards for the personal finance community, but I want to talk about things that I have absolutely zero plan or reason to cut from my budget.
My philosophy is that money is a tool, something that can help you live the way you want to live now and into the future. And while that may require some discipline and frugality on certain things, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be able to enjoy the money that you work so hard earn, especially if it makes you a happier, healthier person overall.
When looking at your budget, focus on prioritizing expenses - or cash flow items, as I like to call them - that improve your mental, physical, financial, and professional health. To get you thinking about what those expenses are for you, here are 7 Things That I Will Never Cut From My Budget:
#1 - High quality skincare products
We’ve only got one skin, right? Now, I’m not talking about multiple hundreds of dollars per jar or bottle. Actually, all of the women I talk to in their 40s, 50s, and 60s with gorgeous skin say that simple SPF is the single most valuable thing they’ve used to keep their skin in great shape. If that means spending a little extra on a great moisturizer with SPF and a really good eye cream, then so be it.
#2 - Great haircuts
There is often a big difference between a $20 haircut and a $60 haircut. For me, the more expensive stylist gives me a better cut. It not only looks better and is easier for me to style myself, but it also lasts longer. That means fewer haircuts each year and less money spent on haircuts overall.
#3 - A cheap gym membership
For me to feel good physically, all I need is some good cardio and weight equipment, and that generally costs about $30 per month. If you need a fancy gym or group classes to feel your best, more power to you! Just make sure you’re prioritizing and budgeting for it accordingly.
#4 - Travel and lounge access
Traveling, especially abroad, is one of the most mentally and emotionally enriching things you can do for yourself. But I’ve also recently gotten a little bougie about my travel preferences, and now I use a credit card that gives me free access to tons of airport lounges around the country and world. It has seriously leveled up my travel game!
Some of these cards charge a membership fee each year, but it can easily pay for itself in extra points, free coffee and food in the lounges, and a number of other perks.
#5 - Home organization tools
I’m no Marie Kondo, but having a relatively organized and tidy living space sparks some serious joy for me. I’ve ordered countless home organization tools - hanging shoe racks, laundry closet shelves, clear bins, under the bed roller boxes, Lazy Susan spice racks, stackable tupperware… you name it. If it helps me keep my mental sanity at home, I will always make room in my budget for it.
#6 - Rental cars
This is a unique one. We currently own a 21-year old Jeep with about 230,000 miles on it. It’s our “Dave Ramsey car” if you will. But when we need to drive longer distances - usually anything over an hour and a half - we almost always rent a car for that day or weekend. Thanks to super cheap rental car rates through USAA, this saves us a ton of money and is much cheaper than buying a different, newer car instead.
#7 - Physical books
There’s something about a physical book… Holding it in your hands, the ability to write in it and dog ear pages, and the feeling of accomplishment you get as you move from the front cover to the back. Call me old school, but I will never stop spending a little extra on the real thing and the joy that comes with it.
Now it’s time for you to figure out what those things are for you!
What 1 or 2 things do you absolutely need to not lose it mentally or emotionally?
What do you spend money on to feel your best physically?
What about to protect your financial wellbeing?
Leave a comment below to let me know what YOU will never cut from your budget and why!