As 2012 ends and 2013 about to begin, DollarsAndSense present to you our yearly instalment of the best things to spend your money on in the year 2013. What began as a writers’ spark after hours of spacing out in my chair at home has culminated into a perennial tradition that hinges outside the customary counsel on spending less when it comes to financial prudence.
1. A smartphone.
This is a no-brainer and if you haven’t already gotten one 5 years ago, this is the perfect time. You have a deluge of choices with Samsung models, the iPhone and the newly releasing blackberry 10. A smartphone allows you to keep up at work, incorporates multiple devices into just one, gives you a perfect social setting to keep in contact with everyone in your life, keep you current and updated with the modern times and provide mock arguments over which phone is best.
2. A wallet.
When you start work, you have to dress the way your job requires you to and may lose your personality that makes you unique. And one of the only little ways your personality can shine through is your wallet. Its not part of your dress code and its not visible at first glances so whether it’s a timeless leather, durable plastic, playful and colourful, or complicated and patterned wallets or an ultra simple money clip, it will provide a means for you to stay who you are. Plus, it keeps money and cards in an organized way.
3. Running shoes.
Whether you’re an avid runner or a couch potato in need of good incentive to work out, you’ll benefit from a pair of good running shoes. It lasts longer, maintains good running posture and will serve as a beacon of light to remind you whenever you’re home and sitting idly on the sofa. It’s an investment in your health for 2013.
4. Nice clothes.
People do judge us on our outward appearance no matter how many times our mothers say “never to judge a book by its cover” or “its what’s on the inside that counts”. So whether you’re trying to impress a new date or a new boss, having good fitting clothes never hurt. We can heavily influence our success as by portraying a good look with neat clothes and shoes. Nice clothes also make us more confident wearing them and exude a great image. There’s little reason to not get a set.
5. Yourself .
You are a commodity that deserves investing in. You work and think and plan and execute everything your life has been up to now. So you deserve that little bit of excessive overspending (and I said little bit, lets not go crazy and blow the bank account, we’ve found out the world does go on beyond 2012). Go for a manicure or a massage, a holiday or a movie. Treat yourself a little better this year to recharge the batteries and keep it going for longer. In short, don’t burn yourself out saving pennies when you could stay healthier and fitter and work smarter and longer over the long run.
6. A bed/ pillow/ bolster.
You spend a third of your life sleeping in your bed but still refuse to throw out the 10 year old bed or pillow or bolster. Splurging on a good night’s rest is one of the smartest ways you can spend your money. You’ll feel more refreshed, avoid neck aches and sores sleeping wrongly and feel more comfortable. And you never know, it could end up satisfying the government’s call for having more babies.
7. A holiday .
Even if you’ve already covered this in 2012, there’s really no reason to not travel. You get to see people who are important in your lives and catch up with them or you get to see new sights you’ve never seen if you go somewhere for the first time. You open yourself to different cultures, taste different foods and experience new things. It’ll be one of your best investments to grow yourself.
8. A passion/ hobby.
Learn a new language or pick up a new skill, learn the ropes of playing a piano or climb a rope to the summit of a mountain. This puts your free time to good use and keeps you occupied. You get to unwind from the stress of work doing something you’ve always wanted to know how to do and meet new people at the same time. You break away from your mundane activities that you’ve become adjusted to and you’ll become a more interesting person.
9. Splurge on something you use very often.
If you watch TV and movies at home regularly; get a better TV.
If you play computer games; upgrade your computer.
If you go bowling every weekend; buy a personal bowling ball.
I hope you get what I’m trying to say. If you’re using that something very often, you should spend some money to upgrade it. The reason people work so hard in the first place is to buy stuff they want. So instead of just buying everything you want, lets tune it down a little, be more focused and spend on the things we use very often so the money gets put to good use.
10. Spend money on time.
And what I mean by this is that you should spend money on things that save you time. Because as they say: “time is money”. So consider using a laundry service to wash and iron your clothes, consider taking a taxi to work a few times a week so you get to sleep that half an hour extra or get to spend time eating breakfast with loved ones. You can’t buy sleep or time with loved ones, you can’t buy time that you spend standing on a crowded MRT. So it should be a consideration for some occasions where the benefit outweighs the cost.
There are two types of people in life; those that know how to do things and those that do things. And it’s the same with investments, you could take up a course in learning to do things, or you could just go in blind (and attend free seminars along the way). Both ways build your awareness towards investments and how you should go about building your future nest egg. I’m not saying go blow your savings in the stock market and learn the hard way, I’m saying spend on that, the way you might spend on a holiday or a television set. It’s a great way to blow money and again increase your knowledge and awareness as a person.
12. On loved ones.
This pretty much could be incorporated in some of the others mentioned already, but if you haven’t done so, it is another great way to blow money. You can’t buy happiness or time, but you can buy stuff that make people happy. And if you buy something that makes a loved one happy, you really can’t be going wrong.
13. Buying off debt.
Buying credit card balances and store installments and bank loans. Basically buying out any debt that you have to pay big interests on. These are going to hurt your future financial goals and any ideologies you’ve ever had on being financially free. So instead of mindless splurging, spend on paying off any debt that you have which will lessen your commitments. It could lead to unexpected benefits like less worry and stress about meeting monthly bills.
Original photo by Benjamin Lim. Used with permission.