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Updated on Tuesday, February 2, 2016
It’s a rare day indeed when you find a personal finance article telling you when it’s actually worth spending money on stuff. The truth is, a lot of budgeting and financing has to do with cutting back, saving money, spending less, etc. However, there are certain circumstances where, from time to time, it actually makes sense to spend a little more money to get a larger reward.
Here are five times we think it makes sense to fork over some cash for better returns.
1. Clothes and shoes
When we say clothes, we don’t mean that you should be running out to buy that third pair of designer jeans, a new ski jacket because yours is dirty, or another pair of black pumps to sit in your closet gathering dust with the others. What we’re really talking about here is the oft-repeated phrase, “Dress for the job you want, not the one you have,” and how important it is that your wardrobe actually reflects that mantra. Whether or not your desire is to climb up that corporate ladder, dressing appropriately (and while we’re at it, haircuts count here as well) at the office will help your boss take notice, and he or she is likely to appreciate the added effort. This doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg either — a few staple pieces like a go-to black blazer, a white button-down, and an office-appropriate tie (or three) or dress (or three) can really go a long way. You can also shop at thrift stores or bargain stores like TJ Maxx or Marshall’s for these pieces. Once you’re dressing to impress, you can start wowing them with your obvious office know-how. After that, your raise and promotion shouldn’t be far behind.
2. Continuing education classes
If a few additional classes or some extra training could really boost your job prowess, it’s probably worth the cost to go ahead and sign up. Before doing so, you could always check with your HR office to see if the company offers to cover some or all of these continuing education courses. Even if your employer doesn’t, consider the money you put toward these types of expenses an investment in your career and your future. Thinking of it in those terms makes this option priceless.
3. A better home office setup
Even if most of your job is done sitting at a desk in your office from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Friday, it never hurts to have some basic office equipment at home, and they should be items you can actually count on. That’s why spending money on things like a good computer, printer, scanner, and Internet and cell phone plans (especially if you don’t have a land line), are always worth the cost.
4. Your sleep essentials
How can anyone expect to get anything done on three hours of sleep? The answer is, they can’t. That’s why it’s worth it to invest in whatever it takes to help you get a good night’s sleep so you’re always bringing your A-game to the office each and every day. Whether it’s a better mattress, a sound machine, or some light-filtering shades, a well-rested you is always more likely to wow at work than one who’s sleep-deprived and cranky.
5. Paying down your debt
Let’s say you come into a little extra money; whether it’s from a holiday bonus, an inheritance, or a raise at work, the question is, what should you do with it? While it might make you a tad sad to consider throwing that extra cash at your debt, we bet if you think of all the money you’ll be saving in the long run on interest, you’ll soon realize it’s actually a very smart decision to invest the extra cash now in an attempt to pay down your debt a whole lot sooner.