Of course it’s important to be financially responsible…
But it’s also important to balance those responsibilities with having a little fun, rewarding ourselves for our hard work, and generally making the journey to financial security worth taking.
If you’re looking to feel better about your own relationship with debt and progress, here are some people who bought themselves something really nice – and didn’t end up regretting it at all.
1. Every once in a while.
Dining at a Michelin starred restaurant in Milan. We had an 18 course meal with wine pairings for like $400 or so.
I used to scoff at spending that sort of money on meals, got convinced to try it one time, and loved it. Now, every couple years we try to find something big like that to do. It really is amazing what top tier chefs can do to food.
2. See the world.
I’ve never regretted spending money on travel.
Those are some of
my favorite memories.
I can’t wait to be able to travel again.
3. If cars and racing are your thing.
600€ for an hour of laps (three of 20 minutes each) around the Nurburgring in Germany. It was open in the off-season and there wasn’t a single other car near me the whole time.
10/10 one of the most thrilling experiences of my life.
Edit: I rented a car at the track which is why it was so much. You can bring your own car or rent one there, but they don’t allow commercial rental cars. Individual laps were I think 20€ each at the time.
4. For the special occasions.
I bought my own tuxedo.
It’s ~$1,000-1,200 min by the time you get good shoes, shirt, bow tie, etc for it. I hardly wear it, but god d**n do I look good in it compared to a rental.
I also spent $20 on a mustard yellow hat that has “BIG CHEESE” written in red stitching on it. Only bust it out for the really big occasions.
5. The power of a good shower.
Due to poor insulation and distance from the water heater, my shower is never properly warm in winter. I just bought a single end-point tankless water heater for just my shower.
Best hundred and fifty bucks I ever spent. Could I really afford it? No. Did I need it? No. Do I love it? You bet your sweet bippy I do!
6. But you’ll have it forever!
Exactly one year ago I got my private pilot license. So much money went into to it, and now it costs a lot of money to keep it (by flying). I don’t regret it at all, very cool feeling to go flying!
7. The gift that keeps on giving.
Back in 2017 my family went on a road trip to Minnesota to visit my nana shortly before she passed. During our stay me and my little sister went to the Mall of America and bought whatever the f*ck we wanted.
Big ice cream cones? Lego store souvenirs? Tickets to the aquarium? Fare for every indoor amusement park ride? A doll from the American Girl Store and eating an expensive lunch in the Store with your new doll sitting at the table with us?
F*ck yeah little sis it’s all yours. I dropped over $300 in that one mall trip but d**n was it was one of our best shopping days ever, we still talk about it to this day.
8. That sounds magical.
Dyson blow dryer.
It’s worth every penny! I have long hair down to my waist. It only takes me about 3 minutes to dry it.
9. If you love it, it was worth it.
Just bought a treadmill.
There is a perfectly good street outside I could run on, or I could pay for a gym membership for years and years.
BUT now I can get a run in during my daughter’s nap time, or when it’s cold, or when I only have 30 minutes free and driving to and from the gym would eat up half of my time.
I certainly could have made it work without this expense, but I really love it.
10. A blessing in disguise.
Back in high school I was about to go on my first ever date and I made extra money to make sure I had enough (around $600 I had) the day before our date she gave me a letter and she basically broke up with me.
Being a teenager I had no control over my emotions as being brought up in my family would say guys shouldn’t cry over anything but I had no way to process it. So after school I went to 7 eleven bought 2 large slurpees, 6 hotdogs and got a pre paid card and bought a bunch of NECA action figures.
I actually had a good weekend because I honestly splurged on that money and got into action figure collecting as well practiced stop motion which ended up helping me to pursue a animation career and I’m about to finish and ready to apply to stop motion studios
11. Not wasted at all.
When I was younger I came into a sum of about $15k. I wasn’t very careful with the money and other than putting $5k down on car, I blew the money here and there.
But what I put the largest amounts toward were friends in need. I paid one friend’s power bill just before it got shut off. I helped another friend keep her water on.
I never could keep my hands on money for long but I don’t regret having “wasted” it helping friends.
12. If you like to work with your hands.
Spending hundreds of euros on broken musical instruments because they were pretty.
I have since bought spare parts and started repairing them.
I found my destiny.
13. Not a bad price for a changed life.
Just shy of $20,000 to go to Antarctica traveling solo (small cruise ship). More than I’ve spent on every other vacation I’ve taken combined.
Was one of the best trips of my life. It also gave me enough space and clarity to realize how toxic my ex was to me so that I could find the strength to leave not long after I got back.
I’ll always want to go back to Antarctica. The inner peace I found there changed my life.
14. It really is the little things.
My Couch. I moved out of my moms house last year (2019 so no covid) and I always wanted a good couch. I tested so much. I went to so many furniture stores. Looked at so many different models. And then choose mine.
Its actually from Ikea. Three seats and long enough to let someone sleep on it. In a grey but I saw they were also having a black cover so I am thinking about getting that one. Extremely comfortable. I wanted a couch where you could chill out and love how fluffy it is without losing the ability to sit on it.
In some couches you are not able to lean on the back and still have a straight back. You can sit on the back board and the armrests. They are flat so you can also put a cup of tea on them.
Its also not too low so you dont feel like sitting on the ground (which I do strangely often compared to my love for this couch) but you can let yourself fall onto that d**n thing! It also looks easy and simple.
So I dont want the suggestion of someone who tried a LOT of couches and happens to be me then buy the Vimle couch from Ikea.
15. A surprise pleasure.
I spent $300 on a mule. An actual living, 4 hooved, long-eared mule. We raise cattle, so a protection mule was a good excuse. But, really, I just fell in love with him. He’s huge and sassy.
He’ll steal your hat and run away. He’s got a Ninja mode where he can sneak up on you, just to breathe down your neck or startle you. He does keep the coyotes away.
However, he has proved himself priceless because he eats thistle. When we got the lease on the land for our cattle the pastures had been neglected and were in bad shape. Thistle is a spiky plant that spreads across the pasture, choking out grasses. Cow’s won’t eat it. It’s really hard to get rid of.
To our surprise, the mule cleared out nearly all the thistle in a matter of months. He would eat the flowers out of the center. He saved us an enormous amount of money and labor. We were able to avoid using chemical weed killers, which we really didn’t want to do. Probably the best investment in our whole cattle raising experience.
16. Confidence is key.
I’ve been a fat guy all my life. Like, really fat. Dressing comfortably was always my preference because being stylish just isn’t an option at my size. This was always a source of anxiety at any social event that required dressing up.
When I realized I had 4 weddings of close friends all coming up within the year, I decided to bite the bullet and get some decent “formal” clothes. I spent $800 on a suit jacket, $250 on two pairs of dress pants, a little over $300 for 3 shirts and 3 silk ties that were between $70 and $100 each. I stood for all my measurements and had everything tailored to my exact specifications.
Did a fitting and had a second round of alterations on the pants so they actually looked decent, even though I wore them under my gut. People were floored when I showed up to the first wedding. I received so many compliments and actual double takes. Being introduced to new people felt completely different. I felt impressive.
Some of those weddings were the best times of my life and it was due, in no small part, to how those clothes looked and made me feel. Some of those friends have big pictures from their weddings hanging on their walls, and I don’t cringe in embarrassment when I see myself in them.
Those clothes cost more than I had/have ever spent on clothing in any ten year period, and they were worth every penny.
17. Never underestimate something that deals with poop.
My Litter Robot.
Yes, I spent $600 on a cat shi**er, but my house never smells.
Also, I don’t have to scoop litter, and I only have to empty the drawer once a week.
Definitely worth it to me.
18. With his own two hands.
Finally found the motorcycle I wanted years ago but could not get. It was not running, but after around dumping $3,500 into it and doing a full frame up restoration and custom job on it.
I have the bike I wanted years ago, but better. Yes I did everything myself, full paint job Tank frame fenders everything. I also did a full engine rebuild, remade the wiring harness, everything was all done in house.
So I put a touch over 3K into a bike that is only worth about $1,500. on a good day, but hell it is mine and I built it.
19. Definitely got his money’s worth.
I spent too much money on a big treadmill for a very small apartment.
But I’ve ran 15-25 km on it every week for the past several years and it’s been incredibly helpful both physically and mentally.
20. This actually sounds lovely.
$120 for a towel heater.
I will never dry off with a cold towel again.
21. Happiness is priceless.
Can I always afford it? No.
But my walls are full of original, 90% local art.
They make me happy to look at, I’m sure I made the artist happy too.
22. This is just the best story.
I went to a Renaissance Fair with my husband and some friends. It was his first time, and he’s a pretty introverted person, so while he has fun watching everyone else dress up and act all goofy and old-timey, he doesn’t really participate.
When we went to buy our first beer, the wench tried to sell him on one of those big mugs that looks like it’s carved out of wood but it’s just plastic. It cost $100. Yes, you get free refills, but we were not planning on drinking $100 worth of beer that day.
I could tell by the look on his face that he wanted it- he looked like a little kid at Disney World. Without thinking, I whipped out my credit card and dropped $100 on a s**tty plastic mug.
All day, he walked around proudly with his mug. He even took some big gulps and cheered “huzzah” once or twice. This might not seem like much but for my quiet, gentle giant, it is huge. I manage the finances in our relationship and I am CONSTANTLY cracking down on wasteful spending, so I think we were both amazed I made such a dumb purchase.
Four years later, we still have that mug. He gets a big grin every time he sees it and teases me about my irresponsible impulse. And every time I see it, I just think about how much I love that big galoot…
23. You can’t put a price on beauty.
$800 for a front seat helicopter tour of Kauai for me and my wife!
Totally worth it!
24. Hours of entertainment.
Lego Death Star.
25. They bring people together!
board games, they are expensive, but they bring much joy
26. Experiences, not things.
I spent $3000 for my wife to meet the backstreet boys and get front row seats.
It is the best thing that has ever happened to her and the smile on her face after the show and look of pure bliss in someone who suffers often from anxiety was worth every cent.
27. Neither of you will forget it.
A quick 7 day trip to Maui in February a couple years ago with one of my teenage daughters. Work was grinding me down and I needed a break.
My wife and the rest of the family couldn’t go, they were working or in school. The tickets were expensive, $850 each for bare-bones economy narrow rock hard seats, it was a 12 hour flight that was packed to the brim – I was getting bedsores by the time we arrived.
We rented snorkeling gear and a car, and spent every day from dawn to dusk snorkeling, sitting on the beaches and hiking in the mountains; we did the Hana road, the Seven Sacred Pools and the Haleakalā volcano national park at sunset, and took tons of photos. We ate spam musubi for breakfast, poke and somen noodles for lunch and loco moko for supper. Slept like babies with the windows open wide in the cool nighttime breezes.
The best way to blow $5,000 EVER. So much what I needed at that point in my life.
28. Now that’s an apology.
I got into a stupid fight with my brother, so I found a game he had pledged on kickstarter (Space Haven) and saw that for 360 dollars I could write a premade character bio that would randomly show up.
So I pledged it and wrote a character bio with his name and made him a flaming a**hole. I have never played this game and don’t want to.
29. If you use it every day, good decision.
GE Opal nugget ice maker.
Dang thing cost more than my car payment but, man oh man, I love nugget ice and I use it the heck out of it every day.
30. A whole tradition.
The summer after graduating high school, I won a decent amount of money playing online poker.
Since I wasn’t going off to college and all of my friends were, I decided to buy them all ridiculous going away gifts. A carpet, mailbox, toilet seat etc. were among the gifts.
The most expensive and ridiculous gift I bought on a whim was a massive wheel of cheese, somewhere between $200-300. Little did I know at the time, that cheese wheel would set off a yearly event called “Cheesegiving” where our entire (much larger now with spouses and kids) friend group gets together to celebrate and partake in cheesy goodness.
This year was our 17th (unfortunately all virtual due to covid) and I genuinely hope it never ends!
31. I’d say he got his money’s worth.
About $800 in 1987 but I still listen to them and they are unbelievably good.
32. That’s some tale.
I got $27k, and spent it on a solo cross country road trip that led to me moving on the complete opposite side of the country from everyone I’ve ever known.
I was in a dark place in my head, the original plan was to find a nice place to end my story, but the trip itself helped me reconsider, so absolutely no regrets to speak of.
33. It’s what you see every day.
The extra I pay in rent for a water view
Completely worth it.
34. Seems like a warranted tantrum.
When my mom was diagnosed with cancer (a year after my dad died unexpectedly…from cancer) I went to the animal aid thrift shop, bought a bunch of odd dishes, put down a drop cloth, and threw them at my house while screaming bloody murder.
I don’t regret one second of that temper tantrum or one dime I spent to make it happen. I eventually made a couple of beautiful mosaics out of the pieces.
And my mom is 6 months cancer free.
I’m making a list for myself, how about you?
If you’ve got something else you would add for my consideration, please drop it in the comments!