"Most of us spend money on things we don't really care about at the expense of the things we do without even realizing it," Stefanie O'Connell, financial expert and author of "The Broke and Beautiful Life," told Business Insider. "So step one is ...
Expensive things that are totally worth the money - Business Insider
Being smart with your money doesn't necessarily mean choosing the cheapest option in every situation.
Tory Ho/Getty ImagesMoney priorities differ from person to person, depending on what you value.
There are some things, like a college education, that cost a lot of money but can give you a great return on investment through your salary later on.
Here are six pricey things, from a financial expert, that are well worth the money.
We all like to be — or at the very least try to be — smart with our money. But that doesn't always mean choosing the least expensive option. In fact, sometimes the pricier item or experience can be the one that is most worth your hard-earned cash, while the cheapest can be the biggest waste.
"Most of us spend money on things we don't really care about at the expense of the things we do without even realizing it," Stefanie O'Connell, financial expert and author of "The Broke and Beautiful Life," told Business Insider. "So step one is defining your priorities, then tracking your spending (an app or a simple pen and paper works) to see if you're actually spending in alignment with those priorities, and making adjustments as needed."
You should also weigh the added value something can bring to your life. "Before spending a lot of money on an item or service, it may be good to understand what value it brings to you," Roger Ma, certified financial planner and founder of Life Laid Out, told Business Insider. "Does it help you save time or help you avoid doing something you don't enjoy, does it make you feel more confident, or will the experience be something you remember for a long time?"
Here are six expensive things, from financial experts Ma and O'Connell, that are completely worth the money.
Education is a worthwhile investment.US Department of Education/Attribution License/Flickr
About 70% of students graduate from college with student loan debt, and there have been plenty of debates on whether getting a higher education is even worth it. Despite this, Ma said that education is most definitely worth spending money on.
"An investment in yourself is typically worth it," Ma said. "Increasing your knowledge could ultimately increase your human capital — that is, how much money you're able to command from your employer. Besides, learning new material keeps life interesting and exciting."
Because who doesn't like to travel?
Travel can be good for your body and your overall well-being, NBC reports. O'Connell said that it's something she spends money on herself. "I love to splurge on travel because it brings me joy," O'Connell said.
As Business Insider previously reported, people are happier when they spend their money on experiences rather than things.
3. A mattress
A good mattress signifies good sleep.
l i g h t p o e t/Shutterstock
Sleep is essential to good health, according to the National Institute of Health. It only makes sense to invest in a mattress that provides optimal comfort, even if we can't get the suggested seven to nine hours nightly.
"We spend 5-8 hours a night on our mattress, depending on our sleeping patterns. Getting a good night's rest affects every other part of our life," Ma said. "If we don't get a good night's rest, we won't be productive at work, may not get that promotion, and may just feel like crap. A good mattress is good for your health and will pay for itself in the long run."
4. Clothes that fit well
Alterations for clothing you love are always worth it.Diana Demenina / Shutterstock
If your clothes don't fit well, they won't look good, regardless of what designer made them. So instead of thinking about what brands to splurge on, think about how to make something a custom fit.
"I think fit is much more important than the name on the tag," Ma said. "No matter what price you pay for your clothes, make sure they fit."
That means paying for alterations, such as shortened sleeves or pant legs, he said. "Nice-fitting clothes make a huge difference."
6. Health items
You should never feel bad investing in health.Ilya Naymushin/Reuters
Who wouldn't want to invest in his or her own health? For O'Connell, it's the most important expense.
"I'm big on healthy things — group fitness classes, fresh produce (I'm a vegetarian), and the occasional fresh-pressed juice (even though it can be ridiculously expensive)," O'Connell said. "Beyond my physical health, I find these expenses provide a ton of value to my mental health."
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