Save and invest. Save and invest. Isn’t that all you hear when it comes to planning your financial life?
An online article by an individual who refers to himself as “the Financial Samurai” makes a more balanced case regarding how you deploy your money. Yes, you should be capable of deferring gratification and have a healthy savings rate during your accumulation years. But there are a few items that are well worth investing in: your comfort, well-being and certain aspects of your lifestyle. Some of these items might be considered luxuries by people who are perhaps overly frugal.
For instance? The Samurai says you should splurge on a really good mattress—recognizing, of course, that you can avoid markups and still buy quality. His argument: you spend almost a third of your life sleeping. Your waking hours will be more comfortable and productive if you are spending your mights on the most comfortable, supportive mattress you can afford.
Another example? Your glasses or contact lenses. Vision may be your most important sense, so it is worth buying glasses with the thinnest lenses with anti-reflection and a scratch-proof coating. If you wear contacts, splurge on daily wear that contain the latest breathable technology.
If you’re serious about athletic performance, then the Samurai thinks that buying top-of-the-line sports equipment makes sense. If you have a baby, the best baby care products are worth the extra expenditure. If you’re in the habit of watching movies at the theater, then you might consider buying a high definition TV and surround sound system, which makes watching movies at home more enjoyable—and economical. He also recommends that you take care of yourself with massages, physical therapy and coaching—arguing that physical and mental health are priceless.
Finally, since most Americans receive very little vacation time from work, the Samurai recommends that you make the most of those days or weeks, by selecting the best adventure and the best amenities possible. The point: live a great life while you’re saving and investing.
About the Author: Bob Veres has been a commentator, author and consultant in the financial services industry for more than 20 years. Over his 20-year career in the financial services world, Mr. Veres has worked as editor of Financial Planning magazine; as a contributing editor to the Journal of Financial Planning; as a columnist and editor-at-large of Dow Jones Investment Advisor magazine; and as editor of Morningstar’s advisor web site: MorningstarAdvisor.com.
Mr. Veres has been named one of the most influential people in the financial planning profession by Investment Advisor magazine and Financial Planning magazine, was granted the NAPFA Special Achievement Award by the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors, and most recently the Heart of Financial Planning Distinguished Service Award from the Denver-based Financial Planning Association.