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Luxuries Worth Paying For
Sometimes the best things in life ain't free
Becoming Financially Independent depends on doing one thing successfully when it comes down to it; saving more than you spend.
Early in my journey, I would be frugal to a fault. I would say no to socialising with friends, go to multiple supermarkets to save money on items and get the bus instead of the tube even though it took 3x as long because it was cheaper.
As I have grown my salary, I have learnt to relax substantially on this front. I now regularly analyse where I am spending my time and invest in the areas that make me happiest, but also invest in the area that do not to make them as easy as possible. Below I have included a list of luxuries that I think are worth spending money on. The way I think about luxuries is that they are not a necessity; if I lost my job tomorrow, these would be the first things I would cancel in an effort to reduct costs.
Note: None of the below are affiliate links or do I get paid for endorsing them. I just genuinely like them and hope you do too :)
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Growing up I thought having a cleaner was only for the super wealthy. However, they are surprisingly affordable in my opinion and if I had to cut everything else below, this would be one of the last to go for me.
We have a regular cleaner that comes once a week and for around 3 hours. We pay £15 an hour and they leave our house looking spotless. They also iron in this time (we don’t iron many things) which means we don’t have to do that either (which is good because I hate it).
Cost per month: £180
Meal Delivery Service
I hate cooking. Before discovering healthy meal delivery services I would get takeaway 3-4 times a week and also waste groceries as I would start every week with the intention of turning over a new leaf and becoming Jamie Oliver.
I have been getting Lion’s Prep for over a year now and I highly rate it. It is pre-portioned and contains all the nutritional information on it. It comes fresh and not frozen. I get 6 dinners from them and have a salad or huel for lunch.
Cost per month: £180
Maybe not surprising for a Software Engineer, but I really value well made software. I also believe in paying companies/engineers for their work if they solve a genuine problem for me. I therefore pay for:
IntelliJ licenses ~£500 per year.
One Password ~ £8 per month.
EMMA (budgeting app)~ £8 per month
Apple Fitness (more on this below) ~ free currently.
Excalidraw+ : £5 per month
Strava: £8 per month
Cost per month: ~£76
Generally, I hate monthly subscription services so getting me to sign up to a new one is a tough sell and the software needs to really solve a problem for me or be vastly superior to the free alternatives.
Not a subscription, but I wanted to mention this.
I would say this is the best thing I ever purchased for improving my health. Closing your rings is addictive and getting notifications that your friends are active is often the nudge I need on a lazy Saturday to take a walk. Furthermore, I love tracking metrics over time and seeing my resting heart rate go down and my general fitness go up. The battery on my current Apple Watch is starting to not last the day and I will certainly be replacing it in the coming year or so.
I used to loathe paying a gym membership as “going outside is free” but the great British Winter did not inspire me to go out too much.
The last couple of years I have made a commitment to myself to really focus on my health and have been paying for subscriptions/equipment if it keeps me engaged an active. I have been lifting weights for the past 6 months or so and I find it really enjoyable. Its nice to see progress week to week and I enjoy tracking the stats and have even more metrics to review! It’s also my “me time” where I listen to podcasts that I enjoy.
Cost per month: ~£50
I spend £~486 on luxuries. If I was to instead invest that money at 3% growth for 10 years I’d have ~£68k. This is not an unsubstantial amount of money, and I ensure to review this calculation regularly to ensure that I think the benefits are worth it. As of right now, I think they are but I will continue to evaluate every few months or so and cut where necessary.
For me FIRE is not about being as frugal as possible (although it used to be); it’s about being conscious of costs and the impact they have on your FIRE number. If adding more luxuries still allows you to become FI and RE in a timeline you are happy with, then you should go ahead; life is for living!
What luxuries do you pay for that you believe are worth the money?