Interesting List - 5 Things Worth the Splurge

10 years ago

Putting this over here, since not all of these relate to home decorating, although several have been discussed on this or other related forums.

I just saw this list in my USAA magazine:

1. Interior paint-"professional painters recommend buying the highest-quality interior paint you can afford because these paints look great and are easier to apply."

Me: I do buy good interior paint, almost always Benjamin Moore.

2. Estate planning-"estate planning is a complex issue and [experts] recommend that you update estate planning documents whenever there is a major change in your life or in the tax laws."

Me: I am very embarrassed to say we have not done our estate planning-don't even have wills. That's definitely on my to-do list.

3. Mattress-"a better bed is the key to better sleep, and better sleep makes for a better quality of life."

Me: I bought an expensive latex mattress a few years ago but have been waking up very achey the past few months, so just this past week I invested in a foam pad and featherbed topper, and am indeed sleeping better now.

4. Kitchen knives-"a set of high quality knives can last a's worth paying the difference for knives that offer superior balance, comfort and cutting capabilities."

Me: I don't have a set of good knives and find the plethora of choices pretty intimidating. However given a desire to start cooking and eating better this is on my purchase list.

5. Running shoes-"avoid cut rate running shoes, which tend to have insufficient cushioning and support."

I just started running again this week after taking, um, a LONG respite from exercising regularly. So today I'm off to the New Balance store--USAA says I have to get some nifty new $hoe$ and who am I to argue with the experts?!?!

How does everyone else rate on these items?


Comments (37)

  • tuesday_2008
    10 years ago

    I will play - been thinking about this a LOT lately as I am tring to destress my life since I can't retire for a few years. Am 59 and need to work four more years to get enough service time to retire with full health benefits (KY state retirement). In fact, I have decided we might as well start spending a little retirement savings to make life easier now - who knows what the future will hold.

    I am even going to make a job change resulting in a $12K pay cut - but it will get me out of central office and in a school setting where I have summers off (and snow days)! Yeah. Yep! Gonna' get me a life!

    1. I am going to hire someone to clean for me (probably every two weeks). Just the two of us, so that will help.

    2. Quite thinking I have to DIY everything - going to hire all my small projects done (painting, etc.) We have a good handy man who works cheap and can paint, drywall, carpentry, small electrical and plumbing.

    3. I always buy good shoes. I don't like dressy shoes - am a Clark, Borne, Tiva, Columbia, etc. and good tennis shoe gal. But they gotta be cute.

    4. I have to have good bras. Love Body by Victoria (but only the IPEX style).

    5. Oops! Almost forgot! Will eat out anytime I get the chance - Don't enjoy cooking (because I don't have a lot of time). But I think I will someday when I retire.

    6. You didn't ask for 6, but I will agree, good knives - and good cookware.

    I'm on a roll! Could list others also. Can't wait to see others.


  • bestyears
    10 years ago

    I have to add 1 thing: tools

    Discovered this many, many years ago, first when I was sewing, and realized a great pair of shears (Ghingers for me) were worth twice the price, and a simple but quality machine (Swiss or German) was the only way to sew. Then as I started doing more and more DIY stuff, discovered the same thing with paint brushes, power tools, etc.

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  • Bumblebeez SC Zone 7
    10 years ago

    Nitrate free turkey bacon
    Premium dogfood
    Ralph Lauren sheets
    Nice handbags :-)
    Plants- whatever I want, whenever I want. Cheaper than therapy.

  • igloochic
    10 years ago

    Most of those things I don't think of as a splurge. The best paint is a must, not a splurge as it's an important part of taking care of your home.

    Estate planning, is that a real splurge? Not at all. It is more of an essential expense that most of us put off because it's such a complex pain in the arse. DH and I spent four hours with attorneys a few weeks ago because we finally decided we HAD to make the time, verses waiting for the next big event to do our planning. I anticipate weeks more on this, but while it's expensive, it's not a splurge at all. We need to do it for our son.

    OK the mattress thing one has to learn about on their own :) I think of mattresses like tires. You need to buy the best you can, but dang that's a painful expense LOL

    Kitchen knives...ok that's DH's job so I don't care LOL

    And running shoes....well I have really big bazambas and girls with really big bazambas don't tend to run because you could put an eye out! So I could care less about running shoes. Good bras though...that I'll endorse LOL

    What's a real splurge to me? Art. Buy the best you can and only what you love. Art shouldn't just be should make you stop and smile or think or whatever art does for you.

    Travel. Opening your eyes to another world is always valuable and worth the splurge, be it a weekend drive or the concord to Paris (does the corcord even fly anymore?) anyhoo, you get what I mean :)

    Drapes. Ok goofy but I'm making drapes so I'm focused. The higher the quality the more they enrich a room in all of the right ways. They're an investment you never regret.

    Caviar :)

    Fabulous champagne! Preferably the two above together LOL

    OK in reality, I recently decided I had to have gardening help, and a housekeeper. I don't know if they're a splurge, but gad they make my life so much easier! They actually allow me to have a life verses hanging out mopping floors all of the time.

  • cyn427 (z. 7, N. VA)
    10 years ago

    1. Always use good paint. Last jobs were done with Aura and I really like it!

    2. Already have everything in a family trust that should be in a trust.

    3.Mattress-always buy the best we can afford. Starting to think we need a new one, but not quite ready yet.

    4. Knives-ha. my last set was Cutco bought from a friend of my son-how can you refuse? Anyway, that was when they were 17-18 and they are now 31. Starting to think of treating myself to several really well-made ones (don't want to buy a set-prefer choosing the ones I use a lot).

    5. We wear MBTs. Great for our old joints.

    Now, I agree none of those is a splurge, but rather they are necessities for us and I would add homeowner's insurance to the list.

    My idea of splurges are original art, plants (including trees and shrubs) for the garden, and travel. Would love to be able to splurge on custom draperies (can't sew). I also agree on champagne-there is never a bad time for champagne and one should never drink cheap champagne for sure-we deserve to be spoiled a bit! :)

  • natal
    10 years ago

    I don't quite get the "splurge" aspect of that list either. Good mattress and knives are necessities for me. It's coming up on 10 years for the current mattress, so time to start shopping. I've had the same knives for 30 years. Dh keeps them sharpened for me ... sometimes with a little nagging. When he sees me reaching for the serrated knife to cut tomatoes he knows it's time.

    My top 5 splurges would be:

    ~ plants for the garden
    ~ fresh roasted coffee beans
    ~ eating out a couple times a month
    ~ buying fresh flowers for the house when none are growing in the garden
    ~ completely agree with Igloo on art. That's probably my biggest splurge.

    Buy the best you can and only what you love. Art shouldn't just be should make you stop and smile or think or whatever art does for you.

  • cyn427 (z. 7, N. VA)
    10 years ago

    Love the quotation, Natal. Yep, that says it all. Also, I love having fresh flowers in the house. DH brings bunches home from the grocery store every week. Now, THAT seems like a splurge.

  • demifloyd
    10 years ago



    -A piece of jewelry, clothing, or shoes I don't need (I don't do this often) but really love

    -Fresh flowers for no one but me, if none in garden and no one visiting (thanks, natal for that one)

    -Taking friends out to eat and picking up the tab

    -Having the car detailed at the dealership

    -Jo Malone Vitamin E Nourishing Hand Creme


    Items I don't skimp on and buy top of the line:

    Olive oil
    Ice Cream

    Items I DO buy and skimp on as opposed to more expensive items:

    -Generic waffle potato chips (less salty than Ruffles)

    -T shirts from Target, to lounge, work out, wear with jeans

    -Generic baby oil to remove eye makeup instead of eye makeup remover

    -Laundry detergent for towels (Sunburst, Purex or whatever, but Woolite or Tide only for clothes I wear)

    -Some greeting cards--get well, congratulations--from the Dollar General store. Not all--others Hallmark or handmade.

  • neetsiepie
    10 years ago

    Great handbag
    90 minute facial
    90 minute massage
    Kona coffee
    and fresh cut flowers all year.

    As to Runnings list:
    #1-I change paint color so often that I just buy Behr paint at Home Depot.
    #2-Firm believer, and need to update ours. Last time I updated my will, DH and I weren't yet married and I listed my sister as guardian of my kids. We still joke that DS will get the kids when I die.
    #3-DH and I want completely different things in a bed, so for the time being, we'll just continue using our ok bed. It's got a memory foam topper with a padded cover, so it's comfy, but not ideal.
    #4-I agree there. I've been purchasing them a la carte and have a few decent ones. The best thing I have, I think, is the honing tool...use it every time and my knives are always perfect. Still need a couple more, and a good paring knife then I'm set. Finally bought myself great cookware, and that needs to be on this list. NOTHING beats all clad!
    #5-I can't run, but good shoes are on the top of my list. I have sneakers I've found that are relatively inexpensive and don't make my feet hurt, but usually I wear Birkenstocks.

  • cyn427 (z. 7, N. VA)
    10 years ago

    Pesky, that is funny about your will. When we probated my father's will, it specified his brother as the our guardian. By then, my uncle was 90 and the youngest of the three sisters in our family was 53-lol. My parents' attorney said it was the oldest will he had ever probated. Oh, and I don't think he meant that as a compliment-lol.

  • sweeby
    10 years ago

    Things I splurge on...

    1 - High thread count sheets -- Few things are more sensual than really good sheets, and that can kinda make your day IYKWIM ;-)

    2 - Fancy soaps with a scent I really love. Not that expensive, but what a luxurious feeling in your morning shower.

    3 - Port Wine. A really nice port has got to be the world's best dessert. But it's a tight race with -

    4 - Really good chocolate. You can taste the difference, and the really good stuff is chocolate to savor one itsy bitsy little nibble at a time. Just one piece is such a treat.

    5 - China and crystal. Not that I spend so much on each piece, but that I buy so much of it for so little on eBay. I have dishes for every mood and theme party... Seafood night? Great. Chinese? Got you covered. Oh - Japanese -- no problem, got those too. French, English, Bavarian, Portuguese, Italian, Mexican -- got the china for it...

  • Happyladi
    10 years ago

    I can think of several personal things that are worthy splurges. A really good haircut and color is worth splurging on. If you wear eyeglasses, splurge on a very nice pair that is becoming and stylish. And a good pair of sunglasses is important.

    I agree about good bras and shoes, they can really make a difference.

  • igloochic
    10 years ago

    I'm tired....I just read pesky's comment as...

    DH and I want completely different things in bed....

    My mind went "oh well that could be fun too" LOL Umm ya I'm tired heh heh but I did make myself giggle.

  • sweeby
    10 years ago

    Oooh - Eyeglasses. Absolutely!
    It's your FACE for goodness sake.

  • neetsiepie
    10 years ago

    Well Ig...might be you're not as tired as you think ...winkwink...

  • IdaClaire
    10 years ago

    In 1993 I took the annual bonus I received at work and splurged on a Swiss watch. Even buying on the secondhand market (thru a reputable dealer), it seemed like an absolutely decadent thing to do, but I do not for one minute regret my purchase. The watch is something I wear daily and it gives me pleasure every time I put it on and every time I glance at it, and I'll enjoy it for the rest of my life.

    I also agree that a terrific haircut - and good haircolor - is worth spending the $ on.

  • flyingflower
    10 years ago

    Things I splurge on:
    1. Organic food & Pasture raised meat & eggs
    2. Mattress
    3. Furniture
    4. Anything for the kitchen
    5. GPS/Nav in my car

    This list is actually longer, I splurge on a lot of stuff, I'm spoiled! If I were to continue the list here's what else I splurge on:

    6. pet food (only the best for my furbaby)
    7. Callebaut chocolate & Pecorino Romano cheese
    8. Whole Foods market ( keeps popping up on my lists!)
    9. Veterinary care (dog is spoiled too)

    1. cable TV & DVRs
  • flyingflower
    10 years ago

    I didn't read your post correctly, I thought you wanted us to list OUR top 5 but you want us to comment on USAA's top 5. Ok, now I'm on track...

    1. Interior Paint
    I disagree. Most paint nowadays is pretty good quality unlike 20 years ago. Back then Behr made awful paint but now it's good. House brands like Valspar continue to rate high.
    2. Estate planning
    Not for me cuz I don't have kids. No one to protect so it can go back to the gov't for all I care, my relatives don't deserve it anyway!
    3. Mattress
    I agree, love my Tempurpedic.
    4. Knives
    I have all gustav knives so I would say it's important but not my top 5.
    5. Running shoes
    Nah, I buy what feels good on my feet. As long as they're decent (like Sketchers which is what I wear) I'm happy. I'd rather buy a cheaper sneaker and replace it more often then over-spend and wear something too long. They all lose their support.

  • Faron79
    10 years ago

    Jeeezzzz....the "bedding" comments are even making ME blush...OK...just a little...;-)

    Surprised nobody's mentioned travel-splurges, etc.!


  • hhireno
    10 years ago

    I would have to agree with not being cheap on mattresses, knives and running shoes.

    I don't know if it's considered a splurge but I've always used Ben Moore paint.

    I faithfully replace my good quality sneakers twice a year: July for my birthday present to myself and in Dec when the store offers coupons, which I then use to reduce the July purchase price (and in Dec I can often use coupons from my BIL's yearly purchase!). Before implementing this system, I used to get shin splints and aches & pains from cheaper sneakers. It's definitely worth it to me.

    This reminds me that we keep saying we need to update our will, but as yet, haven't done it. You'd think after DH's health scare 2 years ago we would have taken care of it immediately. But I think it had almost the opposite effect. We dodged a bullet and we don't want to think about death and it's complications. Tomorrow I should make that appointment and get this done.

  • runninginplace
    Original Author
    10 years ago

    Flyingflower, I think the evolution of the discussion has been fun! Glad you took it in a different direction than just analyzing the original list. I've enjoyed hearing about what others' consider splurges-and not.

    My own choices may be more interesting for what I don't splurge on: jewelry because I just don't have much interest, makeup (same reason), art-because I prefer to have stuff that is personal ie photographs or prints of favorite places. Art just doesn't move me on its own, although I respect that for others it is a priority.

    I definitely splurge on eating out although I also don't do it as often in the past few years. I find that my stomach can't handle grease the way I used to and for the money that one spends to eat out, I want to have a SPECIAL dining experience to show for it.

    Hiring help is a splurge I go back/forth on. I keep thinking I want to hire a house cleaner but OTOH as the kids get older the house doesn't get as grody so it seems a waste of money. However for anyone who has young kids and/or works long hours or who simply hates to clean and can afford to hire it out, I heartily endorse that particular splurge.

    I love being able to splurge on construction-type major household projects. Although my husband is skilled in doing just about anything around the house, he never wants to do those jobs and the absolute joy of having a room taken apart and rebuilt exactly to my specifications has been a splurge I have truly treasured. My new kitchen and bathrooms give me a tremendous amount of daily joy.

    That's about all I can think of now, but I am definitely enjoying reading everyone's thoughts!


  • demifloyd
    10 years ago

    I can tell you all from experience that you will be glad if your will, trusts, etc. are in order; ours was.

    I can also tell you to have, in a safe place, a list of all pertinent information, including policies, accounts, account numbers, contact numbers, updated periodically.

    My DH had a file just for me with only this information.

    He didn't say anything about his funeral, so we had to wing that, but we think he would have approved.

    Please--there is enough stress when someone dies, and particularly when someone dies suddenly. It could happen to any of us at any moment.

    Don't put it off and get a handle on what you have, what will happen, who gets what. Having processed probates, particularly with remaining spouses, I've seen what a mess it is--literally, and emotionally, when plans are not made.

  • awm03
    10 years ago

    Canon S95 point & shoot: takes excellent pictures indoors, at night, & of course outdoors:

  • terezosa / terriks
    10 years ago

    He didn't say anything about his funeral, so we had to wing that, but we think he would have approved.

    I really feel that the funeral/memorial service is really for those left behind, and that their wishes really need to be taken into account. My FIL passed away last year, and didn't want any kind of service. My MIL respected that, but my kids (FIL's grandkids) really felt kind of adrift - his death had been sudden, and they never got a chance to say goodbye at all. It would have been good closure for them.

  • Oakley
    10 years ago

    I don't run but I do buy walking shoes and they have to be well made which equals expensive.

    I don't consider flowers from the grocery to be a splurge but I do consider going to a florist once a week for flowers to be a splurge. My friend does that, and if I could afford it I'd do it too!

    We splurge on a good meal when we eat out.

    Estate planning and a Will isn't a necessity unless you own a lot of land and have a ton of money.

    If you want to leave personal items for your children, you tell all of them that their names are on the items you want them to have, then the rest is "share and share alike" which is what most states have if there's no Will.

    One thing I do splurge on is Candles. Either from Yankee Candle or Scentsy. %0

  • Oakley
    10 years ago

    I just heard on the news that Bernie Madoff (sp) had 400 pairs of Italian shoes!

  • deegw
    10 years ago

    I don't buy a lot of stuff, so when I shop I tend to buy the good stuff. For me, it's a good hand bag, good shoes, a few pieces of really good jewelry, good bedding and sunglasses (my eyes are light colored and super sensitive). I LOVE my expensive kitchen shears and use them all the time.

    My kids get good shoes and good clothes. IMO, most of the cheap stuff for kids turns trashy really quickly. If it's a trendy (ugly!) item, I'll go the cheap route. I also spend a ton of money on my kid's teeth,

    My friend's husband says life is too short for cheap toilet paper and bad food.

  • busybee3
    10 years ago

    i have to agree that funeral services are for the living and i don't think it's right to say you don't want a service after you're dead---unless maybe you don't have a spouse or kids...
    but i know some people want specific music, or casket vs cremation, specific place to place remains, place of service, etc and i think it's fine to respect all of that...
    this is reminding me that we need to update our will...

    good paint is nice.
    a good quality mattress is essential! but also, replacing a 'good' mattress when needed is important!

    decent knives are important, but equally important is having a good knife sharpener! some are much better than others! as i have gotten older and have gotten some nicer quality kitchen tools i learned how wonderful a good quality tool can be! especially baking pans, graters/planes, mixer, etc. i've also learned- for me- very expensive nonstick fry pans are not necessarily worth it---

    and after some knee problems and plantar fasciitis, i learned it is also important to replace 'good' running shoes with a new pair of good running shoes much sooner than i would be normally be inclined!

    a really good hose has been totally worth it to me...spent too many years with kinking/leaking hoses!

    a good grill really makes a difference in outdoor cooking!

  • tinam61
    10 years ago

    I don't consider a good mattress or estate planning a splurge, they are a necessity. I have to say that I completely disagree with not doing estate planning.

    FF, we don't have children either, but we don't want our estate going to the state. I realize you don't want yours going to relatives, but how about a charity or some sort? Also included in our estate planning was Power of Attorney and Medical Power of Attorney which is extremely important. We found that out several years ago when a hospital did not honor my grandfather's living will. Also for those that do still have underage children, plans for their care is a must. Some people make plans for care of their pets.

    Hmmm, our splurges -

    -recreational vehicles (boat and rv), however I feel these may not be a necessity but not so much of a splurge either when they maximize family time - free time. I think everyone needs that.
    -eating out - which we do a good bit. Again,it's not a necessity, but not so much of a splurge either.
    -I'm another who buys high quality food, etc. for my pet
    -nice lingerie
    -good towels, linens, etc.

    In regards to funerals, the family deaths I have experienced so far, two planned their funerals and one planned and pre-paid. In all cases, it was wonderful for us, the family. Knowing that the services were what the person wanted was very comforting to all of us. Having the arrangements made before time also made things much easier during a difficult time.

  • hhireno
    10 years ago

    I'm still thinking about this. Since I don't consider the original items listed to be a splurge, what do I splurge on?

    I guess airline tickets since I fly to Switzerland once a year and to HHI as many times as I can. Sadly, I don't fly first or business class because that is too much of a splurge.

    I'm a big library user so when I do buy a book for travel it feels quite decadent so I guess that's another splurge.

    Actually, the first one that came to mind is kinda pathetic but I do feel it's a splurge. I will only buy myself a Chai Latte from a coffee shop if the following criteria are met: there must be snow on the ground and only on a day I've been to the gym.

    I asked my DH what does he consider a splurge. He seemed suspicious like maybe I was planning to try to eliminate the item once I knew his weakness! I said it's safe, I'm just curious what you feel you splurge on. He said sporting tickets and his daily coffee shop coffee!

    We're perfect for each other - we both think paying $2 for hot beverage is a big extravagance! Maybe for our anniversary this month we should go out for coffee.

  • Oakley
    10 years ago

    Tina, I think a Will is a must under the reasons you gave. Not all circumstances would apply to not having a will.

    My dh's mom didn't have a will and it was just share and share alike, which we did.

    OTOH, my dad had a will when he died, and it ended up being the exact same thing.

    We have one but we don't need it.

  • flyingflower
    10 years ago

    tina... I forgot about charities for a moment there. That would be my preference. Or I'll be like Leona Helmsly and leave it all to my dog. :-)

  • tinam61
    10 years ago

    LOL FF, that's always a choice! There is a couple located near my dad, well used to be, they have passed away but they had no children or even any close relatives that I know of. Anyway, when the wife passed away, their will stipulated their house be left to a certain organization and be set up as a half-way house for young women. I thought that was pretty cool. It's done quite well in their little community, and has helped several young women get back on their feet.

    At the university where I work, there are many people who leave their estates to the school! Many bequests are made to the veterinary college too.


  • sis3
    10 years ago

    I run in good running shoes. I go to a specialist store where they check my gait and recommend the brand and type of shoe that is best for me.
    Recently I began to have pain on the inside of my left knee that made me stop running for a while. An ex triathlete who mentors me asked, on hearing about my persisting knee pain, how my shoes were. He pulled my shoe up as though he was shoeing a horse and pronounced that my shoes were "done"! Within an hour I was leaving the running shoe store with a new pair, my old pair donated to the homeless. No more pain! From that moment on!
    Moral of the story - good running shoes, specific to your gait, and renewed as often as necessary, are essential if you want to avoid injury. Definitely not a splurge for a runner!
    Every time I see a homeless person now I guiltily check to see if they are limping......!

  • pammyfay
    10 years ago

    "I guess airline tickets since I fly to Switzerland once a year and to HHI as many times as I can. Sadly, I don't fly first or business class because that is too much of a splurge."

    Maybe it's the hour, but I can't figure this out: What is "HHI"?

  • tinam61
    10 years ago

    Hilton Head Island

  • hhireno
    10 years ago

    Oh, sorry, I should have written it out. I'm just so used to blabbering about Hilton Head Island, and using the initials, I forget not everyone knows it.

    Good thing I didn't use the abbreviation (CH) for Switzerland. We use it as shorthand in my family (and having family living there it does come up often). It stands for Confoederatio Helvetica, the Latin term for the Swiss Confederation.

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