6 Things You Should Spend a Little Extra Money On After You Turn 30, According to Accountants

published Jun 9, 2021
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While it may seem counterproductive to splurge on certain items when you’re on a budget, sometimes doing so can save you money in the long run. “In some cases, spending more equates to a better value, which turns into needing to buy less, which turns into saving money,” explains Brittany Turner, a CPA and the founder of Countless. “If someone is an over-saver, they might worry or get stressed overspending on one purchase, but by doing this they may be freeing up additional funds (and time) down the road.”

This sentiment rings especially true as you grow older (and hopefully more financially independent), and are faced with situations where we might need to spend a little extra money upfront in order to make or save money in the future. “Sometimes there are benefits to putting more money down,” says accountant Aaron Smyle of Smyle & Associates. “For example, if you have a loan with a balance of $20,000 that you’re making $500 a month payments on, making a larger up-front payment would reduce the monthly amount thereby giving you a ‘raise’ on a month-to-month basis.”

Curious what kinds of big-ticket purchases experts say are totally worth the cost? From high-use household items to sustainably-made furniture pieces and more, here are six things that accountants say are totally okay to spend a little extra money after you turn the big 3-0 — or when reach a financial status you’ve been working toward, which can certainly happen before or after your 30th birthday. Everyone has their own financial situation; this advice is more about a state of mind or a stage of life than a certain age.

High-Use Household Items

If you depend on a specific tool or product to successfully complete household tasks, Turner says it pays to buy the highest quality version of it upfront. “For years I kept buying the cheapest can opener I could find, and they kept breaking right away,” she says. “My partner made us buy an OXO one and I almost had a heart attack over the cost (‘don’t you know can openers are $1 at the dollar store?!’), but nine years later we still have it, and it’s going strong.”

Along with saving you money and headaches from the frustration of repeat purchases, Turner says buying the best versions of high-use household items can also improve your quality of life. “A good broom, mop, and vacuum will cut down your cleaning time and do a better job,” she explains. 

Timeless Furniture and Clothing Pieces

Whether it’s an extra comfy quality-made sofa or a good-looking sweater composed of sustainable fabric, Turner says you’ll usually get more bang for your buck by spending a bit more money on long-lasting furniture and clothing. “It’s okay to spend a little more on items that you plan on keeping in your closet or home for the long-term,” she explains. “Furniture and clothing pieces that are built to last can long outlive their flimsy (and inexpensive) counterparts, so you’ll save money by not having to replace them down the road.”

Fortunately, Turner says sourcing quality-made furniture and clothing items doesn’t have to be a pricey endeavor. “Consignment or second-hand stores are great places to find high-quality, long-term, timeless pieces,” she explains. “Not only can you find great deals at these shops, vintage items often have more personality than mass-manufactured pieces.”

Investments

If you’re successfully making regular contributions to your savings fund every month and have a little extra cash to spare, Smyle says investing some of your savings into an asset, stock, or bond might help you grow your money over time. “If the money is just ‘sitting there’, then there are a lot of upsides to investing it,” he explains. “For example, putting $50,000 that you have saved into an investment account that has the potential to earn 10 percent a year would be a much better alternative than just leaving it in a savings account,” he explains. 

While anyone with spare funds can invest their money in the stock market, Smyle says it’s important to remember that no investment strategy is 100-percent risk-proof. “All investments are risky and you need to be mindful that losing value is also a strong possibility. Make educated decisions and work with a professional that can guide you on the proper thoughts and fact patterns to minimize said risk,” he says.

Things That Will Make Your Life Easier

Whether it’s paying for a weekly meal kit delivery service or hiring an accountant to help you prepare your taxes, Turner says it’s okay to splurge on items that help lighten your workload after you turn 30. “The only thing we can’t buy is time,” she explains. “Anything that saves me time and makes my life easier is also saving me money, even if it’s not directly.”

As long as it’s not an impulse buy or something truly out of your budget, Turner says it’s also fine to spend a little extra on items that simply bring you joy from time to time. “Whether it’s a pricey laundry detergent with a fragrance you love or a piece of art that you’ve been admiring for a while, items that bring you happiness are okay to splurge on every once in a while,” she says.

Experiences

Whether it’s a week-long road trip with your besties or a solo day drive to someplace beautiful nearby, Turner says as long as you’re making regular contributions to your savings funds, it’s important to treat yourself to a nice getaway from time to time. “Experiences are the most valuable things in life, in my opinion,” she explains. “I’m not saying to throw caution to the wind every time you want to go on vacation, but you should not rob yourself of joyful experiences either.”

If you can’t afford to take a vacation any time soon, Smyle suggests setting money aside every month so you can treat yourself to one down the road. “Rewarding yourself with a vacation for achieving a short-term financial goal can help keep you motivated to get to the next milestone,” he explains.

Debt Repayments

While it might not sound as enticing as splurging on a piece of quality furniture or a fun-filled getaway, Smyle says making larger payments towards your debts as you get older is both a smart and sophisticated money move. “If you have savings in the bank, but your credit cards aren’t paid off, it’s likely you’re paying more interest than you’re earning,” he explains. “So prioritizing debt repayment first will have a greater effect on your overall net wealth while saving you money in the long run.”

If you’re low on funds and unable to make larger debt repayments, spending a little upfront on a money management app can help you slow your outflow of cash over time so you can put more money towards debt. Apps like Trim and Truebill analyze transactions linked to your checking and bank accounts to help you identify unnecessary spending habits, and will even negotiate lower rates with your cable service, internet, and phone providers to help you reduce your monthly bills.