The Holidays are some of the most wonderful times of the year. Family, food, fun and lots of spending on toys and gadgets. No one wants to put a damper on holiday joy by thinking about what you should have spent your money on, so why not wait until after Christmas.
Once the decorations have been taken down, the tree thrown by the curb and the wrapping paper scraps picked up, take a moment to sit down and count any extra holiday cash. Now, let’s cover the 10 most important things you should spend that money on that seem to get neglected year after year....and most importantly, that you should NOT skimp on.
- Pay down Credit Card Debt – Let’s get the worst out of the way first. No one likes it, it is a giant black cloud over many of American’s heads and it’s called credit card debt. However, it doesn’t have to be a black cloud. If you put a nice chunk of cash towards your credit card debt you will literally feel the weight come off your shoulders. Not only have you paid it down, but you’re NOT paying all that extra interest.
- Home Improvement Projects – Our homes are something we should never skimp on. Keeping your home maintained saves you money over time and keeps re-sell value high. A good habit that I personally live by is putting cash away for ONE big home project a year. This keeps me from getting overwhelmed and keeps my home in good condition. Last year was a new heating and cooling unit. The year before was the entire house being painted. This new year is a gut wrencher…the new roof, but once it’s done I don’t have to think about it again for 10+ years!
- Car Maintenance – Whether it is new tires; new brakes; or a complete overhaul; a car is something you do not skimp on. You and your family are in it daily and these are the things that matter most to us. Make sure you get your oil changed regularly and go check out your tires. You may get away with rotating them a few times, but soon it’s time for new, quality tires. Cheap tires aren’t going to last nor are they going to perform well during poor road conditions.
- Cookware – For any man who is not a cook you are probably thinking cookware is a ridiculous item to have on this list. However, you ARE eating the food that it is cooked in. Quality cookware is built to last; doesn’t pose health risks and if you aren’t the best cook it will help cover up little mistakes by being non-stick; even cooking properties and easy clean up!
- Computer – Skimping on technology isn’t worth the trouble. It is a given that with any piece of technology something will go wrong. Whether it be a virus; a new operating system; electrical fire; something is bound to happen. Getting a warranty on these products is probably a pretty smart choice because you will very well end up using it. Do your research and buy a reputable well-known product so you can get help when you need it most.
- Mattress – Why is it that so many people after sleeping 6+ hours a night, every night on the same mattress for 10+ years complain about leg pain; back pain; sleep problems…. well, did you ever consider it is your mattress! A mattress is the most used piece of furniture in your home! Not only does it endure your weight, sweat, spills, pets, etc., it supports you every night. Well, that is if you don’t skimp. Today, there is NO excuse for not getting a quality mattress for a good price. The 4Sleep mattress is a great example. A family owned, 100% USA Made, on-line mattress company that can offer great prices because there are no brick and mortar store costs. Plus, you can get it delivered in a box straight to your door and try it for 100 Nights! Go mattress shopping on line and throw your old mattress out with your Christmas tree this year!
- Shoes – Your feet are important. Wearing shoes that aren’t supportive will wreak havoc on your feet over the years. Not something we think about while were young, but take it from somebody who knows. Flip flops are not made for walking.
- Medical and Dental Check Ups – Has anyone seen the show “Botched”? Enough said. Never ever skimp on medical/dental professionals. Certified, trained professionals with the proper degrees are essential if you want to walk out better than when you went in…or walk out at all!
- Appliances – This is where I need to listen to myself, since almost every night I listen to my builder grade dishwasher “wash” my dishes. No efficiency; loud; and I end up washing most of my dishes by hand. These days appliances can save you money on your gas/electric bills; help save the environment and do their job. When it’s time, don’t skimp. Look at it as saving on your bills; going green and hiring kitchen help.
- Furniture – Couches; chairs; tables; lamps…. nobody wants to be the person who sits in the chair and breaks it. As with everything else listed, quality furniture is built to last. So, unless you are a carpenter and want to break out your wood working tools and show us your upholstery skills, then spend a little extra and it will go the extra mile.