I think a lot of people equate being a minimalist to being frugal. While this may be the case for some people (after all, there is no one size fits all rule for minimalism), my own personal brand of minimalism is less about not spending and more about intentional spending.
For example, I may have kicked my mindless shopping habit, but I am not afraid to spend money on things that bring me joy or add value to my life. After all, minimalism is not about sitting in an empty house, counting your possessions and your pennies; it’s about finding time and money to do more of what you love.
Here are seven things I never regret spending money on; let me know in the comments if you agree or if not, what is on your list?!
GOOD QUALITY FOOD
For me, food is one of the great joys in life. There is nothing I love more than a truly amazing meal (be it eating the best noodles in the world on the streets of Chiang Mai or dining at Mamasan in Bali – hands down one of my favourite restaurants in the world.)
It’s about quality over quantity, whether you’re eating out or cooking at home. In my kitchen, I have a simple eating philosophy, which means I splurge on grass-fed beef or Tasmanian cheese (drool) but I forgo freezer meals or prepackaged snacks. (And if you can support small, local businesses at the same time, it’s a huge bonus!)
SERVICES THAT IMPROVE YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE
When you spend money on services, you are buying time (the one thing everyone says you can’t buy!). I don’t believe you have to ‘DIY’ everything; if you really hate housework, hire a cleaner. If you’re not getting results at the gym, hire a personal trainer. If you desperately need some time to yourself, hire a nanny.
I know that services are sometimes expensive, but it’s about looking at your values and prioritising your spending. You might be surprised at what you can afford.
QUALITY ITEMS THAT SERVE A PURPOSE
Comfortable shoes that you wear season after season. A handcrafted kitchen knife made to last. A leather tote you’ve been using since university (for me, that’s a long time now!).
I’m talking about well made, quality items that serve a distinct purpose in your life. I had a pair of denim Levis shorts that I lived in for twelve years and they only just fell apart. I mourned them (boo hoo) but it was also incredibly satisfying to actually wear something out and then replace them (and actually, I’m still holding out for the perfect pair).
In today’s disposable society, there is something deeply gratifying about knowing you’ve made a good, quality purchase!
LEARNING NEW THINGS
I love learning new things (it’s one of my core values and if I’m not learning, I’m not happy). While everyone’s values are different, I truly believe that investing in learning is investing in yourself.
I’ve done online courses (where I learned tons about blogging), adult education courses (I learned to sew and paint), and I’ve done single day programs (like learning traditional weaving in Guatemala!).
I’ve also spent money on books, travel, and conferences; all experiences that have helped expand my mind. When I learn new things, it’s not always about the skills I learn (although of course, they help), but it’s also about how I feel about myself. Learning makes me feel confident and proud of myself, something that money can’t buy.
A HOBBY THAT BRINGS YOU JOY
My husband is a ‘natural minimalist’; he had no problem moving to Australia with nothing more than a backpack and even after living here for several years has hardly any possession.
… Except he has a record collection. And he loves it. When we aren’t travelling, he’s always playing records, cleaning his records, reading about records or even just staring at his records. (He may kill me for sharing that, but it’s true!) It’s clear that his records bring him a lot of joy.
I may tease him, but I’ve never once looked at his collection and thought it was a waste of money because I see the smile it puts on his face.
TRAVEL + UNIQUE EXPERIENCES
If you’re a regular reader (or even if you’ve just had a quick look around) it’s probably pretty clear to you that travel is a huge priority in my life.
Travel is a great teacher; you learn about the world and also a lot about yourself. It’s also incredibly fun – and this leads to wonderful memories that, as time passes, only further enrich your life (unlike many material purchases, which weight us down with time).
Taking this one step further, when I’m travelling I always try and find room in my budget for special experiences, like hot air ballooning in Turkey (mind-blowing) or more recently trekking in Northern Thailand. Spending a little extra on quality operators can take your trip to a whole new level!
GIFTS + CHARITY
Last but certainly not least, I never regret being generous. Once I learned to give without expectation of anything in return, I found the true joy in giving.
I’m not a big holiday person, but I love to surprise friends and family just because I’m thinking of them or when they are not expecting it. (It’s easier to give meaningful gifts this way, because instead of feeling last-minute pressure to just ‘find something’, I buy things when I come across them.)
I also believe that giving to charity is important. Even when I’m travelling, I always make sure I’m donating on a monthly basis (after all, if I can afford to travel then surely I can afford to support a worthwhile cause).
Imagine what would happen if everyone helped out, even in a small way? Money donated to charity always feels like money well spent to me.
(I currently support the UNHCR Refugee Agency and World Vision, but everyone has their own causes, choose what speaks to your heart.)
What are your thoughts? What do you never regret spending money on? Let me know in the comments! x
36 thoughts on “7 Things You Will Never Regret Spending Money On”
Thank you for your blog. Most I know, but it is always a joy to wander through someone else’s experience of the same thing.
I hope/plan to pursue my love of gardening into a post-retirement income.
Why not now? Fear maybe of stepping out compared to the humdrum job I do which guarantees an income – and a pension – which will hopefully enable me to start a new venture when I am beyond working age.
Thank you for reading! Good luck on your gardening in the future and I understand why you might wait—these sort of decisions are so personal and we all need to do what’s best given our situation. Have a lovely day! x Jen
Travel is my favorite thing to spend money on. I didn’t even want to pay for my wedding until I was able to work it into a “vacation” to Tahoe. LOL.
Haha – me too!!! Travel is the best 🙂
Hi there..I just found your blog and am really enjoying it so far. I’m at the very beginning of my minimalist lifestyle. The thought happened initially before I went on a 10 day European excursion with my mom and has only heightened since returning to the states, which has caused great grief, lol!!!! I’m still soul searching, but I know travel, charity and great food will take the cake. And savings, of course!!! Cheers!!!
Hi Kamiele! Thanks so much for taking the time to comment (and I’m so sorry for my slow reply!!) That’s awesome that travel helped inspire you to be a minimalist. It was definitely the same with me! Good luck with your journey and thank you so much for reading (and heck yes about great food!) xo
I agree with everything on this list (FOOD!), but especially the ‘hobby you love’ bit. I have, erm, a lot of books. I’ve been trying to take a more minimalist approach to my possessions lately, but while that’s easy with things like clothing (I can’t even remember the last time I bought any clothes), it’s much harder with books. Part of this is that I don’t just derive joy from having beautiful covers on my shelves and plenty of reading material to choose from, but also that one of my core values in life is supporting writers and encouraging the creation of new literature, and one of the ways for me to do that is by spending money on literature. I’d much rather spend £13 on a new hardcover from my favourite author than £13 on a cinema ticket to a mediocre film, anyway.
YES!! I love this response so much! As part of the minimalist community, I know there is such a focus on not owning things, but at the same time I think that it’s important to support artists and craftsmanship. Thank you so much for highlighting this! ??
I certainly agree with the learning new things…but I do wish I had my time and money back for the two college degrees I hold. A total waste of both time and money. If I had a kid today and wanted them to get truly educated, I’d give them a Eurail pass and a credit card to Amazon for books. Sadly, colleges have become nothing more than profit centers.
I totally agree. I actually originally mentioned something along those lines in my post … but I decided to keep things simple and took it out. I believe in education, but Universities costs have spiralled out of control (and the quality is definitely debatable!)
I studied off and on for almost 5 years and ended up quitting school to travel. I’m not saying my way is the right way, but I’ve never regretted it.
Agree with all of these.. Stumbled across your blog recently as I’ve been going through a rough time, and am enjoying your posts which are helping inspire me. A thank you. But a question if you don’t mind, how do you afford to travel as often as you do? Wondering how to make it happen for me at some point?
Hi Maria – thanks for commenting! Of course I don’t mind you asking, I completely understand. I actually wrote a whole post about it because it’s something I get asked often > https://www.simplyfiercely.com/how-i-afford-to-travel/ If you have any specific questions or need advice about travel feel free to leave me a comment or to get in touch!
Also, I’m so sorry to hear that you’re going through a rough time. I’m so grateful (and touched) that some of my posts are inspiring you. Good luck with everything x
I take frugality to an extreme (in the name of paying off all of my debt in just three years), so I was surprised to find that I agree with all of these! Great list!
Haha – that is reassuring then! I can be extremely frugal about somethings .. but other things not 🙂 Congrats on paying off all your debt so quickly! Cheers Jen