Guilt-Free Spending: 10 Things You Should Splurge On This Year

Dear Rich Lifer,

The pandemic has put a serious cramp on our lifestyles.

If there was ever a time to spend money to improve the quality of your life, now is the time!

As government and state restrictions begin to lift, Americans feeling cooped up could be ready to start ‘revenge spending.’

While the pandemic has ruined the livelihoods of many, there are hundreds of thousands of workers who did not lose their income, but instead lost their ability to spend on items like eating out and vacations.

If you’re one of the fortunate ones or you’ve seen your investments climb since the pandemic began in 2020, then you might be in a position for some guilt-free spending this year.

But before we get to what you should buy, let’s be clear, there is nothing wrong with being frugal. In fact, we’ve written several issues about different ways you can save money.  

However sometimes spending a bit more on quality goods, as you‘ll see in second, will save you more money in the end.

So, if you’ve been eyeing a new home theater system or expensive mattress, you may be able to buy it guilt-free.

Here are 10 things we think are worth spending more on to improve the quality of your life this year.

High-End Mattress

You spend a third of your life sleeping. If you’re not getting the absolute best sleep of your life right now, why not splurge on a new mattress?

If you’re waking up several times throughout the night or tossing and turning, it’s likely time for an upgrade. But don’t limit your shopping to in-store mattress retailers only.

Mattress technology has improved significantly and so has the shopping experience. There are several online-exclusive mattress brands that offer amazing 100-night satisfaction guarantees with free home delivery.

But buyer beware, the more expensive a mattress is doesn’t always mean it’s better quality. Because mattresses have inherently high markups, there are a lot of new brands trying to capitalize in the space.

Brands we recommend would be Casper, Simmons, Endy and if you have a sizable budget and you are looking to really up your sleep game, check out Eight Sleep.

Eight Sleep is a new mattress brand that offers the only mattress on the market that actively regulates the temperature of your body while you sleep. Backed by silicon valley investors, Eight Sleep is a smart mattress that could even compress the time you need to get rejuvenating sleep.

Dental Care

If you’ve been using a $5 manual toothbrush your whole life, consider splurging on a new electric model.

You can’t grow back your teeth or gums so it’s best to spend more money on taking care of them now. There are several different models of electric toothbrushes to choose from.

Read the reviews and ask your dentist next time you go for a cleaning what brand and model they recommend. Think of this as an investment. Your older mouth will thank you.

Glasses and Contacts

Like your teeth and gums, you only have one pair of eyes. If you wear glasses or contact lenses, make sure you buy the best quality lenses and frames money can buy.

A lot of glasses companies offer anti-reflection, scratch-resistant coatings, and some are even offering blue-light blocking lenses for screen fatigue and better sleep.

Get these add-ons. They may seem like a waste of money, but we assure you they’re minor expenses that will pay dividends in the quality of your vision. Also, if you wear contacts daily, get breathable ones. Don’t reuse disposable contacts to try and save a buck.

Safe and Reliable Car

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 36,096 people killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes on U.S. roadways during 2019, an average of 99 per day.

If you have any small kids or you simply value your own life, it’s worth buying the safest and most reliable car money can buy. This doesn’t mean you have to buy new, we still recommend buying used.

However, make sure you’re shopping for models and makes that have proven reliability and have some of the highest safety ratings according to the IIHS and NHTSA.

Home Theatre System

Netflix added more than 25 million new users in the first half of 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic forced shelter-in-place orders in the U.S. and around the world.

If we learned anything from watching Netflix during the pandemic, it is that your TV quality matters. It’s still too early to tell if movie theatres like AMC will bounce back completely.

But we think it’s safe to say, you won’t regret splurging on a new high-definition 4K TV with an amazing sound system to boot. The money you’ll save not going to the movies will easily recoup the cost of a new home theatre system.

Cell Phones and Devices

Americans now check their phones 96 times a day – that’s once every 10 minutes, according to new research by global tech care company Asurion. That’s a 20 percent daily increase from a similar survey conducted by Asurion two years ago.

If you’ve been hanging on to an old iPhone or Android smartphone, consider upgrading to the latest model. Watch for spring, summer, and back-to-school sales, but don’t keep putting off this purchase.

We use our phones a lot whether we like them or not. If you’re going to be staring at a screen and taking photos of your kids and grandkids, get the best quality phone or tablet for the job.

Not only will it last longer and be more durable, but it’ll also be a better user experience overall. Samsung and iPhone have some of the best quality phones on the market today.

And while you’re at it, invest in a good phone case to protect your new device. Spending $20 or $50 more on a case like an Otterbox will ensure your phone doesn’t break if you drop it.


One in four Americans does not have a single paid day off. And the average private-sector worker receives only 16 paid vacation days and holidays in a year.

If you’re planning your next trip, don’t cheap out! You deserve a real adventure with amazing amenities. This doesn’t mean you have to go crazy and book the most expensive hotels or resorts, but don’t limit yourself to save a few bucks.

Plus, with remote work becoming the norm, you might want to consider applying for jobs in countries where you get more paid vacation days and holidays. A few countries that offer 30 or more paid vacation days are New Zealand, France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, and Portugal.

Health and Wellness

One of the least talked about subjects throughout the pandemic has been the metabolic health of Americans. The best protection against any virus is a strong immune system.

If you’re opting for lesser quality food to try and save money, you’re putting your health at risk which could, in turn, cost you more in medical expenses.

Spend as much as you can afford on good quality food. That means the best cuts of meat you can buy, organic vegetables and fruits, following the dirty dozen and clean fifteen.

And if you have any other health issues, like a bad back or bad knees, splurge on physiotherapy and massages to get those pains taken care of. Another purchase worth your money is an air purifier. Buy one with a HEPA filter and make sure you get the right size for the size of your room.

Prime Real Estate

If you’re in the market for a new home or you’re thinking of buying an investment property, make sure you buy in the most prime location possible.

It might be a bit more than you’d like to spend but the additional investment will be worth it in the end. Prime real estate holds up better in a downturn and rises faster when the market starts to climb. Think suburbs just outside major cities, neighborhoods close to schools and hospitals.

But, if you’re looking to get into real estate investing the easy way… you can. 

Home Appliances

Before you do any home renovations, do some research first on what home renos recoup the most value. Outdoor lighting, garage doors, kitchens, etc. all have fairly good ROIs.

But also consider the cost of installing new appliances. It costs the same amount to install a $1,100 dishwasher as it does a $300 one. The same goes for floors, paint, cabinets, faucets, bathtubs, hot tubs, toilets, and patio heaters.

Not only will you get to enjoy these luxury appliances but savvy home buyers will recognize the investment and be less inclined to rip out everything and start over, which means they’ll likely offer you more for your property.

Spend on What Matters Most to You

It’s easy to spend for the sake of spending and that’s what most Americans flush with cash from the pandemic will likely do. But we challenge you to figure out what matters most to you and spend your money freely on those few items.

It’s always better to have a few quality pieces in your home versus a ton of cheap junk. It pays to spend more when you know it’s something you’ll use every day.

To a richer life,

The Rich Life Roadmap Team

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