Sometimes, the right choice for us might be an unpopular one for others. Rules are made to be broken. Here are twelve real-life examples of people who made unpopular spending decisions that proved to be the right move for them.
What’s an unpopular spending decision that was right for YOU? Did you buy a new car? Did you open a new credit line to buy one item? Did you quit your 9-5 to pursue something? Did you move cross-country or around the world? Did you leave to travel?
After polling the internet, here are the top-voted responses.
1. Rent Space for Less
One person wrote, “We rent space in our house for less than market rate because it’s in line with our politics.” Many people commented on this, sharing that they thought this was a great thing. Especially if your expenses are covered, then renting out your space and NOT making a lot of money can do a lot of good in the world.
2. Having Two Cars
One person wrote that they have two cars even though they may be able to deal with having just one. One person wrote, “I feel like having two cars is to me what having separate finances is to other women. There’s a security/freedom in knowing I can go anywhere, at any time, without having to clear it with my partner or leave him without a car.”
There is no money that is worth freedom!
3. Buying Out of Your Means
“We bought a house in 2018 that my parents insisted was overpriced and beyond our means for $300k, 5% down, including a 3.5% first-time buyers grant,” confessed one.
“The mortgage and upkeep are now cheaper than a somewhat comparable apartment, and our income has increased substantially since then. We plan to sell this year to trade up to our probably forever home.”
4. Not Budgeting for Groceries
“I don’t budget for groceries because it seems weird to limit the amount of food we can eat,” one shared. Another added, “I don’t budget for groceries either. It’s impossible to estimate this number because you’re not always buying the same thing every time you go.”
5. Keeping Down the Stress
“Moved to a different country and paid an international removals company to take all our stuff with us. Twice. Nobody could understand why we’d want to pay good money to move our particleboard furniture, ancient pots and pans, and chipped mugs,” another admitted.
“But packing up our home was infinitely less stressful than getting rid of everything and starting from scratch, both logistically and emotionally. Also cheaper, more efficient, and less time-consuming. I could go on. But nobody in our lives could get past the four-figure number.”
6. Big Wedding
One person expressed, “A big wedding. I didn’t pay for all of it. But if our parents didn’t insist on paying for some, I would have easily spent at least $60K on it with no regrets. It was a prominent Indian wedding and the best night of my life. It also helps that I had a high-paying job at the time.”
“We keep explaining that renting isn’t the worst thing to my parents, but they don’t get it. We have land, a nice neighborhood, and good highway access, and we don’t have to pay for maintenance or appliances. That seems like a win to me,” suggested another.
8. Buying for Long Term Usage
“My husband and I bought our cars brand new, with the plan of driving them into the ground. My car is now 13 years old, and my husband’s car is eight years old, with no significant mechanical issues (knock on wood). As a side note, both of our vehicles are no frills. My car has manual locks and windows and no cruise control,” one shared.
9. Choosing Mental Health Over Wealth
“I lived in Los Angeles and was in a tiny studio paying only $1000 a month for seven years. Then, I moved to a one-bedroom and am paying almost double. Conventional wisdom says I should have stayed in the tiny place and saved for a house or anything else, but I needed to upgrade for my mental health.”
“I went through cancer in that cramped studio, with my mother sleeping on the floor. I was stuck there for treatment and the start of the pandemic. Finally, I got sick of the place and wanted to live somewhere better. I’ve been in the new home for about a year and am much happier, healthier, and cancer free,” another responded.
10. Treat Yourself
Finally, someone said, “I tried on these beautiful gold earrings at a store. The lady working there told me it cost nearly $200, so I quickly took them off and gave them back to her.”
“I drove home and couldn’t stop thinking about them for a week. It just so happened that I received a raise at work, so I told myself I deserved this! So I returned and walked out wearing them, feeling proud of myself.”
11. Choosing Not to Budget
“I don’t budget. I find it stressful, making me question every purchase to no end. So now I spend whatever I want because I know I’m naturally frugal, and I’ll always save more than I spend,” someone confessed.
12. Traveling While in Debt
Another answered, “I used to travel 5-6x internationally per year (pre-pandemic) after graduating while I had over 50k in student loans. I lived at home after school and was always frugal during my travels except when it mattered, like activities, food, etc.”
“The funny thing is that those travels cost me $5-6k a year, a combination of staying at hostels, squeezing a mini-cation after work trips, and visiting cheaper destinations.”
“Best decision. The memories, life skills, and sense of empowerment. Living at home meant my fixed expenses were minimal, and I could pay down my debt just as quickly. Most people judged me harshly, though.”
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