Personal Finance

5 purchases that will save you money and improve your life immediately

There’s a saying: ‘Being cheap is expensive.’

Oftentimes, the best way to save money is not to scrimp on your purchases, but to choose a more expensive, high-quality option instead. I know, I know… that sounds counterintuitive. But like all investments, it makes sense when we start looking at our purchases over the long term.

In this article, we explore five purchases that will improve your well-being, increase your productivity and, ultimately, earn and save you more money in the long run.

1. A good mattress

We spend a third of our lives sleeping. You’ve probably heard that a hundred times, yet many of us do not investing improving our quality of sleep. Depending on the size, brand, and features, a good-quality mattress can cost you anywhere between $2,000 to $5,000. There are even more luxurious ones that carry a five-digit price tag, but I feel the difference is less noticeable between those levels of quality.

Though a mattress that costs a few grand isn’t exactly ‘friendly’ on the wallet, it’s a worthy investment. Good mattresses come with features such as breathable fabric to ensure you stay cool, pocketed springs to prevent motion transfer (if you’re sharing your bed), and better support while you sleep. In the long run, good sleep will make sure you’ll feel energised and ready to go for the rest of your waking hours.

Speaking of hours being awake, many of us spend most of those hours sitting down. Applying the same principle, buying a comfortable desk chair is also a worthwhile investment!

Of course, what is comfortable is subjective for everyone. So make sure to pay a visit to your nearby furniture store to sit and lie on your mattress/chair before you make a commitment to buy.

2. A good smartphone

Just a few years ago, it was crazy to consider buying a $1,000 smartphone. Today, most flagship smartphones from major brands have gone beyond that price point, and it’s very easy to even go past the $2,000 mark with maxed out features. Despite being expensive, smartphones continue to sell very well because the phone is a very personal device that we use almost every hour of the day for both work and leisure.

Knowing that the smartphone is such a crucial component of your personal and professional life, it makes sense to invest in a high-quality model that gives you the longest ‘runway’ for use. The best smartphones will have most powerful hardware that allow you to run the latest apps and software updates including privacy and security patches.

And although a phone’s resale value drops over time, a high-quality smartphone’s value does not drop as fast due to its higher end specs and demand from second-hand buyers. You can always offset the price of a subsequent phone with a trade-in or by selling it for cash!

The same advice applies to computer laptops too! Both high-quality phones and laptops will help stretch your dollar by giving you five good years of service (or more), and ensure you stay productive.

3. ANC earphones

I love my ANC (active noise cancelling) earphones so much that I wear them to sleep. ANC earphones or headphones actively cancel ambient noise and provide you with peace and quiet while you work and even sleep.

ANC works by picking up ambient noise and cancels them actively by emitting anti-sound waves.

These babies can really increase your productivity levels by silencing distractions and providing you the right headspace to focus on work. With your favourite lo-fitracks or white noise playing, you’ll find yourself finishing your tasks faster than ever before.

Beyond work, there are products such as Amazfit’s Zenbuds and Bose’s Sleepbuds that exclusively focus on providing you uninterrupted sleep without compromising comfort. The same principle applies; it cancels ambient noise from your noisy neighbours, motorcycles revving their engines at 3 a.m., or even your partner’s loud snores!

It’s hard to imagine the positive effects these ANC earphones bring – you’ve got to try them to believe it!

4. Audiobook subscription

Now that you’ve got your ANC headphones, pair them up with an audiobook subscription like Audible to listen to podcasts and audiobooks, so you stay productive even during your gap time; such as when you’re commuting on public transportation or queuing at a cai fan hawker stall.

If a monthly subscription cheaper than the price of a cai fan meal isn’t something you’re comfortable with, there explore free alternatives such as Audiobooks on NLB Mobile.

The NLB Mobile app has a pretty substantial collection of audiobooks on many subjects/topics.

You probably won’t find latest audiobook releases here and the collection size is relatively small (Audible has over 200,000 and counting), but this is a good place to get started with the habit of listening to audiobooks and to put your ANC head/earphones to good use!

5. Gym membership

Health is wealth. Besides avoiding expensive medical fees from health complications (high blood pressure and obesity being common ailments), being healthy also feels good and, in turn, increases your productivity levels.

Though you can simply head out to your nearest park for a walk, jog or cycle, you’ll likely be more motivated to exercise with a gym membership subscription — speaking from personal experience. A membership doesn’t have to hurt the wallet, as there is a variety of gym memberships to choose from publicly accessible ActiveSG gyms to more exclusive fitness chains (FitnessFirst, GymmBoxx, Anytime Fitness, and more).

At gyms, you’ll have the flexibility to explore different workouts such as HIIT, yoga, swimming, weightlifting and more – with diverse equipment types for you to explore; equipment that wouldn’t make sense purchasing for home use. Besides physical wellbeing, the positive discipline and focus that an exercise routine brings will also spill over to other areas of your life!

The fifth perspective

The principle here is to invest in purchases that will benefit you over the long term. Some purchases may seem expensive compared to cheaper alternatives. However, when seen from a long-term perspective, the more expensive purchases can often be worth every penny due to the vast improvement in your quality of life.

Do you agree with our picks? Let me know more below in the comments if you’ve got more suggestions on how to make 2022 a more productive and healthy year for everyone!

Russell Kua

Russell Kua is the firstborn to a stock broker who lost it all in the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis. Learning from those lessons since his preteen years, he is now debt free, a homeowner, and happily married with a son before his 30th birthday. Follow him as he writes about his journey to financial independence.

1 Comment

  1. Great sharing to that you may want to add the best bedsheet you like. For me its the highest thread count Tencel sheets.

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