I consider myself a fairly frugal person. Sometimes, people think frugal means ‘don’t spend at all’. That’s not true – it simply means I spend on what I love and cut out the rest. I still love getting the most value for my money, but I also love making a purchase that may be expensive but worth it.
The thing about expensive but worth it purchases is it would look very different for everybody. For some, it is higher-quality items like clothes, cars, bags, watches. For others, it’s experiences like travel. Whichever is okay, as long as one is also saving for retirement (or other financial goals), and and not financing the items / experiences with debt.
Here is my own list of 10 expensive purchases that I consider as ‘worth it’, for myself.
#1 – Insurance/ Takaful
Cost: Approximately RM500 per month
Even though I have never been sick or been in an accident to the point of hospitalisation, ever (and I plan to keep it that way), I know I can be absent-minded sometimes, and have narrowly avoided accidents due to dumb luck.
Therefore, I’m happy to pay for this. Even if all of my insurance/takaful – 1 personal accident, 1 critical illness and 2 medical cards – are non-refundable (aka term insurance, not investment-linked).
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#2 – Boujie groceries
Cost: Varies, but roughly RM600-1000 per month
I’ve mentioned my love for grocery shopping multiple times on this blog. Love the whole process – going on grocery shopping dates, looking for new ingredients to try, figuring out what to cook with leftover/random ingredients, everything.
And I especially love (my attempts) to make food that usually costs a lot to buy.
#3 – Donations and Gifts
Cost: At least RM1k per month
According to my expense-tracking data, I spent the most money in this category. I have the tendency to say, ‘it’s OK, it’s on me’ a lot when I’m out with friends and family.
I don’t know how I feel about this, actually. Paying for other people makes me happy (backed by science), but at the same time I know I need to not go overboard with it.
#4 – More mobile data than I need
Cost: RM93 per month (an extra RM20 per month)
The reason I why I get more mobile (read: hotspot) data than necessary and think the extra RM20 is worth it is because… I no longer have to check if I still have enough data left over for a Netflix movie or TV series, by the end of the month. I always do.
Also, Yoodo’s 150GB of data per month instead of 80GB (the amount I usually use) isn’t that pricey, comparatively speaking. I hate that Yoodo’s tier system works to make me pay more lmao
- 80GB data – RM68
- 100GB data – RM78
- 150GB data – RM88
#5 – Paper towels
Cost: ~RM10 or so per month
I was big on fabric towels for cost-saving reason, until the convenience factor won out. Yes, it’s ‘just’ RM10 per month, but it was RM10 I didn’t have to spend before, you know?
I do feel bad for environmental reasons though.
#6 – Things I still think about after a few years
Cost: Ranges from RM0 to a few hundred per month at most
I used to feel guilty when I bought anything considered technically unnecessary. Come to think of it, it was quite unhealthy, since generally I’m pretty good at delayed gratification.
Now, I allow myself to buy things that I tried to forget, but keep thinking about. For example, I got my iPhone after wanting it for over 10 years.
#7 – Physical books
Cost: A few hundred per year; valuable space in my home
Not an ebook type of person.
#8 – Netflix AND Hotstar
Cost: Approximately RM20 per month
Between these two AND Youtube AND Spotify, I (almost always) have something to watch/ listen to.
Related: Cheapest Way to Get Netflix Premium
#9 – Staycation dates
Cost: A few hundred each time
My partner and I’s favourite gift for each other for special occasions is staycation dates. We’d book a hotel near a mall and just enjoy eating out and window-shopping for 2-3 days. I hate how much I find it so freaking fun despite hating capitalism.
#10 – Travel
Cost: Up to RM5k per person (maybe even more)
I don’t want to be that person who’s like, yeah I love travelling! like its my whole personality… but ngl I do love it. Since my early 20s, I have progressed from being a budget traveller (I’ve done the whole hostels thing) to a value-for-money traveller.
Related: All my travel-related articles
There you have it. 10 expensive things that I think are worth it. I *could* cut them out and save more money, but they add joy in my life, so I choose to make space for them in my budget. In return, I don’t buy anything else that tempts me but does not fall under these categories.
How about you? What expensive things do you get for yourself and decide is worth it? Let me know in comments 🙂