10 items you think you have to splurge on but probably don't

Shutterstock/Looker_StudioMake sure you know where to cut costs.
  • It’s important to be aware of how, and when, to spend and save your money.
  • Knowing what is worth spending money on can be hard.
  • You don’t, however, need to be spending as much as you might think.

If you use a budget to manage your money, you already know that it’s important to be aware of when you should spend and save money. It can be tricky to know exactly where to cut costs and which items are truly worthy of spending your hard-earned money on.

INSIDER created a list of 10 common expenses that don’t require spending as much money as you might believe.

You can get fit for free.

ShutterstockJogging is free and healthy.

Instead of spending on a personal trainer, a series of classes, or a gym membership, begin with some feel-good, free basics. Move for 20-30 minutes each day to start, such as by walking or slow jogging. According to Rita Redberg, MSc, “Any little increment of physical activity is going to be a great boost to weight loss and feeling better.”

Once you’re ready to up the ante, consider using an app to track your progress or look for an affordable online program, that will help you reach specific goals.

Art doesn’t need to be expensive to deserve and earn appreciation.

Mary Turner/Getty ImagesLook locally for art.

Environmental designer Pablo Solomon told INSIDER that picking up knock-off prints and art is a great way to blow cash for no good reason. “Nothing sends me through the roof like the art sold on cruise ships and at resorts,” he said. “They’re basically glorified posters being sold as originals.”

The best way to score deals on art is to track up-and-comers up and comers, Solomon noted. Supporting local artists and investing in pieces that stand out to you, regardless of who created them, is another good way to collect art you love and value.

The latest tech isn’t always the greatest.

ShutterstockEvaluate your needs.

“If you’ve ever wondered why you can’t resist buying the latest iPhone as soon as it’s released, it may be because your brain is wired to make you crave new technology– and tech companies are more than happy to exploit this weakness,” Oxford University neurologist Sundeep Teki explained to Time. “Not unsurprisingly, a neuroimaging study revealed that Apple products activate the same parts of the brain in its fans as religious images trigger in a person of faith.”

Instead of buying based on enthusiasm and excitement, evaluate your needs. If your current tech gadgets function fine, then they only require replacement once they have stopped working.

Luxury cars can be an unnecessary expense.

Soloviova Liudmyla/ShutterstockLuxury cars may make you a target for theft.

Rolling around in an eye-catching ride is exciting, but buying a luxury car can cost you without providing many extra benefits. Expensive cars might also make you the target for theft, and cost more to repair, according to The Simple Dollar.

Trends that come and go aren’t worth investing in.

Getty Images / Don ArnoldThink long-term when it comes to clothes.

Splurging on the things you love and use most often is a smart way to spend money. The fast-fashion industry produces 150 billion pieces of clothing per year, according to Fast Company, and so, dropping money on trends that are constantly changing can cost you, and the environment, when they quickly go out of style.

Evaluate each trend to decide if it’s something that you’ll enjoy in the long run to justify the cost.

Pricey skin-care products might not work as well as you expect.

liza5450/iStockSkin-care doesn’t have to be expensive.

Some personal products that come with a high price, like skin-care, may offer little clinical evidence that they’re effective. They may also lack the ingredients that help drugstore products work so well.

“I would be very cautious about spending money on expensive department store brands for basic items like moisturizer, sunblock, or face wash, because I think you can get excellent versions of these products at lower drugstore-type prices. I think the price differential often reflects marketing and branding, not quality,” Dr. Hadley King, dermatologist at Skinney Medspa, told Byrdie.

Indulging in treatments can add up fast.

Basyn/ShutterstockGive yourself a DIY manicure to save money.

Paying for regular manicures, pedicures, massages, facials, highlighting, or haircuts from top-notch professionals adds up too. While spending on treatments that help you feel good is a solid way to care for yourself, there may be ways that you can cut the cost and still look great.

Consider heading to a local beauty school or chain instead of your regular stylist. Alternate your weekly manicure by perfecting a DIY technique, even if it’s just for touch up in between treatments. Book multiple massages, facials, or blowouts in advance if there’s a promotion or bulk discount.

Warranties you don’t truly need aren’t worth a splurge.

Rawpixel.com/ShutterstockMost phones don’t break during the warranty period.

It might seem like a good idea to buy an extended warranty when investing in something like a new phone, but Consumer Reports found that most products don’t break within the warranty window.

“It’s a bit of a scam. These are money-makers for retailers and they push them pretty hard,” Bob Hunter, the director of insurance for the nonprofit Consumer Federation of America, told CNBC. “There’s also huge commissions on these products.” He cautioned that you’ll only get pennies back for every dollar you spend. Add an extra layer of security by making your purchase with a credit card that offers purchase protection.

Brand name products might not be better.

George Rudy/ShutterstockBrand names aren’t always better.

Some brand name products have a fan-base for a reason but others cost more without being worth it.

A 2014 report by economists from Tilburg University in the Netherlands suggested that ads are more likely to mislead all but the most knowledgeable consumers. You can save money by reaching for the store brand, rather than splurging on a name.

Splurging on a place to live isn’t always a smart idea.

gpointstudio / ShutterstockYou shouldn’t spend more than one-third of your income on housing if you can help it.

The US Department of Housing & Urban Development recommends spending less than one-third of your income on housing. Re-consider signing a lease somewhere relatively cheap if you can, or looking for a within-budget mortgage to make the most of your money.


INSIDER’s homepage

for more

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.