There are a lot of precious things that money can’t buy. And many that money can buy, that can be just as wonderful. But if you have your priorities right, you will discover that spending money on some things gives you value that extends to lasting happiness.
Here are some of my ‘must spends’. Of course you can draw up your own list to add to these:
It doesn’t matter if one of you is unemployed, and the other has a shoe string salary or whether you marry with all bells and whistles or only sign the mandatory register.
But when you do decide to suffer your poverty together and pin your hopes on a joint future, a honeymoon is a must. Scrape the barrel, find the cheapest stays, cut corners elsewhere and set off. A palace works wonderfully for some, for others a quiet log hut or cottage by a stream is just as good. But ensure you have three things: privacy, places to walk about in, and good food. And of course; a great, comfortable room.
Your honeymoon is where you will really lay the foundation for the rest of your life together. Especially if you can chalk out blueprints of how you will deal with the milestones ahead: children, parents, money, work, etc.
At the honeymoon you’re still dreamy-eyed about each other, and that makes it easier to talk these things out. Of course, none of it will be written in stone, but at least it helps you to peek into each other’s minds. So save on wedding rituals, on eating out, on entertaining... but do spend on a honeymoon.
Oops, does this seem like an indulgence? Good shoes cost money, and branded shoes even more money. Besides, the logo does not even proclaim itself on a shoe as it does on a bag or a scarf! If you’re the kind who wears logos to impress others, buy and flaunt all the logos you want. But the shoes... those you buy and wear for yourself.
Here’s why: Your legs hold you up for most of the 18 or more hours of your waking day. And your feet bear the brunt of your weight. Whatever the corporate world may like to believe, feet were not really meant to be cloistered in shoes.
So, treat them with due respect, they are the only ones you have. You don’t have to spoil them silly with pedicures and massages with caviar [what feet don’t know they won’t miss] but do clad them in good shoes. Get a good pair that fits well, get two pairs, so the pressure points change, and the shoes also get to breathe. Besides, you cannot be seen in mismatched shoes and clothes, can you? And make those good brands. Hang the cost.
One tip: If you do end up buying an expensive pair that later does not feel comfortable, do not suffer it stoically. Donate it to someone it fits better. And forget the price you paid for it.
The quietest, nicest way to liven up anything. A mood, a room, a picture. Flowers mend quarrels, flowers speak sweet nothings, they are nicer than cards, and more eloquent than overused words that have lost their resonance.
Of course you can pick a bunch of wild flowers if you live in the countryside, but in the concrete jungles that we live in, flowers cost money. Sometimes big money. Also, the more delicate and rare the flower, the sooner it loses its blush.
But believe me, it is worth spending on them. No, I don’t mean those mindless bouquets that people present at wedding receptions, which are left behind to wilt. But choose a bright bunch or even a single flower to grace your work table every day and watch how your day goes! The joy starts in the process of selection itself, and goes on and on...
All the brownie points you tot up at work and all the bonuses you earn, are nothing if you cannot boast of a healthy body and a healthy mind.
Women, more than men, tend to ignore that repeated twinge, that momentary cramp, and other such warning signs. So keep the slate clean. Find time and invest money in a good medical checkup plan. Even if your company is not subsidising or paying for it. Even if you think the machines can’t tell you anything. A checkup in time saves many visits to the doctor. It is for you! Go spend!
I know someone who buys music all the time. Leave him alone in a mall, and the music store is where you will find him, with a hefty selection under his arm. OK, OK, I know. There’s YouTube, and iTunes and you have it all sorted out. But there is a ceremony that goes with unwrapping a record or a disc, placing it in the player and sitting back with eyes closed to let the music possess you.
Learning music is another alternative. Invest in a good teacher, one who cares about what is being taught and how it’s being taught. And has the patience to let you learn it right. Such a teacher may not come cheap, and instruments cost money too. But in the final analysis, you come out richer. Never rue the money you spend on music, even if it translates as you taking a flight to listen to your favourite heavy metal band in another city. Music lovers are never alone. Their music lives in their soul, enriching their moments in subtle ways.
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