Nearly a year ago I made this post regarding some of the best purchases I had made in the recent years. I’d like to update it with some more fantastic purchases our family has done in the past 12 months.
10. Life Insurance – $660/year. As I have previously posted, I think every married man needs to have life insurance covering at least 10 times his annual salary. You will not believe the peace of mind you’ll experience knowing full well that your most loved one will have the financial means to survive after your death. Our mortgage? Paid in full. College funding for our kids? Paid in full. Retirement savings? Finished. In other words, this gives me the license to purchase a fast and flashy car when I hit my mid-life crisis and drive it recklessly to prove that I’m still the top dawg… Whatever.
9. Library Card – $0. One of my most wasteful purchases in the past was books. Paying full retail at B&N for a stack of bound paper that I’ll read once is just bad. I would be better off just binding stacks of $1 bills instead. The library is a much better alternative in my opinion and because of late fees, I am forced to read everything I check out in a timely manner. I thought the library was a very well known commodity like toilet paper, but I guess I was wrong.
8. Grill – $100. Every man needs to know three essentials: How to change a tire, live within his means and prepare meat. I don’t like to cook. The longer I’m married to TJ, the more I forget how to operate anything in the kitchen. A few years ago, TJ and her sister got their father a grill and after he had passed, I inherited it and with it my rightful passage from boyhood to man-awesome-ness.
7. Sound Mind Investing Newsletter – $10/month. In today’s economic climate, it is hard to know what to do. I’ve been subscribing to a monthly newsletter put out of SMI. Every month, Austin Pryor (author and founder of SMI) and his team put out their recommendations for which mutual funds to have in your portfolio. In the time I’ve followed the investments, the S&P 500 (SMI’s benchmark they aim to beat) had fallen about 47%. My losses during that time? Only 32%. It certainly hasn’t been fun losing that, but SMI is about long-term investments and I don’t plan on touching that money for another 45 years.
6. Pull-Up Bar – $20. In conjuncture with a $10 off coupon from BB&B, I got a great piece of exercise equipment that takes up zero space and just hangs over my door frame (no drilling). In the words of rapper P. Diddy (aka Diddy aka Puff Daddy aka Puffy aka Sean Combs), I do pull ups to “preserve my sexy”. Pull up update: 1300.
5. No Second Vehicle – $0. Since TJ and I were married nearly 2 years ago, a second vehicle was one of the first major purchases we were going to do. Thanks to some generous parents and some wise saving we’ve had enough set aside to pay for another car in cash for nearly 18 months. But with every month that we go by on just one car, the more we realize that we can actually pull this off. I figure I should just hold off until we find a sexy car that will match the driver (TJ).
4. Homedics Massage Cushion – $19. My shoulders and back will thank the Discover Card again for this. Normally $199 but after some cash back bonuses, some gift cards and a 20% coupon it’s almost like I brought back a masseuse from China for the equivalent price.
3. Mvelopes – $8/month. This is just basically an electronic version of the good ol’ cash envelope system that our great grandparents used way back when the bank was evil and couldn’t be trusted to properly loan and invest our money wisely… It keeps us from overspending and also from needing this book.
2. Soccer – $90. I make no attempt to hide my passion and pleasure for the game of soccer. TJ and I have been playing soccer together since last fall for a city team. We don’t win much. We get all sorts of injuries and cuts from the game. I am forced to exercise a lot of self control to not punch someone in the face because he fouled my wife. But I love being able to do this with TJ. I love being able to make eye contact with her and she will know exactly where I need her to move or what kind of pass I want from her. I also love that I’ve lost ~10lbs just from running around and kicking a ball. Plus, there is always the hope that we’ll get this referee to call our games for my amusement.
1. Home – Priceless. In October 2008, we became homeowners. Regardless of what the market does, this is where we will allow our love to grow; this where I’ll attempt to learn how to fix a faucet and resign to opening up YelloPages.com; this is where TJ will sharpen her culinary skills; this is where we’ll make… um… “memories”.