When you’re in your 20s and starting your first job, or then bringing up a family in the Sutherland Shire, it’s natural to be cautious with your spending. The problem is that caution can become so ingrained that we fail to see the benefits of spending an appropriate amount of money on worthwhile lifestyle choices.
Here’s a list of what we think it’s worth investing money on once you have the luxury of spending for yourself.
1. Mattress: Supposedly we spend one-third of our lives in bed. Therefore it’s worth investing in a top-quality mattress. If you don’t believe that mattresses can differ, head to your nearest mattress store and test a high-end mattress (that will set you back anywhere up to $8k) versus one that costs around $200. Once you’ve tested a great mattress even for a couple of minutes, you’ll never want to lie on anything less.
2. Ergonomic chair: This is especially important if you use a desk for even part of the day. A properly designed ergonomic chair might cost you more upfront but is guaranteed to save on physiotherapist’s or doctor’s bills.
3. Vision: Get your eyes checked and buy good eyewear that’s comfortable and stylish. If you’ve been using off-the-rack spectacles, do your eyes a favour and get prescription lenses. They don’t even have to be that expensive. Medicare subsidises eye tests through optometrists and companies like Dresden supply specs for as low as $49 a pair. Eye health checks will test for cataracts and macular degeneration, even glaucoma. The best time to deal with any eyesight problems is earlier rather than later.
4. Teeth: Many of us in our 60s had a mouthful of amalgam before we learned to care for our teeth properly. Get a power toothbrush (or be sustainable and buy a box of bamboo toothbrushes) and visit your dentist and dental hygienist regularly so they can pick up minor problems before they become major.
5. Property: If you’ve built up equity in your home, and you’re still working, you can use that equity as a deposit on an investment property that can form part of your retirement plan. You might also consider selling your current home and investing the equity in shares or alternatively in a new smaller home and an investment property. This might mean some risk and it’s something you need to discuss with your financial adviser and your real estate agent. (You know you can come and talk to us any time.)
6. Home appliances: Buy a decent heater that will last 10-20 years rather than a $20 job from a supermarket or hardware store that will die after three. If you haven’t already, invest in a good reverse-cycle split-system unit that’s more efficient. An older fridge probably has leaking seals, which means it takes more energy to keep food and drinks cool and that translates to higher energy bills so it’s worth buying a new more energy-efficient unit.
7. Solar hot water system: Why ignore free energy? While photovoltaic solar systems are becoming more popular, the most efficient use of solar is to heat water. Hot water can make up around 30 per cent of your electricity bill. Whether you’re staying in your home or planning on selling, a solar hot water system will add value.
Eating and drinking
8. Food and wine: Get the good tea that you like, the good coffee, the best cut of meat. And skip the poor-quality wine, especially when you sit down to a well-prepared meal.
Can we help with advice on downsizing in Sutherland Shire?
Having navigated the home sale and downsizing process not only for our real estate clients but also for members of our own family, it’s an area in which we’ve amassed a wealth of knowledge. So don’t hesitate to seek out our help – no obligations.