Money well spent

Mason Cooley (whoever that guy is) once said, “Regret for wasted time is more wasted time.”

And according to Benjamin Franklin, “Time is money.”

If you agree with both men, then naturally, you believe regret for wasted money is more wasted money. 

I dedicate more time than I care to admit tormenting myself over past moronic decisions, particularly those involving cash. 

Occasionally, I’ll fantasize about what I could’ve bought with all those dollars I figuratively torched.

If you’re guilty of similar behavior, clear a bit of brain space to focus on some of the smart spending choices you made.

During a recent, mid-afternoon stroll, I reflected on large dollar value (at least to me, anyway) purchases that brought me the greatest amount a joy.

Father’s Day Weekend Getaway for My Brother

Unless you get married or have a baby, there’s almost a 0% chance you’ll receive a gift from me.

Whether you’re a child or an adult, whether it’s your birthday or Jesus’s, my no-gift-giving stance is pretty much unwavering outside of those two occasions.

But in 2011, I made an exception.

Here’s the thing. My brother is an amazing, highly involved family man–and not just with his common law wife and kids.

Financially, 2011 was a really good year for me. I received a substantial raise at my job and picked up a few extra thousand bucks from a previously untapped passive income source.

Instead of squirreling away that excess cash or splurging on myself like I’d done in previous years, I decided to spread the cheer. So I rented a fabulous vacation home and treated my brother and our nine closest loved ones to a weekend getaway to celebrate.

Honestly, I can’t think of another moment in my life where I’ve been happier. I’ll never forget the great times we had.


If you only use your smartphone to make phone calls, why do you own one?

My iPhone is like the Swiss Army Knife of gadgetry.

It’s the last thing I put down before I go to bed at night and the first thing I pick up when I awake in the morning. Without it, I feel lost and afraid, like a piece of me is missing.

I never would’ve imagined that one device can do so many things so well. I’ve used my iPhone to . . .

  • Settle a dispute with a friend over the boiling point of water. I mean, why argue about facts?
  • Snap a photo of a guy wearing sheer leggings and a thong at my gym. You could pretty much see his entire butt.
  • Watch Netflix TV shows while waiting for a flight to arrive
  • Jot down notes during small business workshops
  • Identify and download songs on-the-go
  • Read product reviews during shopping trips
  • Schedule calendar reminders
  • Deposit checks

Heart Rate Monitor

I like to hit the gym hard–sometimes a little too hard.

My heart rate monitor signals whether I can push myself more or if I’m dangerously close to passing out. Additionally, I know how many calories I burn as well as the length of my workouts. For some reason, such information gives me the motivation to stay active.

Nowadays, I feel naked without my heart rate monitor during exercise.

Vibram FiveFingers Barefoot Sports Shoes

They look ridiculous, but femininely cute, and make me feel like a hardcore athlete. I don’t know why, but I think they make my scrawny calves look larger.

The only time I don’t wear them when I’m working out is during physical activities that require special shoes like running, cycling or no shoes whatsoever such as in Yoga class.

Slow Cooker

I couldn’t leave without mentioning my slow cooker. I won’t say too much about why I love it so dearly besides it makes preparation of delicious meals super easy.

Now that I’ve waxed on about the purchases I truly cherish, let’s look at the one thing they have in common: You can use them every day, even the memories of a fun family weekend.

Which stands to reason, if you can find a use for something each day and you can pay cash for it, then it’s probably a wise purchase.

If you’re not sure if you’ll use an item frequently, start small.

I once bought a $500 bike after having not ridden one in 15 years. Not to mention, I’m terrified of riding a bike. I should’ve grabbed a banana seat beach cruiser from the thrift store.

Be realistic about your willingness to use a particular item repeatedly as well as the opportunity to use it.

Hindsight is 20/20, but you can look at your behavior now to determine whether you’ll waste your money. If you’re uncertain, consider going for a lower end item or renting it initially.

What products do you use at a cost of less than $2 (Canadian or U.S.) per use?

About the Author

Shawanda Greene is a free thinking, frugal gal whose only vices are boxed wine, lip balm and money grubbing. You can find more of Shawanda's musings at You Have More Than You Think – a productivity focused guide to maximizing the money you have to obtain more of what you want.