We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post. I never recommend anything I don’t personally use and fully stand behind.
In the world of upgrades and expensive status symbols, I find myself going across the grain in so many ways. I’m not one to spend money on expensive items and would rather see my savings grow.
So many people I know don’t understand this, and probably think of me as being a cheapskate.
Well, I’m here to tell you there’s a difference between being cheap and being frugal. Hi! I’m the latter. I’d rather spend my hard earn money on things I feel are worth it, outings and vacations with my family, enrichment classes for my kids and investing in the future.
You know what I refuse to spend money on? The lavish material things that need to be upgraded and become unfulfilling after a month. I’ve been down that route and it’s an endless cycle that doesn’t get you anywhere other than in debt and stress.
Here are 5 items I refuse to upgrade, and I save tons of money because of it!
Item #1: My car
I won’t upgrade my 2008 Nissan Rogue no matter how many times Mr. FC tries to convince me. I’m the first and sole owner of my car and I’m proud of the fact that I don’t have a car payment. I’m also not about proving my status to anyone, because I’m already happy with my status and don’t really need anyone else’s approval. Flaunting my net worth with expensive transportation isn’t really my style.
I think we can agree that it’s important to have a reliable car. But, to me, that means a car that has a strong track record of reliability and good quality. I won’t buy the cheapest car, but I won’t spend tens of thousands of dollars on something that only serves one purpose. Especially if there is a more affordable way to get the same outcome.
Item #2: My fridge
If you ever visited me, you’ll notice I have an upgraded kitchen, lots of luxury upgrades throughout the house, and a really old style white top and bottom fridge. The kind you buy for like $500 brand new.
Don’t get me wrong, I love walking through Sears and opening all of the state-of-the-art, top of the line fridges and imagining all of the groceries I could fit in there. But the truth is, I’m not okay with dropping $3,000 on a fridge when my 14 year old fridge still does the job perfectly well. In fact, sometimes I think my fridge has more room than those new ones. So, I don’t think I’ll be upgrading anytime soon.
Item #3: My cell phone
Okay, I absolutely do not understand why there is such a hype around new phones coming out. Is it that much better than last year’s model? I can’t wrap my head around upgrading something that isn’t broken.
First of all, can we talk about the prices nowadays? I remember when phones came free when you signed up for service or when you renewed your contract. Now, they charge at least a good $500 to over $1000 on some models. This is absolutely crazy to me. I get that they’re like mini computers now, but really? I can’t justify paying that price every year.
Because of this, I make sure to take good care of my cell phone. I buy quality phone cases that protect it from my constant drops. I clean it every morning (yes I’m a bit of a neat freak and like my phone screen to have no smudges). My phone’s software is upgraded regularly. So far, I’ve had my iPhone SE for 2 years and don’t see myself upgrading until it completely dies on me. I’m hoping that’s way into the future.
Item #4: Most of my wardrobe
I say “most” of my wardrobe, because there are some things I feel that are worth the money, like good quality shoes and coats. For those, I tend to buy the top of the line pieces because they last a long time and really serve me well. You don’t want to walk around with bad shoes that kill your feet and you don’t want to be stuck with a mediocre coat in the dead of winter. I like to walk comfortably and stay warm when it’s cold outside.
But, there are some things in my wardrobe I won’t splurge on. And the only reason I feel so strongly about this topic is because I used to buy only name brand everything when it came to clothing. Once I saw that the quality didn’t equal or justify the price in most cases, I changed my shopping choices.
My favorite places to shop are Ross, Marshall’s, Sears, JCPenny and Macy’s- if they have a sale. They all have decent prices and most of the time, I can still buy name brands. Clothing has lost its quality in recent years. Pieces are almost disposable from season to season. So, I choose to spend my money on other things and find deals for my clothes.
I hope this doesn’t make you think my wardrobe is frumpy or anything. On the contrary, I’m very picky to get clothes that are made well at a decent price. I also take great care in laundering them properly so they last longer.
Item #5: My watch
As I’m writing this, it’s been more than 15 years since I’ve gotten a new watch, and I’m really proud of that. The watch I wear is from Guess Collection and my older brother gifted it to me for Christmas back in 2002! It still looks great and work well. All I’ve ever had to do was replace the battery. It’s a classic style and I still love it just as much as the day I first put it on.
My husband is a huge watch buyer. He loves having a collection of watches to choose from, so I get it if you’re like this too. But, I don’t think watches have to be crazy expensive to be good quality. I just can’t imagine paying $10,000 or more for a Rolex. It just seems flashy and unnecessary. Does the Rolex tell the time better than the other watches? No, it’s just a status symbol.
Let me explain
I hope you don’t take this the wrong way. I’m not in any way trying to scold anyone who buys these items. Everyone is free to do what they like with their money. There’s just too much in this world convincing us to buy this and upgrade that. And frankly, I’m not convinced.
I guess you could see by this post that I’m not really into status symbols or trying to impress others. Besides, what good is it to impress someone if I’m in piles of debt for all that stuff? Nope, I’d rather be genuinely happy and satisfied with all the blessings I already have. Even if they have no value to others, they add value to my life. I’m thankful for all that I have and feel no need to upgrade or buy more. And that peace of mind and satisfaction is more valuable than any tangible purchase I could ever make!