I've been asking everyone this question lately: What’s was your best purchase of 2016? I heard a lot of different *weird* answers. The repeatable responses ranged from a refrigerator, to registration for a marathon in Iceland, to cosmetic dental work. It takes all kinds.
While some people had no idea what their best purchase was, almost everyone mentioned a plane ticket. Life Lesson - Travel is probably the best thing money can buy.
As for me it was a tough decision. I spent a lot of time in 2016 thinking about what constitutes a good purchase. Will it last forever? Does it make me happy? My runner-up choice for Best Purchase was a non-necessity, but a great buy nonetheless. It's the the bad boy pictured below. A TopShop (one of my favorite brands) biker jacket with faux fur lining. Snagged it on sale for $75.
Part of why I love this item so much is because I applied a favorite money management principle to it's purchase. The principle: Discounts are only a good deal if you were already planning on buying the item. I keep a list of things I want or need and then I wait, sometimes for quite a while, to find a good price. This item, a biker jacket, had been on my wish list for over a year. But it's still not my top choice. You'll have to read on to see what my pick was, along with a handful of other Moneybite readers...
The Moneybites Choice Awards
for Best Purchase of 2016
Tempered Glass Screen Protector for Smartphone
One of the best purchases I made was a cover for my phone's screen. I got it for $7 online and it will definitely save me lots of future dollars. I actually broke my phone twice in 2016 and ended up paying over $150 to fix it (before getting the cover). Even though I had already sunken costs, deciding to put the extra layer of protection was the best decision moving forward. Sometimes we learn the hard way...
Branded Business Cards, T-Shirt, Hoodie
I started my business in 2014 but had not done any promotion, nor could I afford to. After 2 years I decided to officially announce it to the world and spend a little money on "advertising" so I decided to order business cards (a legit business needs them) and get some VP branded clothing. I love it ! It makes me feel proud of my business and myself.
Matt and Sheryl
Final Car Payment, Smart Car
This photo is from our first road trip with the car. We got it in 2009 while we were both (very broke) students. It was the last day of the federal Cash for Clunkers program. We traded in our clunker for $4,000 to use as a deposit. It was right in the middle of the recession, so we were offered a really great payment plan with low interest and low payments. It only took us 7 years and 90,000 miles, but we made our final payment in September. The car is officially ours!
Bose, Refurbished Noise-Cancelling Headphones
$200 is a ton of money to spend on headphones, but for someone who's sensitive to noise and distractions they are priceless. I am now able to sleep on planes, nap anywhere, and get work done when [my coworker] is on the phone at the desk behind me. I would gladly pay much more than $200 for just two of those things. I've learned to put a value on non-monetary things like time and rest. It helps me make decisions about paying for conveniences and luxuries.
$215 (Originally $499)
Clothing is an investment. I‘ll be wearing this coat for the next 20+ years, instead of purchasing a lower priced version several times. My father has handed me down several items of clothing that he purchased more than 30 years ago because he purchased smart. When buying clothes the key is to buy less at higher quality. Why waste money on items that you will only wear a few times, when you can purchase items that last a lifetime?
After a few nervous online clicks and a payment, I had a plane ticket to Santiago, Chile. That purchase meant I was really doing it - quitting my job and traveling for 5 months in South America. So many people told me they were jealous or they wish they could do the same, and I replied, "You can!" I planned, saved up, and made it happen. This trip as the greatest experience of my lifetime, which is absolutely priceless.
I was traveling alone in Portugal on my birthday this year, and wanted to do something really memorable. I had no clue what I was getting into with this purchase. The price seemed like it might be too much to pay for a group lesson. In retrospect, it was probably the best deal of my life. Not only did the cost include a surf lesson from a... very attractive instructor, but also transportation, and the rental of a wet suit and surfboard. While we were in the water the instructor sang Happy Birthday to me. Parabéns!
The best part is that I found a form of exercise that I really love. Since then I surf once or twice a week. It keeps me happy and healthy. This purchase also made me re-evaluate how to spend money well.
What was your Best Purchase of 2016? Respond in the comments below or post a photo on Instagram and tag me: