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Best and worst ways to spend your money

Ah, money... We work hard for it, and thoroughly enjoy spending it. As long as money has existed, people have spent it both wisely and in very stupid ways. We suggest that you avoid flushing your money down the toilet on both high and low priced items and services that are a money pit. With the money you save, you could put into a savings account, invest it, or spend it on something worth while.

Everybody of course has their own opinion on what's worth spending money on, but we've narrowed it down to a list of what we believe is a good way to spend your money, and things that are simply a waste of your hard earned cash better spent elsewhere.

Here are some ways of spending and investing your money into what will bring you back a great return on the investment, and some ways to simply throw your money away.

best ways to spend your money

winter tires

  • increases your degree of personal safety
  • cuts the wear of your all-season tires in half

gold

  • historically one of the top investments of all time
  • it has always gone up in value in all of mankind's history (as an overall trend)

education

  • a degree in something useful such as engineering will go a long way
  • huge number of jobs that open up to people with a decent education

traveling / vacations / holidays

  • reduces stress
  • makes memories

personal trainer

  • increase overall fitness and health levels much quicker than doing it alone
  • can save long term on health care costs

real estate

  • historically one of the most lucrative investments
  • very safe investment

paying down debt

  • a no brainer
  • the quicker it's paid down, the sooner you can save and put away money
  • pay off the highest interest debt first

a mass transit pass

  • saves money on gas, parking, and wear and tear on your vehicle
  • very good for the environment
  • reduce your personal stress not having to worry about vehicular accidents

healthier food

  • save on long term health costs
  • note that healthier food doesn't necessarily mean more expensive

charities

  • lets you feel good about yourself, while helping others in need
  • tax credits/refunds

personal emergency fund

  • a must have in today's tough economy
  • can help you sleep a little better knowing that you're okay if something happened to you or your family, thus reducing personal stress

worst ways to spend your money

  • bottled water - it's pretty much the same as tap water
  • vehicles and modifying vehicles - worst possible investment, depreciates from day 1
  • luxury and high end food / high end coffee - on average you don't get any greater nutrition
  • stocks - unless you have inside information you're better off gambling at the casino
  • useless education (degree in philosophy) - these days degrees are only worth the money if they can help you get a job
  • the latest and greatest gadgets - there's always something new and better every few months, so why not save a bundle and buy the second best
  • high end designer clothing - massively over priced, and usually less durable and more expensive to clean
  • cigarettes - this one is kind of a given
  • premium gasoline - unless you drive a bugatti, you're literally burning through your money
  • virtual goods - literally getting nothing for your money
  • a glamorous wedding instead of eloping - weddings are one of the biggest sources of debt for young couples, what a bad way to start your marriage