When you’re trying to get ahead financially, either to get out of your current struggles or to build wealth for your retirement, you’re probably thinking of proactive things like changing jobs, working overtime, starting a business, earning extra money with a second job, or investing in real estate or the financial markets.
While all these strategies are excellent ways to increase your income, they are only one way of increasing the money in your bank account. Another way, less exciting, but equally effective is not spending as much money. In other words, like a good football team, you need to have a reliable defense to support the points you’re scoring with your strong offense.
When you’re thinking of not spending as much money, of keeping more of the money you’ve earned in your pocket, you’re probably thinking of things like budgeting, skimping on luxury goods and services, or only buying when things when they’re on sale. However, there is also another strategy to improve your defense position—and that is to spend some money to protect your stuff, to safeguard your assets.
Here are three examples of when it’s a good idea to spend your money to stay ahead financially.
1. Protect your electronic purchases
Here are 4 ways to protect your expensive electronic purchases:
1. Get cases for your portable devices. Perhaps your most vulnerable devices are the ones that you carry around with you. If you have an iPhone 6, it’s well worth shopping around for the best iPhone 6 cases. Similarly, if you have a Kindle or an iPad, you want to make sure that you get the best cases for your make and model. These devices can easily slip out of your fingers and within seconds you will have lost hundreds of dollars.
2. When you buy any expensive electronics, it’s worth spending the money for an extended warranty. Electronics are delicate things and can go wrong for no apparent reason. It’s better to pay a little extra for protection than have to pay for repairs, or in a worst case scenario, buy the electronic equipment again.
3. Use antivirus and software to protect all your computers and devices. Sometimes harm can come from an unexpected source. It’s worth spending the money to protect your devices from hacking.
4. Buy a power surge protector. Plug your computer into a power surge protector to prevent it from getting fried by a power surge. The same advice goes for your TV.
2. Do regular car maintenance
It’s always a good idea to spend the money for routine maintenance on your car. Neglect can result in a blown car engine or tire. The last thing you want to do is save money while putting your life at risk. Of course, you shouldn’t pay more for maintenance than necessary because many times an auto lube service will try to upsell you on things you don’t need. If you do a good job through the years, keeping on top of your car maintenance schedule, you should be able to keep your car up and running past the 200,000 mile mark.
3. Buy insurance for your most valuable assets.
Out of all the things that frugal people hate spending money on, it’s insurance. This is because there is the possibility that they will never need to make a claim, especially if they’re fairly responsible and meticulous people.
However, insurance is protection against the unexpected, and you in many cases you are legally obligated to buy insurance.
Since you can’t insure everything, because there are only so many premiums you can afford to keep on top of, you might wonder what to insure and what to take a risk on.
Here are two questions to ask to figure out what you should insure and how well you should insure it: First, is there a risk? Second, is the risk a big one?
If there is hardly any risk, then you shouldn’t worry about insurance at all. If it’s a small risk and you could easily pay the cost of replacement out of your savings, it might not be worth paying premium on something for years. If you own something of high value and there is a substantial risk of financial loss should it be lost, stolen, or damaged in some way, then, yes, it’s a good idea to get the right coverage.
Getting ahead financially is all about having a comprehensive strategy. Increasing your earning ability is a good strategy, and so, too, is preserving the money and assets you’ve already acquired.