5 Investment Tips That Drive Me Crazy

I love to get constructive advice from other people, especially if it’s about topics I am not familiar with.

However, over the years, I have seen suggestions on investment that I don’t fully understand or am not convinced by.

I am writing this article not to attack anyone’s lifestyle or thought process.

I just want to put my thoughts out there and hopefully get some clarification and feedback from you all.

Investment is defined as “the act of putting money or effort into something to make a profit or achieve a result,” according to Cambridge Dictionary.

1. Investing in our health means buying all organic food.

I’ll be the first one to say that I don’t buy organic food because it’s much more expensive than the regular groceries.

If I were loaded with money, would I switch to organic food? Maybe.

But I don’t think anyone needs to feel obligated or pressured to spend much more on organic groceries than they can afford to stay healthy.

Related: Our Monthly Food Expenses

2. Investing in our health means buying expensive gym memberships.

There are fancy gyms out there that cost $39 to join a month, not to mention the $100 initiation fee.

I’ve heard people say “It’s worth the money because your health is priceless.” I totally agree that good health is the most important thing anyone can have.

But to me, it doesn’t justify such a high cost. We can exercise on the cheap or even for free such as choosing a cheaper gym in the area ($10/month with a $5 initiation fee for Planet Fitness), going for a walk, and running around the neighborhood.

I recently faced this myth when a neighbor invited me to a pre-natal yoga class. At first, I was convinced that I needed to invest in my pregnancy by dropping $79/month on five yoga sessions (almost $15.8/session).

However, after trying a $30/mo intro pass, I realized that I could easily do yoga for free with the help of YouTube videos.

$79/mo might not sound like a lot, but when you add it up, it’s $948/year. We can definitely put this money towards our mortgage or bump up our emergency fund.

RelatedHow I Talked Hubby Out Of Spending $400/year On Gym Membership

3. Investing in our blog means enrolling in expensive courses and purchasing unnecessary plugins.

Ever since I started blogging, I have never spent a dime on any How To Blog courses.

I know there are blogging courses out there that cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars, and I’m sure they are great for a lot of people. But for me, I’ll try to explore those abundant free resources on the internet first.

Some people might say it’s because I’m cheap, and I’m not going to deny that. If I can get something for free, I wouldn’t go out of my way to pay for it.

For example, when I was trying to explore Pinterest, I was tempted to buy one of those $100 courses to save me some time. But I decided not to and found a ton of great information online for free. I got my Pinterest started, and it’s been going well so far.

Based on my experience, I think that I tend to take out my wallet when I feel clueless and desperate. I hope that by swiping my credit card and enrolling in a compact class, all of my problems will be solved.

However, since I took the time to learn and explore, I understood the value of self-help and trouble-shooting, which has also served me well in many other aspects of my life.

Related5 Surprising Things About Myself I Discovered Through Personal Finance Blogging

4. Investing in our baby means buying all new clothes, decorating a nursery, and enrolling them in a lot of classes.

Neither of our kids have a nursery like this. And I’m sure they don’t even know it. Their “nursery” is literally a hand-me-down crib.

I believe that it’s every parent’s personal choice to decide what to do for their children. And if they have the means to do so, it is none of my business to intervene and tell them what to do.

But for us, we think that our kids can grow up fine with hand-me-down clothes, no nicely decorated nursery or expensive classical music classes when they are only a few months old or even a few years old.

I got asked if Mr. FAF and I were going to decorate a nursery room for Baby F1, and my answer was always no. We were not financially well-off at the time, and a used crib was technically Baby F1’s room.

Now that we are more financially stable, we still don’t think it’s necessary to spend money putting up fancy decorations or hire an artist to paint a mural on the wall for our second baby.

Baby F2 will be too young to even know what all of that decor means. And when our kids are older, they will tell us what they like in their own rooms.

We are excited to welcome our second baby, but we think that giving them a paid-off house or financial support in their education is more important than fancy toys and classes.

Related: 10 Tips On How To Have A Happy, Frugal Pregnancy

5. Investing in our marriage means going on expensive dates and vacations.

We’d love to go on a fancy vacation. But it’s not our priority. Paying off the mortgage is.

Who doesn’t love good food or an exotic trip? We are no exception. Mr. FAF and I love eating out together.

We often talk about going to Hawaii, Taiwan, Europe, and all those touristy places you can think of.

However, those activities aren’t cheap.

If we spent a ton of money on exotic trips and fancy restaurants, I’m sure our bank account would suffer, and we wouldn’t be happy about it.

When we are stressed out about money, tension will ensue, which will ultimately affect our marriage (I’m talking about us only). Instead, we try to eat out in moderation at good inexpensive restaurants.

When we travel, we look for deals and limit eating out as much as we can. In fact, I feel most loved when Mr. FAF makes noodles for me on those nights when I get hungry after dinner.

Hearing him jokingly say “I will serve you” and seeing him preparing food for me in the kitchen reaffirms my belief that I have chosen the right man to marry.

And the trips that make me happy on a regular basis are the ones we take to the grocery store or just short walks around our neighborhood. Happiness can be so simple and cheap.

Constantly hoping for a fancy trip to fix a marriage will only make us resent the present and our lack of money. In fact, the problems in our marriage can only be resolved through effective communication rather than being masked by shiny things.

Related: Our Biggest Fight & 4th Anniversary Celebration

Conclusion

You might have realized that the investments I mentioned above aren’t directly tied with money like investment in real estate, 401(k), or index funds.

There are so many ways we can invest in ourselves and improve our life quality. Some of them require the use of lots of money, such as an education or a house.

But there are so many other ways we can live happily by making modest investments effectively.

I don’t have any problem with those who pay for yoga or organic food. I respect people’s personal preferences. But for me, I am content with simpler ways to stay happy and healthy without investing a ton of money to make it happen.

Related:

What Hubby & I Plan To Do When Reaching FIRE

Why We Feel Under Pressure To Buy Another House

The Pain Of Home Ownership – Our $3,000 Headache

6 Things Americans Do That I Don’t Get

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16 thoughts on “5 Investment Tips That Drive Me Crazy”

  • You’re so on point with #5. If people want to take a vacation to reconnect or explore together, awesome! If people have other priorities, great. There’s this interesting mindset out there that a fancy vacation once a year is a mandatory for a healthy marriage. I think it is necessary to spend time away from the daily grind and focus on one another, but the effort you put into a marriage on a day-to-day basis probably has such a bigger impact. Plus, “away” time together doesn’t have to be crazy expensive – it can be a National Park, a local hotel or a day trip!

    • I totally agree with you on the day-to-day basis. I think that’s why we don’t celebrate Valentine’s. One nice dinner/trip can definitely help rekindle the love and passion, but it won’t solve the underlying problems in a marriage.

      Mr. FAF and I travel, it’ll be because we want to and can afford it. Investment in a marriage starts with daily tasks like doing the dishes and putting dirty clothes in the hamper 😀

  • I like your list. I agree with how you feel. When the organic food rage started about 10 years ago, I remember seeing chicken breasts that were labeled organic for $7.99 per pound. I thought, who would ever spend that much when you can buy chicken breasts on sale for $1.99. I guess there is a sucker born every minute. The same goes for date night. My wife and I sometimes just take a ride to the local ice cream stand and spend less than $5 for two ice creams. You don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars to have a nice time with your spouse.

    • We do cheap date nights too! Usually, it’s just us going grocery shopping at Costco or Good Fortune. We used to go get a $5 boba tea and share it between the two of us until we couldn’t sleep until 2 AM one night. It was the end of our bubble tea dates >_<

  • Yes, I agree with you on all of these!

    1. Lots of foods are labelled organic, but then it’s a banana or something where the organic part is the peel you wouldn’t eat anyway. I do, however, feel better when I eat caveman-style whole foods, like vegetables, meats and fruits instead of grains.

    2. I personally am OK with running outside when I want to exercise, but I know other people hate it or aren’t motivated. I imagine if I was trying to get drastic results then a personal trainer would probably be a more effective way for me to get results.

    3. I’ve only paid for one course, and I think most of them are total scams!

    4. I can’t imagine investing time in decorating my baby’s nursery, but we’ll see when we get there.

    5. My husband and I don’t go on date nights and I don’t think that makes a difference in our relationship at all. Some people are homebodies, and that’s OK! We don’t celebrate birthdays or anything, either. Honestly, neither one of us cares, and we have a fantastic relationship regardless. For vacations, I like having experiences together, but if I hadn’t discovered travel hacking, we’d go on much fewer trips.

  • I’m with you. Everyone has to figure out what’s right for them.
    I’m price conscious and always shop around. Why pay more when there are cheaper alternatives? I’m sure you’ll take more trips when you’re more comfortable financially. You don’t need to do everything now.

  • I’ve paid for one course and I’m not finished with it yet I find it was pretty basic that I knew half the things on there already by just DIYing it myself. Not sure why people are so obsessed with courses. And I think most people are just afraid of doing it – like Airbnb – so they think they need a Airbnb course when it’s just simply doing it! Nothing is better than raw experience!

  • Great post, I completely agree on these! I think sometimes people get caught up in feeling like they have to throw money at a problem for them to make progress, for example buying new running shoes to be able to get into shape. Buying runnings shoes won’t actually make you work out, the action has to happen too.

  • So true about baby stuff. I remember a friend had some expensive high tech swing/glider/bouncy thing and thought it was the coolest thing. Babies grow out of toys and clothes so quickly it makes no sense to spend so much. And honestly, they really just enjoy being with mom and dad at that point. I think they were just as happy to play with an empty box (I would push them around in empty diaper boxes like it was a car) or balloons, etc. Same with #5…luckily, my wife and I don’t have expensive tastes and we just enjoy spending time together.

  • These are all very good points. I’ve never been too concerned about eating organic produce. When I can I try to buy locally sourced products because shopping local is important to me, but it’s often not as expensive as you’d think especially when produce is in season. Plus, the boyfriend and I like to make a farmer’s market trip kind of like a mini and cheap day date.

  • Nice list Mrs FAF. I do think that investing in courses can be worthwhile. It’s true that most of the information you’ll get in any course is available somewhere or in some form for free, it can be worth paying for it if it saves you countless hours of research or trial and error by providing a step by step plan of action. Not every course offers that unfortunately and the key is finding the right ones. I’ve purchased a couple of Pinterest courses and so far my Pinterest game has much room for improvement.

  • Gyms and courses are definitely cases where you are paying someone to motivate you or feed you information, respectively!

    I’ve had gym memberships for years and I am slowly trying to ween myself off them. I feel like if I’m at the gym I must exercise, whereas it’s harder to get that same motivation at home. I’m getting better though! I follow (free) programs and schedule them into my day.

    Luckily, I’ve never had the impulse to register for online courses. As you have mentioned there is a lot of free materials out there, on almost any subject, and the library is a great resource too!

  • Interesting post Mrs. FAF.
    Sounds like a lot of people don’t know what invest means. It is a common line used by slick salespeople. “Invest in a good suit.” “Invest in a safe dependable car.” “Invest in a relaxing healthy vacation.” The salespeople are just conning people by using the word invest incorrectly when they should say spend.

  • I think we share some similarities. I like self help and this has saved me a lot of amount. I remember there was a time I received a mail that someone was asking that I should link him up to the person that built my website for me. The truth of the matter is that, I am responsible for everything you see on my website. I mean, I didn’t engage anybody nor pay for any course. The only expenses I have incurred so far is the domain registration and the hosting of the website.
    Why should I pay for the thing I can get free?

  • I clicked on this article thinking it would be talking about investing tips in the stock market but this was a pleasant surprise! I agree with you about all of these blogging courses that people sell. I recently started my own blog http://www.fundamentalfinances.com and have not spent money on any courses and so far I would say things are going well!

    It may help speed up the process, but also, I believe that learning first-hand can help steer your strategy in the best direction depending on your niche and target audience.

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