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Which expensive things are high yield?

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  • Avatar octopus85 
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    Cookware. Higher quality items yield a better result, are more pleasurable to use, and will last your whole life and then some with proper care. Don’t buy the sets that market to people making wedding registries and don’t feel the need to be loyal to one brand. Socks. Good socks make all the difference. 

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    I love my All-Clad cookware!

    Socks: Bombas and SmartWool for everyday. What are your favorites?

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    Not to speak for Anne, but I’ve been disappointed with the longevity of SmartWool, and have switched entirely to Darn Tough Vermont socks.

    #185696 Reply
    Vagabond MD Vagabond MD 
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    We would be comfortable dining and traveling with @anne and her family. ?

    "Wealth is the slave of the wise man and the master of the fool.” -Seneca the Younger

    #185697 Reply
    Avatar okayplayer 
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    I would agree on good cook wear, as well. Having a nice set of All Clad pots and pans, Le Crueset dutch oven or 2, Zojirushi rice cooker, 3 or 4 nice knives, etc has made cooking so much more fun and also dropped our dining out because we eat much better at home.

    By the same token we also subscribe to Cook’s Illustrated (highly recommended) and buy a couple of interesting cookbooks a year.

    #185699 Reply
    jfoxcpacfp jfoxcpacfp 
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    Not to speak for Anne, but I’ve been disappointed with the longevity of SmartWool, and have switched entirely to Darn Tough Vermont socks.

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    Interesting. How long do you expect your socks to last? I don’t know that I’ve worn out a pair yet, but I may not be Darn Tough on them, either. I love my summer SmartWools that I use for exercise (the ones that just peek out of the tennies) and the winter ones seem to hold up well, but maybe it’s just me, as most of my job is sitting.

    Johanna Fox Turner, CPA, CFP, Fox Wealth Mgmt & Fox CPAs ~
    http://www.fox-cpas.com/for-doctors-only ~ [email protected]

    #185707 Reply
    q-school q-school 
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    i love socks.

    i finally found my people.

    when you stand all day long, your feet can really hurt after a while.

     

    #185708 Reply
    Avatar Anne 
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    Status: Physician
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    Cookware. Higher quality items yield a better result, are more pleasurable to use, and will last your whole life and then some with proper care. Don’t buy the sets that market to people making wedding registries and don’t feel the need to be loyal to one brand. Socks. Good socks make all the difference. 

    Click to expand…

    I love my All-Clad cookware!

    Socks: Bombas and SmartWool for everyday. What are your favorites?

    Click to expand…

    I love SmartWool too.  They might not last forever, but last at least several years in my experience, and are the best 4 season, comfortable, thin enough to wear with the types of shoes I wear to work, socks I have found.

    I used to like SmartWool running socks too, but recently switched to Feetures and think I like them even better.

    #185718 Reply
    Liked by snowcanyon
    Avatar StarTrekDoc 
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    alpha investing

    Anything that are time savers are high yield for us.  Usually pay to skip lines if reasonably priced and gets us through the day to not have to repeat again the following (or gets another check box that day).   eg Disneyland – if one day only –  pay for hopper and skip the lines/maxpass.   Global entry definitely (use card benefit and churn for the family to get all of them).

    House keeper – absolutely priceless.

    Dog – gets spoiled the most.   We buy toys all the time just for her to disembowel.  Fresh bones, you name it.

    Air travel – still eco – even international.  Still young enough to tough it out with the kids in steerage.  Soon probably will be going business since past FI comfortably now.

    Car – Just indulged in Tesla 3 this year.  Anything more lux probably not.

    Hotels – 4* is plenty good– Hyatt Regency/Westin.  Our current family go to is Hyatt Place with extra beds for all in one room plus easy, consistent food access in AM.

    Clothes – Coscto to Nordstrom to Lulu –  all good – all usually sales/coupons unless gift shopping.

    Eating out – Usually counter food as standard with good meals being $15-20 entrees.   Annual celebration dinners will trend towards $25-35 entrees;  Restaurant week for higher end stuff to get the whole experience since otherwise we’d never to appetizer+dessert in those places, let alone go to them.

     

    #185720 Reply
    Liked by hatton1
    jfoxcpacfp jfoxcpacfp 
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    I used to like SmartWool running socks too, but recently switched to Feetures and think I like them even better.

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    Sold! Will be ordering some, thx for the tip.

    Johanna Fox Turner, CPA, CFP, Fox Wealth Mgmt & Fox CPAs ~
    http://www.fox-cpas.com/for-doctors-only ~ [email protected]

    #185721 Reply
    Liked by Anne
    Avatar BCBiker 
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    Shopping smart for flights really pays off.  I agree not every flight requires business class.  The comment about carrier is important.  I consider United, Delta, AA so be sub-economy when flying international so paying a little extra for Emirates, Singapore Air, Cathay Pacific is good intermediate ground if business class seems like an extravagant price to pay.

    Funny anecdote that I have noticed is that when you fly the super cheap airlines like Frontier, the small seats actually select out the super obese so you are less likely have a seatmate compression incident. Most airlines let you choose seat for small fee which gives you ability to avoid center seat. I fly enough domestic that paying for little perks adds up so I go for the cheapest direct flight option that fit schedule needs.  I usually have work or reading to do so I don’t really pay attention to surroundings.  I find it funny that boarding early is desirable. When they start letting first class passengers on last after the economy folks board, then I might consider it.

    If you are just going to pay for a hotel with four walls, paying for 5* when there is a 3.5-4 next door is generally not going to be a value add unless say the conference is in the same building. We have had some really good AirBnB experiences lately.  I actually enjoy shopping at local groceries, grabbing local spices/food unique to region, and cooking while on vacation.  I like nice restaurants but it is nice to split restaurants with cooking in an unfamiliar city. Also AirBnBs tend to be more private and can be much nicer than a hotel room.  Some times you can get nice feature like private pool or multiple bedrooms if traveling with family.  If staying for more than 5 days, AirBNB will usually be less expensive. Also, if you are in exotic location you can split the trip between AirBnB and fancy 5* resort to get a mix of local and luxury.  We did this recently in French Polynesia. This saved quite a bit and made the vacation much better.

    Tasting menus in high quality, Michelin starred restaurants is often worth it. The wine is usually not worth it because they serve so much so you either drink too much or much of it goes to waste.

    Other things not mentioned that I think have high ROI…

    Uber/Lyft when going out for dinner.  This is especially true when going to a “downtown” area.  No need to worry about parking. Can consume as much alcohol as desired.  Same can be said about Uber rides to airport although I typically take public transport to and from airport unless rushed.

    Good screens for computer usage.  I do a lot of work at computer both in office and at home. 2-32 in. high definition monitors double my productivity so I have them whereever I work. Other things that are less expensive like good keyboard and trackpad also has high value.

    Good cocktails. I’ll plug the Aviary NYC which is a great experience. Grant Achatz/Nick Kokonas are geniuses. I’m excited to go to Alinea next time in Chicago.

    Showing appreciation to spouse. Flowers, jewelry and cards seem expensive but are such a good deal in the long run.

    Exotic travel. Why travel to places that are similar to US or where there are many Americans? The difference between Mexico and Miami Beach is negligible. Bali and the Maldives can be similar cost to expensive Carribean resorts but much, much more to take in.

    Living in desirable city.  This is paying to be around the people you want to be around and having access to food/entertainment options, airports, etc. If this means high state/local taxes so be it. There are some gems with lcol and good people/food/entertainment but col and quality of these things are generally correlated.

    Things that don’t…

    Watches. I don’t see why people pay >$1000 for watch.  Seems like signaling is primary purpose.  I really like my minimalist $100 range Skagen that I received as gift from spouse. I can’t imagine getting any additional pleasure out of more expensive watch.

    Cell phone plans and constantly upgraded phones. Why anyone would pay more than $30 a month for cell service is beyond me.  I just switched to Mint Mobile and pay once a year for $180 (2GB per month). I don’t use much data but they currently offer 5GB per month for $240 per annum, 10GB $300. Some people pay $300 per month for family of 3-4… Phones are cheap if you separate from service.

    Cars especially pickup trucks and impractical sports cars. I don’t get it… Granted the last time I have owned a car was almost 10 years ago.

    Certain insurance. If you pay for home insurance that has a smaller deductible than $5000, you are wasting your money. Full coverage on auto means you cannot afford to drive car if you cannot afford to replace it or you have loan. Whole life has already been covered by Jim.

     

     

     

     

    #185728 Reply
    Liked by Hank
    Vagabond MD Vagabond MD 
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    I used to like SmartWool running socks too, but recently switched to Feetures and think I like them even better. 

    Click to expand…

    Sold! Will be ordering some, thx for the tip.

    Click to expand…

    I have been running in Features for 5+ years. They last forever. They look shabby after a while but still perform well. I like Bolega for running even more!

    I like SmartWool for casual and dress.

    When I was younger, I was a commodity buyer of socks and underwear. I bought whatever was cheap, usually cotton and in bulk quantity. I did not know how much more comfortable I could be in higher quality and better fitting materials. I learned the error of my ways.

     

    "Wealth is the slave of the wise man and the master of the fool.” -Seneca the Younger

    #185730 Reply
    Avatar G 
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    Goodness, watches have been getting a lot of shade on this forum recently!

    Even more ghastly is that I consider Rolex to be an inexpensive entry into the hobby….

    But I dont disagree that they are typically not high yield compared to other things in life.

    #185733 Reply
    IlliniGopher IlliniGopher 
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    Goodness, watches have been getting a lot of shade on this forum recently!

    Even more ghastly is that I consider Rolex to be an inexpensive entry into the hobby….

    But I dont disagree that they are typically not high yield compared to other things in life.

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    Depends on the Rolex.  Some consider it the Big 4 along with Vacheron, Patek, and Lange.  But I agree, a stainless steel tool watch is pretty basic.  I love my GMT master II.  It’s functional and can be used any day for 50 years.

    "Comparison is the thief of joy." - Teddy Roosevelt

    #185736 Reply
    Liked by Craigy
    IlliniGopher IlliniGopher 
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    Earnest refinancing bonus

    Transportation

    Domestic – I don’t think I want to pay for for business class for short flights/

    International: Many international are short haul to Central and South America which is no different from domestic. For long haul we find coach in Middle Eastern airlines like Qatar or Emirates quite good. Modern A-380 aircraft, great meals, free alcohol, much more caring and smiling stewardesses, seats wider with more legroom. The problem is that you guys equate international flying with flying on United or  the other US carriers who pack the passengers like sardines. I will absolutely avoid American carriers for international flights if I had any choice at all.

    Cars: I want reliable transportation, not low end Korean cars but neither I am willing to pay for ultra luxury. Toyota or Honda is fine. My commute is 5-10 mins to office daily. For long distance we have one Acura SUV that my wife wanted and that is enough.

    Accomodation

    We use the hotel as place to rest at night, not as places to stay put and lounge by the pool. Hate resorts. So simple Holiday Inn or Hampton or Residence Inn will do for me. Clean, standard room size and amenities. I have stayed in enough five stars free of cost to know that I don’t care for it.

    Food

    As vegetarians that thankfully excludes a lot of high end places where you have restaurants with French names that one can’t pronounce, celebrity chefs, and small meals where the herbs on top is bigger than the food item. Decoration is considered more important that the food item. I don’t usually go to hole in the wall or fast food places but a standard restaurant is fine with me.

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    I would counter that Korean cars are pretty solid.  I usually buy a 1 year old Hyundai Santa Fe and it serves me well.  It’s a much better price than Highlander or Pilot.

    "Comparison is the thief of joy." - Teddy Roosevelt

    #185737 Reply
    Liked by ginmqi
    childay childay 
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    Expensive boots or dress shoes, which can be re-soled and should last forever.

    Agree with computer peripherals / monitors, given the amount of my life used in front of one.  Also enjoying my very expensive office chair.

    #185743 Reply
    Avatar octopus85 
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    Funny anecdote that I have noticed is that when you fly the super cheap airlines like Frontier, the small seats actually select out the super obese so you are less likely have a seatmate compression incident.

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    That’s interesting 🙂

    I forgot to mention that I literally never even look at the prices for Frontier, Spirit, Allegiant, etc. Google Flights makes it so easy to hide them. People who are willing to cram into a tiny seat and bring no luggage to save $10 are not the kind of people I want to fly with!

    #185744 Reply
    Liked by ginmqi, Craigy, Zaphod

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