In Discussions, Money

Major Lifestyle Upgrades: What have been yours?

I’ve upgraded a lot in my life, but little upgrades mostly… such as buying slightly nicer fabrics (only natural stuff tends to enter my wardrobe these days).

I still haven’t absorbed the idea that I could very well call a cab or pay for an Uber when I am tired and my feet hurt (nope, still can’t), and I’m even veering off into the deeper end of not taking the metro when I am *ONLY* 8 blocks away from my destination.

(Yes…. For $2.75 I will walk. I see it as exercise AND saving money.)

…but there are some major upgrades in my life that I remember and still look back upon fondly:

A Real Winter Coat

I lived for years with a crappy, cotton, barely-warm winter jacket that looked.. cute-ish.

It did not keep me warm. I FROZE. I froze everywhere I could freeze… and when I finally bought a real winter coat, I thought — Oh. OH. Why did I suffer for so long?

Especially taking public transit the whole time in Canadian winters… :-\

En-Suite Washer & Dryer

When I was renting, a major life upgrade for me was renting a place with an EN-SUITE washer and dryer.

*Cue fanfare*

It changed my life, when I had it for a short period of time renting a room in a city I was working in.


I realized how much better it was that I didn’t have to time when the wash would be done, if someone had left a surprise in there (like a red shirt to dye everything), or if a dryer would be available when my clothes were done, or if I had to decide to (after waiting 15 minutes) to paw through a stranger’s dry clothes to put them aside to dry mine, and risk having the dryer door on my clothes ripped open and maliciously left to run out of time when its owner returned to find his/her things on the table in a corner.

Or simply, just having enough money to pay for it, and/or going at ‘off peak’ times to do my laundry to avoid people.

An actual new car (not secondhand)

I upgraded from secondhand, crappy cars my whole life to the other extreme and since I don’t do things half way, I bought an expensive luxury car and I love it.

Driving is now a pleasure, safety is no longer an issue (my heating will NOT conk out while I am with Little Bun in the car in the middle of a traffic-jammed highway), and I really, really am happy.

Well worth the money, frankly.

And only very recently, I am upgrading again to something people take for granted as a part of life but I find very exciting:

Getting my very own cellphone!!

See, I currently share one as a home phone with my partner.

It is only because I have recently decided to upgrade (like.. srsly upgrade) to the most expensive phone on the market because of its portable camera capabilities to snap more shots of things (and of Little Bun <3), that I am doing this.

I am getting with this massive lifestyle upgrade.

I am buying the iPhone XS Max in 512 GB which is about $2000 CAD before taxes.

Some perks I am now getting:

  • My very own personal telephone number. #OMG I won’t need to worry about finding a kind Samaritan to let me use his/her phone in an emergency
  • Being able to TEXT with ANYONE now — I think .. I have to check for international texts! 🙂
  • A 2 GB data plan to use when I am not connected to wifi. Still won’t pay for an expensive monthly plan, so I am taking the cheapest plan I can find and being prudent.
  • A great camera from the front and the back with fancy cameras and so on, which are perfect for quick snaps of a high quality nature.
  • Wireless charging – I already bought these Wireless Charging Pads – one for the office and one for home and my car already has wireless Qi charging built in so that’s exciting
  • Able to use my phone hands-free and connected to the car – I have never done this before, I wonder how well it works!!! This is so exciting, no more headphones required.

I ended up buying a case for it to turn it into a wallet as well. My super minimalist wallet is just the (new) phone, a few credit cards, some money (no coins), and that’s it.

I use this app from iTunes called StoCard to keep all of my cards (I take photos of them too and store it in the app), and I let people barcode the phone to scan for rewards and so on.

I even keep my health card on there, I once went to the emergency with Little Bun when he had a seizure, and she told me that even a photo would have done it to admit me. She let me in on good faith until my partner could come with the health card, but I made sure to take photos of the health cards from then on.

So, what have been some major lifestyle upgrades for you?

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Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

Millionaire at 36 after getting out of $60K of student debt in 18 months, a little over a decade earlier, using TheBudgetingTool.com. Since then, I have paid my $600K home in cash (my half was $300K), my $180K casr in cash, worked 50% of my career (taking 1-2 year breaks), and quadrupled my income within 2 years of graduating, going from $65K to $260K with an average lifetime savings rate of 50%. I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I am all about balance - between time and money, and also enjoying my money. I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

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10 Comments

  1. Eli

    If you find your international texting plan limited, I highly recommend Whatsapp. It’s how I stay in touch with all my friends. We have certain group chats, and it’s less intrusive and urgent than just texting If you adjust the settings to your liking. Also, I recently downloaded the Marco polo app for quick video messages. Just a fun way to stay in contact, without the pressure to respond. Enjoy your proper phone! I did not get a proper cell phone until 2015 and it was a game changer!

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      Thank you, I will definitely look into it. It is frustrating.

      Reply
  2. s

    i also invested in a winter coat — a stylish boden duffle i found for super cheap on eBay. it’s nice to level up to fancy items. i also recently bought a backpack for my laptop instead of using an old american eagle faux leather tote which would get thrown around all the time and had no insulation – LOL.

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      Lifestyle upgrades are worth it for me – if they make sense and I am committed to having it forever since I won’t downgrade again.

      Reply
  3. Kemi

    One of my favorite major life upgrades that elicited laughter from family and friends but makes me feel so good are my high end beddings.

    I spent a silly amount on lovely all-season duvet and pillows along with silk sheets. It was a completely unnecessary indulgence but it brings such joy and comfort when I go to bed that I don’t regret a jot. Highly recommended.

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      WE DID THE SAME THING! We bought very luxurious count thread linens. It is a pleasure to sleep in the bed now.

      Reply
  4. Sense

    Same! I didn’t have a cell phone until about 2004, way later than everyone else I knew (and even then I just got it for the GPS–I get hopelessly lost). I still consider my cell phone a life upgrade. I wait until android apps I want don’t work on my old phone, THEN get a several-years-old phone that has reduced in price. It’s not the newest but it is new to me!

    Yep–a flat with a washer is a must. We mainly air-dry clothes here in NZ, but a dryer is also a nice bonus. My last flat didn’t have one but I bought one about 3 years into it. My newest flat came with one. I also need a bathtub, not just a shower, in my apartment. Other than college, I have only lived in one place without a tub in my life, and I didn’t pick out or approve that place.

    I haven’t owned a car for 11 years, but I upgraded my lifestyle by joining a car sharing scheme. It changed my life completely to not have to rely on Ubers and rental cars or leaving enough time to walk to friend’s houses or the grocery store or doctor’s appointments.

    Grocery click and collect and grocery deliveries!!! OMG. no more spending an hour grocery shopping every week. It’s lovely to just rock up to the store and get handed my groceries, or to get them delivered to my apartment complex.

    Massages. My PhD and office work have completely wrecked my body, so I can’t walk or type very well unless I go get a massage every week.

    Reply
    1. s

      i used to get grocery delivery all the time in grad school. so great – unless you really wanted a very specific item. i found that my grocer made substitutions tooooo much 🙁 still very convenient though, especially if you don’t have a car and can’t easily go on a grocery run without it taking hours!

      Reply
      1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

        I’d agree with this – I have friends who do not have cars and lugging groceries is a hassle even with public transport.. and stairs everywhere!

        Reply
    2. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      I like your upgrades – especially the no car / grocery delivery upgrade. I’d do the same.

      Reply

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