Save. Spend. Splurge.

What are 5 cheap-ish things you do that significantly improve your life?

I was thinking the other day about the 5 things that I actually can’t do without and have helped my life immensely….

Wireless headphones that are noise-cancelling

Without a doubt these Bose QuietComfort 35s have paid for themselves ten times over.

My review on the Bose QuietComfort 35s can be found here.

I have used them to:

  • calm down my brain from the sound of a little pink-faced Baby (and now Little) Bun screaming his head off.
  • do the dishes in relative peace and feel like I am re-generating some mental sanity…
  • at the office to block out all of my super cosy cubicle mates who looooove to collaborate loudly (sometimes I need to think too..)
  • walking around, totally lost in music, a podcast or the world, just letting people pass me by while I am off in my dream world

My co-workers are all envious. They want a pair but they are expensive and kind of out of their price range.. which makes me slightly uncomfortable wearing them in the first place, but I NEED THEM.

Weekly “Treat” at Starbucks during Sacred Mommy Time Off

I used to beat myself up over “wasting” $5-ish dollars on some hot milk and syrup (yes that’s all it is.. I know, everyone..), but it is a treat that I really, truly, savour and enjoy.

Just look at it.. I can smell the spices coming off the top..

So, now I let myself buy a huge venti Chai latte at Starbucks weekly when I go out for my Mommy Time Off (desperately needed).

I don’t feel guilty about it any more and I love every sip. My only gripe is I wish they would stir it more so the syrup is evenly distributed and not sinking to the bottom with only milk on top, and then this disgusting hit of pure sugar when you reach the end. *shudder*

A Minimalist Phone & Wallet Combination Case

I know it sounds stupid… but I significantly cut down on what I carry around with me now (result of being a frazzled mother).

I only have 2 well-used credit cards, my metro pass, my driving license, a spare $20 bill and my iPod Touch all in this one handy convenient case. The pattern also really makes me smile, they have plenty of variations and they’re pretty cheap around $10.

I just carry this wallet/phone combo around with me all day long and I never have to think: Oh did I bring my wallet?

I managed to cut down on all of the clutter I carry around (and can just grab this ONE THING and literally leave the house with my car keys to go and do anything).

As for all of my rewards cards, I stuck them into this app called StoCard….and if I need my debit card to go to the bank to take physical cash (or deposit it), I make a note and carry that one card with me for that one task, then return it to a wallet that stays at home.

If I ever use the $20 bill and break it to buy something (I am loathe to do so which is also a bonus), I carry around the bills and change until I go home, and stick it in my “at home wallet”.

When I have so many small bills or coins piled up, then I use it on one purchase or get a store to change it back into a $20 for me to put back into my wallet/case.

Buying a second 2-in-one foundation/concealer stick for the office

I use this Anastasia foundation / concealer stick that I love to death.

I have one at home, and one at the office, even though they’re pricey because I like to touch-up my makeup at the office especially since I am sick all the time, I keep blowing my nose and ruining my makeup, or my under eye concealer disappears from rubbing my eyes.

I use it pretty much daily, along with these J&J face / oil blotting wipes.

It sounds vain and totally stupid but when I don’t feel like I look good, put-together or organized, my whole personality, demeanour and day just falls apart.

I need to feel like I look put-together to be able to function properly. It’s sad but true. I need my outfit to be on point, my makeup, my hair, and then I can pretty much crush anything.

(My real love for an all-over SPF 30 foundation though is this Holy Grail from Dermablend Smooth Liquid Camo however… I have phenomenally faked Elven skin now.)

Having apps to organize my life & money

I have three major tools I use to organize my life:

  1. ToDo by Appigo
  2. My Budgeting & Expense Tracking Tool
  3. My Investing Tool

The ToDo app organizes what I need to buy, recurring appointments…. my entire life.

I don’t forget things, I make notes about things I want to research or buy, and I am super organized with it.

Then obviously for my money, I track all of my spending, do charts (check out my budget roundups here), and my investing as well.

What are yours?


  • Elise

    New to your blog, but I have been binge reading the last few weeks and so much of what you write resonates with me.
    I’m very much the same as your list.
    I have Beats over the ear headphones that I was gifted from my mum (I am not currently in a position that I would spend that much on headphones myself, but was a very welcome gift), I take these with me everywhere particularly if I am going for a walk.
    I don’t go out to cafes, and we have a suitably good coffee machine at work. But I buy a (1L) bottle of caramel syrup that I add to my daily coffee rather then sugar, for about the cost of 2 cafe coffees I get a daily caramel latte.
    A few years ago I down sized my wallet to a phone case wallet, I can walk out the door with my “wallet” and keys and I’m ready to go, so freeing from previously carrying around a massive wallet full of hardly used stuff. My current one the phone case is magnetized so I can also just take out my phone if making calls etc.
    I don’t wear make up but have a constant supply of lip balm, me and both kids (14 and 12 yr) use daily, I keep one at work, one in car, one in bedroom, kids have one each, and a spare in the lounge. I don’t have a favorite currently, so change it up each time I buy more depending one current deals.
    The other thing I keep around everywhere is “emergency chocolate” (usually 60% dark or higher) I keep chocolate in my work desk, car, and bedroom. Sounds silly but because I know if I want something it is always there I am less inclined to splurge/binge on treats.

  • Tasha

    What color do you use for the Anastasia foundation/concealers?

  • Rach

    1) I cough up about $100 every two weeks to have my house cleaned and it is spotless when its done. They also change the sheets and make the bed.
    2) Good coffee – I make it at home, but I still want it to taste good, especially when I don’t give in and go to Starbucks.
    3) A spritz of perfume every day, even when I’m staying home. Every time I get a whiff, it makes me happy.
    4) Good lip balm and enough tubes to have one at work, one in my purse, one at home, one by the bed… chapped lips (I live in Colorado) are the worst!
    5) Fresh fruit. Enough said. Life is short, eat good, nutritious food.

  • liteadventurer

    Fragrance free Liquid Neutrogena. It’s an awesome face washing soap. Pricier than the cheapo stuff in the half gallon jug, but totally worth it.

    Do you travel with those huge headphones? I’m curious how they compare from a noise cancelling perspective with the smaller noise cancelling headphones that go inside your ears.

    • Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      I travel with the huge headphones and will only use them because they are comfier — they go OVER your ears not on top or inside, and won’t fall off like the in ear ones. Plus they work much better and don’t feel like your ears are being plugged

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