8 Things I Won’t Compromise On…

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pouring beer at a bar

There’s a lot of compromise and commitment on the way to establishing financial independence.

Whether you adhere to a budget, regularly deflect impulse purchases or make a concerted effort to save and invest regularly, these will all come at some detriment to your ability to spend on certain luxuries.

These luxuries could be a nicer, newer car, or getting a takeaway every Friday. They can be large or small, but these small compromises will be commonplace in the financial behaviours of those seeking better financial security.

But there are some things I just won’t comprise on.

The small luxuries I enjoy that I could probably get for cheaper, but choose to pay a premium for either convenience or higher quality of product.

1. Coffee

I enjoy a flat white when I’m out and about. But I drink the majority of my coffee at home, or on the move with a reusable cup filled with that which I’ve made at home.

I’ve tried all sorts of different makes, brands and styles, but found the local roaster’s whole bean to be by far the tastiest.

Smaller independent places like these tend to really know their stuff; it’s their bread and butter after all, and you can get a lot more information about the coffee and its sourcing than their supermarket counterparts so you know exactly where your coffee has come from and the legitimacy of its Fairtrade journey from branch to bag.

These do, however, often come at a small premium. My local place sells bags of beans for around £6 – £8 for 225grams.

This is a little more than even the premium supermarket brands, but a far superior product in my opinion.

1.1. And a good grinder

And in addition to the coffee itself, I recently come to realise a good grinder is such a big convenience if you buy whole bean.

I’d been using a hand grinder for about 3 years until it at last gave up the ghost with the handle grinding down so that it no longer turns the blades.

I’ve since purchased an electric grinder from John Lewis and the difference is night and day.

My hand grinder was about £8, but for an extra 17 quid I can control the coarseness of the grind and it’s done within seconds rather than the 10 or so minutes it took using my hand wound one.

I don’t think I’ll ever go back.

2. Beer

I’ve written about my subscription to Beer52 in the past and am still subscribed so I can be introduced to new beers I may otherwise not get to experience.

These are often from smaller breweries and have opened my eyes to a wonderfully dedicated and passionate industry.

Moving away from the bland, corporate lagers has come at a slightly higher cost, but has meant experiencing new tastes and varieties of beer I never knew existed.

It’s also nice to know you’re supporting a smaller business rather than a big chain that puts a stranglehold on pubs and has essentially eliminated competition and variety in many pubs in the U.K.

Next time you’re thinking of buying a cheaper crate of lager, take a step to your left and check out the smaller brand IPAs, ales, sours, wheats, whites and reds, stouts, porters, DDHs, NEIPAs and Hazys alike to discover flavours you may never have associated with beer.

3. Coats

I’m rubbish at buying clothes. But when I eventually got around to buying myself a new lightweight quilted coat, I made sure I’d get one that lasts.

I’d rather buy once so that it lasts and does the job I’m paying for it to do.

This often means paying what looks like a lot on paper, but when you buy a coat that lasts you 10+ years, it starts paying for itself.

Mine wasn’t quite this expensive but a good example would be a Barbour jacket. These are made by hand and in the U.K and with high quality materials. They’ll also repair your jacket and provide sundries to help you maintain the quality yourself.

It’s just a shame my new one was pinched from my car a few weeks after buying it.

4. Pillows

We spend about a third of our lives sleeping. And with many complaining of neck pain due to bad sleeping posture, owning a quality pillow is paramount.

So when this small change can help with reduced pain and better sleep, surely investing in a better quality pillow is surely a no brainer.

5. Chocolate

I don’t eat that much chocolate, but when I do – much like my beer and coffee – I want to know it’s not crammed full of random additives.

I’m not a fan of some of the more well-known brands. I find it can often taste too waxy, almost ‘plastic-y’ (if that makes any sense).

And again, I also like to know where it’s coming from and who’s touched it along the supply chain. I know you can get bogged down with looking into every product you buy, but coffee and chocolate are two things I enjoy a lot and will make the effort to find their sources and pay the premium for the peace of mind.

6. Car tyres

My car has been the bane of my life the last few months, culminating in a break-in a few weeks ago and resulting in yet more costs.

But one cost I make sure I’m not scrimping on is the tyres.

They’re the only part of the car that is in contact with the road, and could quite easily be the difference between saving yours, or someone else’s life.

People spend so much on the actual body of the car, whether on the initial or monthly outlay or on upgrading it, why skimp on one of the biggest safety and performance aspects?

7. Books for the collection

One of my favourite pastimes is reading. I read all sorts, particularly 20th Century history, or dystopian fiction, but I’m not averse to any genre or style.

I also like to keep quite a comprehensive collection on my bookshelves and scattered around in small, random piles.

I only tend to keep the ones I really enjoyed and/or could see reading again at some point. Those that I do end up keeping I tend to buy brand new from bookshops at full price.

I know I could easily buy cheaper online, but I love strolling around a physical bookshop – the staff are usually the most polite and knowledgable in all of retail, and it’s an experience as well as just simply going there to buy a product.

I want to see as many as possible stay open, so consider purchasing at full price as my small effort of support.

I do buy second hand from charity shops from time to time, but usually for books I don’t intend on keeping; my first thought is always more towards Waterstones or a little independent.

8. Kitchen knives

A similar idea to buying a quality coat: ‘buy once and never again’. Kitchen knives are something most people use every day.

They need to slice through quite hard foods with your fingers being millimetres from the blade.

The benefits of a well-built, sharp knife shouldn’t be overlooked, and is one of those things you’ll wonder how you ever lived without after you’ve inevitably gone through your third knife in as many years with cheaply made alternatives.

4 thoughts on “8 Things I Won’t Compromise On…

  1. I really like your list. I’m with you completely on compromise. My whole ethos is to make the journey towards FIRE as lazy as possible. One of the best parts of living life is enjoying it. Don’t compromise on what you enjoy 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Don’t stop at the pillow – get a quality mattress, it will do wonders for your sleep and bodily aches and pains (which I used to think was from me sleeping ‘funny’ in the night).

    Am with you on the beer, there’s great local stuff to be had. Although I have stopped my Beer 52 subscription only because I no longer have a ‘beer fridge’.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a good point – bedding really makes a world of difference, you don’t realise until you sleep in a nicer one 🙂

      I think I’ll stop mine soon once I get enough points to cash them in for a free case load. You can pick up some great smaller beer brands in supermarkets now anyway.

      Liked by 1 person

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