I remember staring at my screen for hours, calculating all pros and cons, wondering if my idea was crazy or genius.

All this drama was created by a single and seemingly innocent thing—an electric water flosser I was thinking of buying. From “Do I really need an electric flosser if I can’t be bothered to floss?” to “is it just another drop in a never-ending sea of consumption that destroys the planet and is dangerous to my wallet?”, it was about a week-long battle of intense reflection. The price tag didn’t help either.

But it turns out that sometimes getting yourself an expensive purchase leads you to a way brighter place than instant regret and a drop in endorphins.

This thread on r/AskReddit has people sharing “what expensive purchase have you made that has paid for itself many times over because you saved money in the long run?” and it’s an illuminating read. From quality cold weather gear to a Dyson vacuum cleaner, some things are worth our penny.

#1

30 Expensive Purchases That Really Paid Off, As People Shared In This Online Thread A vasectomy. After we had two children we knew that was a good number for us. We both come from huge families and we know how hard it is financially and emotionally to provide for a large number of kids. Wasn't even that expensive either.

regulardrunk7 , Vidal Balielo Jr. Report

Allan Breum
Community Member
10 months ago

This one should have more up-votes; Not only is it financially and emotionally responsible, its also environmentally responsible.

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#2

30 Expensive Purchases That Really Paid Off, As People Shared In This Online Thread When I moved back to my home town over a year ago I bought a 27' sailboat to live on because rent here is outrageous. Boat cost $4,500 to buy, and moorage at a decent marina is about $170/month. Rent for a studio apartment or 1br here is $900-$1300; every month I save between $600 and $1100, so the boat paid for itself in 4-9 months.

tonderthrowaway , David B. Gleason Report

Mohsie Supposie
Community Member
10 months ago

... plus free water transport!

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#3

30 Expensive Purchases That Really Paid Off, As People Shared In This Online Thread I live in Minnesota and am a single woman. One winter I missed two shifts at work because my car wouldn't start and I didn't have anyone who could jump it and road side assistance couldn't be there for hours. After that, I went out and spent a little over $100 on a portable car starter. It is a small black box that connects to the battery and jumps the car without needing someone else's car. This has saved me so much time and money.

Also being a single girl who at the time worked at night, I didn't have to worry that some stranger stopping to help might have ulterior motives. I feel much safer and always keep it in my purse. Added bonus, I can charge my phone with it too. I've been singing its praises ever since!

thehallowedpen , Poolarity - Life Hacks Report

Cayna Louise
Community Member
10 months ago

Someone gifted me one of these after my basically fine battery decided it can’t run the radio for 10minutes And then start the car. I’ve had to use it just once but it was at night and the relief of not needing someone to come help was awesome.

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#4

30 Expensive Purchases That Really Paid Off, As People Shared In This Online Thread Quality cold weather gear.

Not only does it work better and look better, I've had a couple jackets for over 5 years now that see heavy use. Meanwhile I have a couple friends that basically buy and throwaway cheap gear every season. Works like s**t, looks like s**t, ends up in a landfill, costs more in the long run. Lose, lose, lose, lose.

slowjams , Vinta Supply Co. | NYC Report

A B C
Community Member
10 months ago

Perfect example of Captain Vimes' Theory of Boots.

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#5

30 Expensive Purchases That Really Paid Off, As People Shared In This Online Thread Windows.

New windows on our house. Replaced the old single pane metal framed windows. It was like a waterfall of cold air coming off of them and the noise from the street was obnoxious. Heating bill was cut in half.

peanutbuttersnoflake , mrwynd Report

Missy Moo Moo
Community Member
10 months ago

Me too!! Replaced all my windows including bathroom windows, the sliding door, and even the front door with double glazing tight seal glass... I hear NOTHING, the temperature is always perfect and my glazier tells me that I could throw a brick at them and they wouldn't break. Best purchase!!

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#6

30 Expensive Purchases That Really Paid Off, As People Shared In This Online Thread An Old Truck.

23 years ago, I bought a used 1991 Toyota 4-cylinder truck. Paid it off early. Its now 29 years old, and refuses to die. Good gas mileage, low insurance. I change the oil myself...

series-hybrid , Jacob Frey 4A Report

Mohsie Supposie
Community Member
10 months ago

Toyotas can outlive the Queen!

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#7

30 Expensive Purchases That Really Paid Off, As People Shared In This Online Thread I bought a duplex in 2016 right before everything got very expensive in my area. I live in one side and rent out the other. My mortgage is $1000 per month and I collect $1060 in rent each month. So it worked out.

Brunosrog , Sightline Institute Report

Mickie Shea
Community Member
10 months ago

Yes, this is a winner for every one.

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#8

30 Expensive Purchases That Really Paid Off, As People Shared In This Online Thread For women, I would say a menstrual cup. You can even find cheaper options than the DivaCup, but man, the amount of money that I'm saving on not buy pads and tampons is amazing. If you're a woman who is struggling financially, a one time payment for the menstrual cup is an amazing investment.

JK841 , Anna Shvets Report

Kira Okah
Community Member
10 months ago

Wish I could use them. Can't. So handmade washable pads from my fabric rems are my go to.

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#9

30 Expensive Purchases That Really Paid Off, As People Shared In This Online Thread Laser eye surgery. No more needing to buy new glasses every couple of years, no more forking out for contact lenses. Also avoided the incidentals like glasses repair kits, eyeglass cleaners, all the consumables that go with contacts.

Saving money long run isn't even the good part. The good part is not needing glasses.

Mindless_Following , Francesco Paggiaro Report

Kirsten Kerkhof
Community Member
10 months ago

I totally second that! I had lens implants (because my eyes were too bad for laser), and while it is a fair chunk of money to pay, I haven't had to buy glasses for over 10 years now, and when I'll need reading glasses I can, if I want, go budget instead of having to buy multifocals (I cannot wear contact lenses, or at least couldn't when I still needed to).

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#10

30 Expensive Purchases That Really Paid Off, As People Shared In This Online Thread Dyson vacuum. Bagless. Don't even remember the model. $400.

Got it 15 years ago, thing is a beast and with some attachments can do anything, never even needed maintenance.

TriscuitCracker , William Clifford Report

Ben Smith
Community Member
10 months ago

You must have gotten one of the good ones they used to make. Now they're just lightweight plastic and are not remotely made to last. Yes, still incredibly powerful suction, but overall quality has dropped in the last 5-7 years

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#11

30 Expensive Purchases That Really Paid Off, As People Shared In This Online Thread I bought a 500.00 bicycle to use as my main transportation. 500 doesn't sound like a lot but when you're only making 8 an hour, it took some time to save up for it. With public transportation being 2.50 a ride the bike paid for itself in about 3 months. I used that bike for about 3 years. I still have it but i moved so i can't use it for the same purposes.

Rigma_Roll , Pixabay Report

Otter
Community Member
10 months ago

I have a $1000 bicycle, it's about ten years old now and going nowhere. I figure it's paid for itself in fun, good health, and gas saved as I ride it around town instead of driving. The other expensive item I think that's paid for itself is a decent camera, it's now three years old and has provided a great deal of creative joy, and closeness with nature. It's definitely good for my mental health, and good for my physical health as well, as if I want to photograph wildlife I need to get out and do some hiking!

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#12

30 Expensive Purchases That Really Paid Off, As People Shared In This Online Thread A very expensive suit.

This was the late 90s and I was 20 years old getting paid by the hour to do glorified help desk work. I had dropped out of college a couple semesters in because I needed to work. A recruiter called me out of the blue saying they needed someone right away. Could I interview the next day. The employer was the largest privately held company in the US and they had a reputation for being a VERY conservative suit and tie operation.

All I had was a poor fitting sport coat I got when I worked at circuit city. I called my father and he said go to Nordstroms, explain the situation and they'll get one done for you. So that's what I did and $600 later I'd emptied my bank account and was walking out the door with a new suit freshly altered that night.

I did the interview and just hit it out of the park. They offered me $55K starting salary to do app support. Which in the 90s was a crap ton of money for a guy going from making not a lot of money.

CorrectPeanut5 , Andrew Neel Report

Marcellus II
Community Member
10 months ago

Lots of people feel more confident in good suits, and many interviewers find that important so it works.

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#13

30 Expensive Purchases That Really Paid Off, As People Shared In This Online Thread Cast iron skillets are one of the rare things you can buy that get better the more you use it and will change your steak game forever.

freshprinceofbeller , Anshu A Report

Foxxy (The Original)
Community Member
10 months ago (edited)

Am I the only one that hates cast iron pans?

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#14

30 Expensive Purchases That Really Paid Off, As People Shared In This Online Thread I have 6 acres of land with a fair amount of trees on it. I spent about 25k for a backhoe that has saved, and will save me tons of back-breaking work.

It's amazing the amount of stuff I can do that would take huge amounts of energy without the backhoe.

Need a tree taken down and the stump removed? Give me an hour. Need a dead horse buried (true story)? Give me about 2 hours. Need a 100 foot long trench dug for water or power? Give me an hour. Need a 15 foot deep hole dug for who knows what nefarious reason? Give me about 2 hours. Need to flip a car? Give me about 2 minutes. Plow something? Completely destroy your yard? Move that dirt? Drag something heavy? Unstick something stuck?

It was a s***ton of money for me, but incredible what I can do.

aigheadish , Roger Brown Report

Ally Joy
Community Member
10 months ago

Always good to know a man with a backhoe... for when you need to bury a dead (*cough) horse

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#15

30 Expensive Purchases That Really Paid Off, As People Shared In This Online Thread I buy most clothes at thrift stores. I found a cheap 1970s men's suit in good fabric but needed to tighten waist and shorten and de-flare the trousers. I soon realised I couldn't fix that by hand so in 2019 I bought a sewing machine (AU$300 in a %50 off sale).

Since then I've tapered about 8 of my business shirts (I have small waist compared to the shoulders). Tapered the legs on many of my thrift store trousers (several really high quality well preserved 1970s flares, or basic wide-legs from the early 1980s), shortened a couple of casual shirts and about 8 t-shirts. I even sewed new elastic onto all my old underpants as the elastic went loose but the fabric part was still good.

Given the cost of alterations the machine has probably paid for itself already.

...even a small taper to a shirt or trouser leg can make a huge difference to the item. Things that fit perfectly look 100 times better and you feel great wearing it.

ZanyDelaney , Wallace Chuck Report

M O'Connell
Community Member
10 months ago

I found a Singer portable machine (c.1929) in the dumpster behind a sewing machine store. The only thing that was missing was the bobbin cover plate, it just needed a cleaning and oiling. It's somewhat limiting in that it's a straight-stitch machine (and undesirable, which is why it was tossed), but it has served me well for 10 years for the odd repair to a piece of clothing, and I made a duvet cover with it.

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#16

30 Expensive Purchases That Really Paid Off, As People Shared In This Online Thread A good pair of boots, specifically Doc Martens, though really any stupidly sturdy boot works. I only ever have one pair of shoes I regularly wear, and I do a lot of heavy lifting, woodworking, etc etc. I used to get a pair of about $90 boots every year/ year and a half, decided to spend like $150 on a pair of Docs and they have lasted me about 4 or 5 years now of constant, heavy use. Only regret is that I didn't get the more expensive boots with the lifetime warranty that they offer.

heodeosmehskndd , Aurelien Thomas Report

Steve Barnett
Community Member
10 months ago

There's an adage 'Buy a good pair of boots and a decent bed. If you're not in one you’re in the other'.

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#17

30 Expensive Purchases That Really Paid Off, As People Shared In This Online Thread Not necessarily expensive these days - but a vacuum packing machine for the kitchen is the best thing I've ever invested in. I rarely throw a scrap of food out nowadays, and freezer burn is a thing of the past.

Apart from using it for sous vide, I also make bacon/ham/salt beef using the equilibrium method... so had perfect dry cured supply for years. It's a piece of cake to produce and a different class to store crap. And lasts for many months when kept vacpacked!

Kerfuffle666 , Marco Verch Report

Steve Barnett
Community Member
10 months ago

Hi OP. I totally concur. I've entertained the idea of getting one, however my reluctance in getting one is because of the excessive use of plastic; I use zip locked bags which I clean and then reuse. Please note that I’m not criticising you in the slightest.

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#18

Every Toyota I've owned

myfriendrichard Report

Chillchillshill
Community Member
10 months ago

It's funny: I've heard all kinds of mean acronyms about other cars ("Fix It Again, Tony", and "First On Rubbish Dump") but not one about Toyota. It says something about their reputation.

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#19

30 Expensive Purchases That Really Paid Off, As People Shared In This Online Thread Kenmore Washer and Dryer purchased new from Sears in 1998. They are still going strong and I guarantee when they do kick the bucket... the new washer and dryer I'll have to get from Lowes will be lucky to last 10 years.

Nonhipster72 , Dharmesh Patel Report

Dee Lee
Community Member
10 months ago

Buy a used one with a direct drive motor. The new machines are crap!

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#20

I went to one of those shoe stores that does a 3D scan of your feet. I got scanned and learned that instead of having flat feet (like I had thought for years) I actually have high arches.

I got a pair of $120 sneakers with a pair of $50 arch supports.

NO MORE KNEE PAIN!!

BobSacramanto Report

Marie Callender
Community Member
10 months ago

How in the world does someone confuse flat feet with high arches??

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#21

30 Expensive Purchases That Really Paid Off, As People Shared In This Online Thread When my wife and I purchased our home about 25 years ago, I had to go oversess for what turned into an extensive trip. When I came back, we had some really nice Danish furniture. She had also purchased very expensive mattresses. Since I did pay for all of this, I take a tiny bit of credit, but it was really her good sense! I am lying on that same bed and mattress now, and all of it is still in great shape, even after many moves including a few international ones. She also taught me that spending good money is worthwhile for dress shoes and appliances. That too has always worked out well in the long run.

shafflo , Max Vakhtbovych Report

M O'Connell
Community Member
10 months ago

I will wholeheartedly agree about the dress shoes. I always had uncomfortable relatively cheap dress shoes. I was fed up and asked the associate at the shoe store to put me in something good, which was a pair of Nunn Bush shoes, which are probably the most comfortable shoes I own.

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#22

Rechargeable batteries. Xbox players save millions

nikkgurzz Report

TheReader19
Community Member
10 months ago

Big fan of rechargeable batteries and the environment

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#23

30 Expensive Purchases That Really Paid Off, As People Shared In This Online Thread A weighted blanket. I get a better quality of sleep with it.

Also, I got a bidet attachment for the toilet a couple years ago. It's a good investment, saves on toilet paper. A lot of them aren't even that pricey.

Ermaquillz , cottonbro Report

Mich
Community Member
10 months ago

Love the handheld bidet! I live in Asia and it took me a while to get with the program, but it’s awesome.

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See Also on Bored Panda
#24

30 Expensive Purchases That Really Paid Off, As People Shared In This Online Thread Not an expensive item, but something totally worth having for large dogs who love to play fetch is getting a Chuck-It stick and balls. Its paid for itself 100 times over.

wifferpated , quinnthemali Report

Dee Lee
Community Member
10 months ago (edited)

No more slimy hands! Good looking doggo, btw....

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#25

30 Expensive Purchases That Really Paid Off, As People Shared In This Online Thread Also, less of a money investment and more of a time investment, but antique hand tools. A lot of tools aren't made anymore or aren't made well. And even if they are, they're often intended for use with power tools and don't work well with hand tools. You need to go to tons of yard sales to find some of them, but they'll last longer and work better than anything else on the market.

heodeosmehskndd , Andy / Andrew Fogg Report

Tonk Terrier
Community Member
10 months ago

Yes especially older drill bits.

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#26

30 Expensive Purchases That Really Paid Off, As People Shared In This Online Thread When I moved into an apartment with a washer/dryer hookup, I went out and found a used pair for ~$350.

Best investment of my life. I've probably made double that back by now from how much I've avoided spending at the laundromat.

Dandymcstebb , Paulo O Report

jk nbt
Community Member
10 months ago

also the plastic drum on laundromat washing machines soaks up sweat & smells from the previous 300 users.... your clothes can come out smelling worse than when you started... ewww....

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#27

30 Expensive Purchases That Really Paid Off, As People Shared In This Online Thread I bought a great travel backpack that I take everywhere instead of a suitcase. The money I have saved when I fly by not paying for a carry-on or checked bag has easily paid for the bag itself many times over.

dadler701 , Apaha Spi Report

Jos Tiguidou
Community Member
10 months ago

Only if you never carry more than 20kg...cuz that's the limit on carry-ons. Some airlines, it's even less!

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#28

30 Expensive Purchases That Really Paid Off, As People Shared In This Online Thread Hydraulic floss has helped me keep my teeth so much cleaner saving so much on dental...

wehosh , ROD’s Random Reviews Report

Pungent Sauce
Community Member
10 months ago

Looks to be a WaterPic and yes, way better than struggling with floss. Super clean feeling with a little hydrogen peroxide in the mix.

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#29

30 Expensive Purchases That Really Paid Off, As People Shared In This Online Thread Bidet - Not super expensive, but saves on toilet paper. I've used it for about a year and I love it.

fibsnap , Ted & Dani Percival Report

Tamora Spiller
Community Member
10 months ago

I'm planning on getting the Toto all in one. Love that thing.

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#30

30 Expensive Purchases That Really Paid Off, As People Shared In This Online Thread A $600 electric fireplace. We don't need to run the heat as high or as often because it heats up the area we stay in the most during the day.

prettyinpink_xoxo , Patrick Denker Report

Bill
Community Member
10 months ago

In the US given wattage restrictions a small electric heater will do the same for under $30

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Note: this post originally had 65 images. It’s been shortened to the top 30 images based on user votes.