I spend more money than the average person on certain expenses and items even though I don't have to. I am not an extreme cheapskate by any stretch of the imagination. And, I'm only frugal when it suits me. In addition to paying more for quality, I also save money by reducing how much interest I pay to banks and other lenders. In my perfect world, I wouldn't have any debt at all, but I haven't been able to achieve that financial goal just yet.
Spending more on my housing
Personal finance experts say most people should not spend more than 28 to 33 percent of their after-tax money on housing whether it's in the form of rent or a mortgage. Although I don't have to pay more than about 30 percent to my mortgage company every month, I choose to spend more money under the housing category in the form of extra payments toward our principal. My mortgage lender said I would be saving about $50,000 in interest charges by making our additional payments.
Spending more on food
My husband and I spend a lot more money than the average person on groceries. I tend to shop for organic produce as well as gluten-free and natural food products. I've read a variety of statistics about the average amount of money people spend on groceries every month. Some experts say people spend about 13 percent of their income on food. I know we spend closer to 20 percent of our money on food. However, we have virtually no medical bills. I feel as though spending more on food saves us thousands of money in doctor and hospital bills. We also avoid spending any money on junk food, alcohol or cigarettes.
Spending more on clothing items
When it comes to the clothing category, I tend to spend more money on individual clothing items as well as purses and shoes compared to most people I know. However, I don't have to budget as much for clothing overall. I believe buying better quality clothing items means my clothes will last longer. I'm not a slave to fashion, but I am willing to spend more money on quality. Although I may spend $100 on a new outfit, that outfit will last me for years. In fact, I still wear a winter wool skirt I purchased in 1988.
Spending more on vacations
My husband and I do stay at expensive hotels when we go on vacations. We also dine at more expensive restaurants. However our money-saving trick is to go for short weekend vacations instead of spending the one or two weeks than many people spend. We save money because we don't have to take off any time from work. Our weekend trip may be expensive from a daily perspective, but compared to what most people spend in a weeklong vacation, it's affordable. Also, I've read studies that show people who spend money on experiences are happier than those who spend money on things so our vacations seem like a good investment to our mental health.
Throughout the years, I've learned to cut mindless spending and be a more aware shopper. I know a bargain isn't a bargain if a product is damaged. I'm glad I spent more money on my new refrigerator because I don't have to worry about the ice maker breaking down after just one year. Sometimes it pays to spend more.
*Note: This was written by a Yahoo! contributor. Do you have a personal finance story that you'd like to share? Sign up with the Yahoo! Contributor Network to start publishing your own finance articles.
More from this contributor:My Husband and I Compete to Make Money