There's a thin line between frugal and cheap. As a man, it's important to understand where this line is placed. It'll vary from person to person, depending on the individual circumstance, but as a general rule, the one time it's OK to invest is in yourself. You are your biggest investment and the way that you use your money should reflect that.
Sure, a $100 difference on an item up front might seem like a penny saved, but for that which you reduce in initial cost, you could end up paying for in costly repairs, maintenance or flat out replacements. Here are a few ways a man can make a worthwhile financial investment in himself:
One $20 umbrella is worth more than four $5 umbrellas. We all get caught in a pinch sometimes, and have to drop a few dollars to make it through an unexpected shower, but a nice umbrella is well worth the extra scrilla in times when you need to cover someone aside from yourself and it'll make you look extra stately.
Nothing says "I'm a grown-ass man" quite like a quality tailored suit. When invitations to more formal events come your way, it's important for you to be dressed appropriately and not look like you're playing dress up in someone else's clothes.
Start building your business/formal wardrobe with a dark-colored suit. Black, navy or charcoal are all acceptable choices and pair perfectly with the next investment on the list...
The perfect suit can be completely ruined with the wrong shirt. The collar should be snug against your neck and the sleeves should end comfortably at your wrists. Otherwise, your whole look will be off. This shirt isn't one you wear every day and should only be paired with your Sunday best. With regular drop offs at the cleaners, it should last you for several years.
And no, we don't mean a pair of OG Cement 3s (although those are a fire pair of kicks). It's not fair to your feet for you to spend top dollar on sneakers but then get the cheapest pair of dress shoes you find on sale at Wal-Mart. If there's one thing people notice about a man, it's the quality of his shoes.
You don't have to drop an entire stack to get a quality pair of shoes, either. Many shoe stores have quality options that are reasonably priced. Ask about which pairs can be maintained over time with brushes, polish and replaceable soles (when it gets to that point). You'll be glad you did.
Whether it's manual tools or power tools, this isn't an area you can afford to cut corners on cost. You don't want a your screwdrivers chipping away at the end after a year or two or the head of a hammer flying off (it happens) and damaging something else in your home — or someone, for that matter. Most of the highest-quality tools put their money where their mouths are and back your purchase with a lifetime warranty, so even if a drill bit does wear down, you can have the part replaced for free instead of on your own dime.
You can't host company on paper plates and red cups forever. Imagine a date coming to a screeching halt as you serve that dope dinner you cheffed up on Dixie plates with floral print around the edge. You'll give new meaning to Solo cups if you try to serve wine out of one. Your date will look at you like you're crazy.
We're being dramatic, but it's true that we eat with our eyes first. Present your food and drink in the right way.
The relationship a man has with his barber is one of the most important he forms in his lifetime. It's based entirely in trust, which is why it pays to invest in a good one. You wouldn't trust just anybody to line you up, because you know how important it is that you look good. You look good, you feel good. That's not something you can put a price on. It's in good taste to tip your barber a few dollars on top of his rate as a courtesy.
Finding a mechanic that knows what they're doing and who has the integrity to charge you a reasonable rate is a godsend. This is someone who is worth potentially traveling a few extra minutes to get repairs done to your vehicle and to refer your friends and family to in support of their hustle.
Meek would tell you it's gotta be a Rollie, but we're saying that something more modest will suffice. Investing in a watch isn't simply about how much you spent but how it complements your overall look. For a look that you can wear casually or more dressed up, something simple, elegant and with a quality dark-colored band is your best bet.
(Photo: oneinchpunch/Getty Images)
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