5 Big-Ticket Splurges That Are Not Worth It (and 5 That Are)
A 3-D Television
Why it's not worth it: This technology is relatively new for home televisions and, therefore, costs more. The reviews are mixed, so it's probably best to skip it for now and stick with an HDTV -- and don't forget to pick up the correct cables so you see a perfect picture. HDTVs, Panasonic.com
By: Sarah Newell
Why it's not worth it: For large pieces of furniture, buying a stock upholstery piece means you'll get it faster, it's probably a neutral color, and it's the most affordable option. So unless you have your heart set on a pattern (which you'll probably tire of in a few years anyway), go with the stock option and splurge on funky pillows instead.
Klyne sofa, $1,199, CrateandBarrel.com
A Fancy Espresso Machine
Why it's not worth it: They're hard to clean, complicated to work and easy to mess up -- meaning you'll get burnt espresso shots more often than not. Skip the mess and expense of a heavy-duty espresso maker and get the Nespresso machine. It will make perfect shots of espresso from individual capsules you just pop into the machine.
Nespresso Pixie espresso maker, $250, Williams-Sonoma.com
An Expensive Mattress
Why it's not worth it: Don't get us wrong -- choosing a comfortable mattress is important! But price doesn't equal comfort. Find a bed that's within your budget and size requirements that you'll be able to sleep on for the next five years. When you’re just starting out, you're probably renting your apartment, might be short on space and may move in the near future. There's no need to invest in an expensive mattress when you'll most likely want to upgrade down the road.
Sealy Posture Premier Giovanni plush mattress, from $400, 1800Mattress.com
Why it's not worth it: Expensive wineglasses are nice, but they're also fragile -- especially after you've had a few glasses of wine. And chances are pretty good that after one cocktail party, you'll be out several glasses. So stop stressing over broken glass and stock up on inexpensive versions that look just as great.
Arc stemware, $4 each, CB2.com
A Pet Vacuum
Why it's worth it: You'll need powerful suction to pick up pet hair, and this one's the strongest model from the Dyson family. Plus, it's bagless and super-durable.
Dyson DC41 Animal vacuum cleaner, $599, HomeDepot.com
Expensive Kitchen Knives
Why it's worth it: These knives have high-carbon steel blades that are super-sharp and won't corrode or stain. And having good knives makes meal preparation easier, safer and faster. If you can't afford a block set, start by purchasing a chef's knife.
Wüsthof Classic Ikon 7-piece knife block set, $400, Williams-Sonoma.com
Why it's worth it: If your washing machine is over eight years old, you could save 5,000 gallons of water a year by upgrading to a new model. You'll save on energy and water costs with every load you wash.
Kenmore Elite 4.3-cubic-foot steam washer, $1,810, Kmart.com
Luxury Bath Towels
Why it's worth it: Turkish cotton hand towels will last longer and look better than their cheaper counterparts, so you won't have to replace them as often.
Frette bath towels, from $10, GarnetHill.com
Why it's worth it: These heavy-duty enamel-coated cast-iron pots work on any cooking surface and retain heat very well so you can use them to serve. Bonus: They have a limited lifetime warranty. They're heavy, but luckily, they're pretty enough to leave on your stove when you're not using them. Le Creuset fennel round French ovens, from $195, SurLaTable.com