1. Paying for help. There's nothing snooty about hiring a cleaning woman or nanny to free up some hours in your day, says Juliette Fairley, author of Cash in the City: Affording Martinis, Manolos and Manicures on a Working Girl's Salary, and host of Discovery Channel's Cha Ching Money Makers. Especially if you use that time productively to generate new business for yourself. "It's really about delegating. Any way you can free up time on everyday chores, it will free up your intellectual time," she says.
2. Paying for home grocery delivery. Sure, you'll pay slightly more along with an additional delivery fee—plus tip—to shop online, but it will cost you less. Here's why: You'll actually stick to your shopping list. Bye-bye impulse spending. And, similar to hiring help, says Fairley, not having to commute to the supermarket and stand in line will allow you to gain back a couple of precious hours in your day and helps you keep your gas tank full.
3. Paying to look good. If you're watching your cash flow, it probably seems like a no-brainer to cut out things like manicures or designer clothes. But you may be doing yourself a disservice, says Fairley. "People usually want to scrimp on those areas, but self-care is not the area you want to cut back on," she says. "People gravitate to those who look good, smell nice, are well-groomed." Not to mention that a good quality "interview" suit may last you 10 years, she says, making that splurge a great one-time investment with many returns.
Bonus tip: Look for deals on sites like LivingSocial and Groupon to find steep discounts on beauty and grooming services. Also, ask your local salon if they offer discount haircuts from their stylists-in-training.
4. Paying for your brand. "It's the most professional and visible people that get the deal, get the gig," says Fairley. In other words, if you're in a field that requires a website, a professional head shot, or a logo, you might consider paying a professional who can help you stand out in a good way. Along those lines, joining professional associations and attending industry conferences can translate into income dollars, even though up-front costs may deter you at first, she adds.
5. Paying for tech gadgets.Treating yourself to a quality smartphone can make you more productive on the go, and accessible to potential employers or clients. "It's important to have a working phone and check your e-mail so that you don't miss a money-making opportunity," she says. "Often the first person who gets to the deal, gets the deal."