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What Has Been Your Smartest Investment?

Readers share their favorite payoffs.

Change jarRobyn

A Student Loan 

My son was in college and raising a family at the same time. I put $700 into his account every month for two years until he finished school. After four years, he had become so successful that he wrote me a check for twice the amount I had given him. I put the money into a college fund for his son.
Naida Esquero
Marina, California

House and Home

I used to buy furniture without thinking about how long it would last. As I've gotten older, I've learned that investing in quality pieces and antiques saves me money in the long run. They are classic and stand the test of time.
Jennifer Ament
Westminster, Maryland
The most practical investment I've made was in a good chef's knife. Slicing vegetables is not a chore when you don't have to saw through them with a dull knife.
Heather Vornero
New York, New York
Now that I have a large upright freezer, I can buy foods in bulk, like bread, ice cream, fresh fruit, meat, poultry, and fish.
Jennifer Urbanic
Columbus, Ohio
I love my family's hot tub. It provides the perfect atmosphere to relax, enjoy good conversation, and reconnect at the end of a long day.
Debby Castelein
Petoskey, Michigan
I frequently buy new running shoes. They're as important to me as a retirement fund.
Elizabeth Horan
Sacramento, California
I bought a machine that shampoos my carpet. It's easy to use, I save money by not having to hire a professional service, and I no longer panic when I see my two-year-old son walking across the room with a cup of juice.
Abby McEniry
Olathe, Kansas
My husband and I never used our gym memberships, so we bought quality workout equipment for our home. It's always available, nobody changes the TV or radio station, and best of all, there are no mirrors.
Pam Bevier
Portage, Michigan

Work and Education

Making Japanese lessons inspired me to live abroad. I became fluent in the language, made wonderful friends, immersed myself in a new culture, and gained the confidence to try new things.
Pamela McCarthy
Stoughton, Massachusetts
When I decided to start a career in information technology, I bought an instructional book that cost $90. The information I got from it helped me land a job that paid $2,200 a month.
Lou Lou El Hajj
Beirut, Lebanon
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