It hit me at about 2pm yesterday when my computer chair made its signature deafening squeak as I leaned back, trying to get comfortable on the five year old, $20 piece of trash:

I need a new computer chair.

I had been considering a new computer chair for a while, but recently I’ve been thinking about it every day. Things are getting very busy for me at work, and I haven’t had the chance to even drive into the office yet this week. I wake up, log onto my computer, and end up sitting there essentially all day.

comfy chairMy butt is in real pain during the day, and I can’t move a muscle while I’m on a phone call (unless I mute my line) because the ear-piercing squeak will stop a conversation dead. I finally broke down and bought a new chair, and this is possibly the best $140 I’ve ever spent in my life.

I have armrests. There is actually padding on the seat and back. It rolls where I want it to roll. I almost shed a tear of joy the moment I sat in it for the first time.

It got me thinking. There are certain things you can go cheap on: Online stock brokers, gifts for your friends, or generic medicine. But never, EVER, go cheap on comfort when it comes to things you use for multiple hours every day. I broke down the day into three eight hour shifts. We already covered the eight hours at work. Now lets cover the other two.

For the Love of Pete Buy a Nice Mattress

When I first moved to Dallas I had two roommates. We all worked together and were all making pretty good money. Two of us decided to buy nice, comfortable queen size beds. The other languished on a $100 WalMart futon for the entire year. Guess which one that was…

It was The Hoff!

Ha, you thought it was me, but I learned my lesson on crappy beds in college. I got myself a fantastic pillow top queen size mattress and have been sleeping like a baby for the last three years. The Hoff, on the other hand, bought a futon so cheap that I truly believe sleeping on the floor would have been more comfortable. He may as well have just used an air mattress.

The most important thing to remember when you are mattress shopping is NEVER PAY FULL PRICE! Buying a mattress is a lot like buying a car; never show you are too interested, and walk away at least once. Trust me, they will cut you a deal to make a sale.

It Certainly Does Not Feel Good to Payless

Remember that jingle for the TV commercials, “Doesn’t it feel good to Payless?”

Hell no it doesn’t.

Have you ever actually owned a pair of Payless shoes? I did when I was a kid.

The other kids at school made fun of me. My dogs were always barking. They literally smelled so bad that my mom tried to contact Odor Eaters and challenge them to tackle my atrocious foot stench. And they never would have succeeded as long as I was wearing cheap shoes.

If you’re not sleeping or working, there’s a good chance you are on your feet doing something. And when you’re on your feet, there’s nothing better than a comfortable, quality pair of shoes. They may be expensive up front, but they will last a long time and keep your feet and back feeling nice for years.

If you can’t afford nice shoes, at the very least I recommend getting some nice insoles to help make things more bearable. A work chair is important, a mattress is imperative, but nice shoes are absolutely essential. Good shoes will change your life.

You Deserve to be Comfortable

Everyone should have comfortable shoes and a nice bed. And if you work at a desk all day, you need a nice chair. Seriously.

If your budget is tight and you can’t fit a new chair or mattress or pair of shoes into the mix, I strongly recommend figuring out a way to make an extra few hundred bucks to buy these things. Sell some old crap, housesit for your neighbor while they go on vacation this summer, or just cut back your spending. It really is hard to put a price on how drastically physical comfort will improve your quality of life.