Save or splurge: Wardrobe

To get the most for your money, you need to know two things: when the good stuff is worth paying extra for and when the economy choice is plenty good enough.

One-carat round cut H, SI2 diamond | About $5,000
Diamonds
One-carat round cut H, SI2 diamond | About $5,000
Save or spend: Save
You don't have to go broke buying the highest-grade diamonds. This bling is rated on cut, carat, color and clarity.

While the first two are a matter of preference, color is graded alphabetically from D (colorless) to Z (yellow), and clarity follows a scale of 11, starting with FL for "flawless."

You can drop to an H in color and SI2 in clarity - the eighth category - and the flaws will be unnoticeable to the naked eye, says Helena Krodel of the Jewelry Information Center. And you'll save 75 percent off top quality.

Everyday suit

Special suit

Diamonds

Pearls

Women's jeans
The office If you're going to take your work home, shell out for a decent seat. (more)
Leisure stuff Don't handicap your wallet by paying too much for the latest gear. (more)
The kitchen Bring home the bacon and fry it up in a stainless steel, aluminum-core pan (more)
Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.
Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.