Purchases that pay for themselves are often called investments and for good reason. These investments won't literally print out money (I wish), but they will help keep spending down.
Purchasing items that can save you money over the long-term are such a good idea, it's worth incorporating into your monthly budget.
Be careful, though. If you're broke and don't have much money to spend on investment purchases right now, it's best to wait until a time of plenty to take action.
You may not think twice about buying that morning coffee at a certain retail-chain-that-starts-with-an-S, but seriously, that can add up over time.
Think about it. How much do you spend getting coffee on your way to work? Say you spend $2 (probably more) every Monday through Friday – that's at least $40 per month!
You can find coffee machines for less than that. And, if you're super savvy, you can how to roast your own coffee beans at home.
Not only will making your own coffee at home save you money, it's a whole lot of fun.
Cable is expensive. I mean, really expensive.
If you want to save some money, I recommend Sling TV (but make sure you are using it to justify the price – cancel it if not).
Granted, the selection isn't always that current, but when you're trying to keep expenses down it makes sense to find an alternative to cable.
This is probably one of the best returns for your money as cable usually costs around $40 to $80 per month. Want to keep your cable? No problem – learn how to negotiate your cable prices and more alternatives to cable.
LED light bulbs used to be pretty expensive, but thankfully they have continued to drop in price over the past few years.
LEDs are the most efficient type of bulb on the market. In fact, governments around the world are phasing out incandescent light bulbs because of the energy savings from LEDs and CFL bulbs.
LEDs not only use much less energy than their traditional counterparts, they last a long time, too. Imagine a bulb that can last 18 years!
If you're looking to save energy, spend the extra cash to get LEDs and make sure to compare the energy ratings on the boxes. Over time, these bulbs will pay for themselves . . . and as a bonus, you won't have to change your bulbs for a long, long time.
Here are some more tips on how to save on utilities.
Bottled water. It's almost as bad as selling bottled air. Why do we buy these things when we could just buy a water filter instead?
Water filters can save you a whole lot of money in a short period of time if you're accustomed to buying purified water.
If convenience is what you're after, buy a reusable water bottle while you're at it. You'll be “going green” while spending less on those bottles.
By the way, water is a great beverage choice as it's low in calories (zero, in fact), it's readily available in America, and it's necessary for life. Drink water, but drink it from the filtered tap.
Did you know that you're probably renting your cable modem you use for internet access? Yep.
You can potentially save a lot of money by purchasing your cable modem instead of renting it. I say potentially because occasionally your internet service provider might encourage or require you to upgrade to a new modem. If you're renting your modem, you can just keep on renting and get a new modem free of charge. If you've purchased your modem, you may have to cough up some money for the replacement unit.
Grab yourself a couple 1.5 GPM shower heads for your showers and you'll save a bundle over time. Many old showerheads put out so much unnecessary water.
Do you really need to feel like you're standing under a waterfall in the shower? I don't think so! Invest in low-flow showerheads and you'll have a great shower at a fraction of the cost.
Keep the heat out during the summer and heat in during the winter!
Invest in some cheap weatherstripping. You can probably install weatherstripping on all the exterior doors of your home in under 30 minutes and it will certainly save you on heating costs.
If you have a frugal mindset like we do, your gut reaction might be to save money in the short-term and not buy these items. Granted, if you're extremely low on funds, you'll probably want to skip a few of them. But that shouldn't stop you from purchasing these items in the future.
When you buy these items and replace them with your old way of doing things, you really will save money over time. The best part about this is that all of these ways to save money really don't take a lot of ongoing effort – most are set-it-and-forget-it.
What are a few more purchases that can help you save money over time? Leave a comment!
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