Frugal and wise people know that spending money isn’t necessarily bad, especially when the purchase will pay for itself and then continue to make them money over time. Below are eight examples of long-term money-saving purchases. Spend wisely and make every purchase count.
- Entertainment Subscriptions
If you love watching movies and TV shows but are sick of paying for cable, consider cutting the cord and going online. For less than $10 a month, you can get access to hundreds of TV shows and movies with a subscription to Hulu or Netflix.
- Programmable Thermostats
Utility bills can be a pain, especially during the dead of winter and the hottest months in the summer. A programmable thermostat can help you save money by letting you micromanage when the heat or AC are turned on. To be clear, the thermostat itself won’t save you money, but you can save hundreds of dollars a year by setting the temperature back a few degrees. Energy.gov estimates that during the winter setting the temperature back by ten to 15 degrees for eight hours a day – while you’re at work or asleep – you can save five to 15 percent on your heating bill.
- Water Filters
If you often buy bottled water, a high-quality water filter can quickly pay for itself. Brita filter pitchers start around $10, and replacement filters cost about $5 each. A filter is good for about 40 gallons, making the cost about eight cents a gallon. Even if you buy bulk packages of bottled water, the cost may be several dollars a gallon.
- A Fire-Proof Home Safe
No one wants to think about their home burning down, but a fire-proof safe cans save you money and time. Store important documents such as a birth certificates, Social Security cards, passports and other hard-to-replace documents or items. You can also keep a little cash in the safe, which may come in handy during an emergency.
With maintenance, gas, insurance and parking, the cost of owning and driving your car can take a toll on your budget. If you are serious about saving money and live somewhere that allows the change, why not consider switching to a bike? You can get a hybrid gas- or electric-powered bike for less than $700 and zoom to work or friend’s houses. If you still need access to a car occasionally, you can sign up for a car-share program such as ZipCar or Car2Go.
- LED Light Bulbs
LED light bulbs are getting cheaper every year, and you can now find bulbs that are dimmable and have warm, yellow light. LED bulbs use less energy than traditional incandescent or even the newer compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) bulbs. LEDs also last much longer than their counterparts. Energy.gov estimates that if you change the five most-used outlets in your home to LEDs, you can save $75 a year.
- At-Home Workout Equipment
Taking good care of your fitness and health is valuable, but, working out doesn’t need to be expensive. Gym memberships can be pricey, especially when you’re locking into a contract. After a surge when you first sign up, some members find they only go to the gym a few times a month. Instead, invest in basic at-home workout equipment such as free weights or exercise bands. There are also many bodyweight workouts, include quick and effective seven-minute workouts.
- Washer and Dryer
If you live in a city, you may be used to dropping your clothes off at the laundromat, or saving a little money by sitting by the machines while you wash them yourself. If you have the room, and especially if you have a family, investing in a durable washing machine can save you money and time. The initial investment can be pricey, but it’ll save for itself as many washer and dryers last for ten years or more.