Think of the notion of renting versus buying a home. Those who celebrate the latter decision remind potential buyers that it’s an investment; you get your money back versus throwing it away when renting.
Consider the sentiment of investment regarding everyday items used for dining, entertainment, and beyond. Smart investments in buying small items can save you big bucks over time.
What is the cost of a large coffee at Starbucks? Well! The price of coffee has risen dramatically in the last generation! However, we can’t blame Starbucks for accepting willing customers’ bills. But a cup does not have to cost that much. So, to enjoy a sip of coffee whenever you want, you could look for a quality coffee maker on websites like https://serp.co/best/, fill it with filtered water and freshly ground beans, and enjoy a cup for a fraction of the cost. Sure, it takes time to keep it clean, fill it with water, and fetch your own grinds, but you’ll save hundreds of dollars over the course of the year.
How often do you leave the lights on while a room is unattended, not thinking about the associated costs? Sure, a dead lightbulb is easily replaced, yet over time, using traditional bulbs is a strain on utility costs. Alternatively, LED lights use less power to illuminate a room, which saves money over years to come. You’ll save a couple hundred dollars the first years and thousands over the next couple of decades. Imagine finding a stash of thousands of dollars years from now; you can by switching to LED lights now.
You may think a clothesline is a better fit for decades of the past or third-world countries, yet those who hang items to dry enjoy the fresh scent and thousands of dollars saved. Sure, it’s faster and in some ways more efficient to dry clothes in a unit, but machines cost a lot of money, use electric, and are bound to warrant more investments regarding repairs and replacement. You can purchase a clothesline for a minimal fee and nature and time does the rest at zero cost!
To date, a monthly membership to Netflix costs less than $10. Most movie tickets cost almost double that at today’s cinemas. Consider the cost of watching one movie at home versus taking family members to the cinema. With a membership, you have access to thousands of titles you can watch numerous times at a flat fee. However, going out to the movies involves spending on gas, time, (possibly) parking, multiple tickets, and (of course) snacks. Taking a few family members to a show can easily cost an excess of $50. You can watch Netflix movies for almost half a year at that cost. Clearly, if entertainment is a recurring expense, Netflix is the better economical choice.
It’s likely that other than your home or apartment, your automobile (payments and insurance) is your second largest expense. However, you don’t need an automobile when public transportation and other forms of commuting are available. You may decide to keep your car for far commutes, but you can purchase a commuter bike for a reasonable amount of money to take to local stores, friends’ houses, the park, and beyond. Most people spend a majority of their time within close destination to their home, so it’s realistic to take a bike versus a gas-guzzling automobile. Save hundreds of dollars per year on gas and discuss your mileage with your insurance company, which may lower your monthly rates due to your alternate lifestyle. Additionally, check My Fav Deals for more opportunities to save; why pay retail prices?
Today’s world demands healthy lifestyles, which includes bottled water, gym memberships, and a plethora of fitness applications. Let’s return to the subject of bottled water, which costs upward of $.50 or more per bottle. Go to a store like Starbucks, and you’re easily paying more than $1.00 for something that comes out of your home faucet. Sure, it’s not ‘filtered’ out of the faucet, yet a number of manufacturers produce water filters you can continuously refill in your home for a fraction of the cost of purchased bottles. Invest in a quality water filter and save hundreds of dollars per year. All you’ll need to do is switch the in-pitcher filter on occasion. Furthermore, you can go a step ahead and get you water supplier at home checked (find out more at switchwatersupplier.com) and perhaps switch for a water supplier that could charge you less. That could take care of your water bill as well.
Survey your lifestyle and expense sheets. What else can you easily change that will transform into hundreds to thousands of saved dollars over the course of a month, year, or decade? Doing something as simple as switching to LED lights will help pay for your newborn’s college education when the time comes.
Loretta Elliot is a home economist. She loves to share her insights on spending wisely. Her articles can be found on many finance and family sites.