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 is such a good idea, it’s worth incorporating into your monthly budget reviews.
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.
Here are 7 top money-saving purchases
1. Coffee Machine
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 roast your own beans at home.
Not only will making your own coffee at home save you money quickly, it’s a whole lot of fun. Just make sure to purchase a good to-go mug!
Read more: How to hack your Keurig
Cable is expensive. Really expensive. (Here’s how to cut your monthly pay TV bill in half)
If you want to save some money, I recommend Netflix. For the low price of $7.99 per month, you’ll gain access to a great deal of shows and movies that you can watch commercial free whenever you want.
The selection isn’t always the most 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 $40 to $80 per month.
3. LED Light Bulbs
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 tend to last much longer too.
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 a short period of time, these bulbs will pay for themselves. An added bonus is that you won’t have to change light bulbs nearly as often.
By the way, one of the best LED bulb deals we’ve ever seen is happening right now!
4. Water Filter
Bottled water: It’s almost as bad as selling bottled air! Why do we buy case after case 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 a lot less on those bottles.
By the way, water is the best 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.
5. Cable Modem
Did you know that you’re probably renting the cable modem you use for internet access?
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. But considering the monthly rental charges and the low prices of modems these days, it’s worth shopping for one.
6. Efficient Shower Head
Grab yourself a couple 1.5 GPM shower heads for your showers and you’ll save a bundle over time. Many older shower heads 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! Water costs are soaring in many cities in America. Invest in low flow shower heads and you’ll have a great shower at a fraction of the cost.
Read more: 9 ways to conserve bathroom water
7. Weather stripping
Keep heat out during the summer and heat in during the winter!
Invest in some inexpensive weather stripping. You can probably perform the installation on all the exterior doors of your home in under 30 minutes and it will certainly save you big bucks on energy costs.
If you have a frugal mindset, 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 for now. 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. They’ll pay for themselves quickly and leave more money in your pocket month after month.
What are a few more purchases that can help you save money over time? Leave a comment!