10 Expensive Things That Will Save You Money in the Long Run
Just because something is cheap, doesn’t mean it's going to save you any money in the long run. Sometimes, paying more upfront is the better deal. Here are a few items that you should splurge on now if you want to save later.
Replacing your appliances with energy efficient ones can reduce your utility bills plus earn you tax credits and rebates. But even if you don’t want to go that extreme, you can still opt for other energy efficient items. Energy.gov estimates a $50 per year savings on your electric bill with upgrading 15 light bulbs to energy efficient ones. Plus these bulbs give off 75 percent less heat than the regular ones, which can keep the costs of cooling your home down as well.
A programmable thermostat
Being able to control the temperature in your home whether or not you're actually inside it can help save you a lot of money on heating and cooling costs. In the winter months, set your heat lower while you’re sleeping or at work, and time it to go back up a little bit before you wake up or get home.
If you live close to your office, biking to work is a viable option for you, and every time you do it, you'll be saving money you'd normally be spending on gas, general car wear and tear, taxis or public transit. According to AAA, it costs the average American a little under $9,000 per year to own a car, so if you can get around without one, think of what you could do with all that extra cash!
Plus, biking on a regular basis can also lower your insurance premium and, you know, make you a healthier person in general. A study in Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics revealed those who regularly bike saw a 65 percent decrease in fatigue, and women who ride at a moderate intensity three times a week for just 30 minutes each time lowered their blood pressure and LDL cholesterol!
Fans can be your first defense against heat. It keeps the air cooler so you can hold off on your turning on your air conditioning. It also circulates the air better so your heater or air conditioner doesn’t have to work as hard.
Well-made staples for your wardrobe
Fast fashion might be cheap, but it doesn't pay off in the long run. Instead of hitting up Forever 21 for a new work blouse that's just gonna fall apart after two months, consider investing more money in items that will stand the test of time. For professional women, these might be a nice pair of fancy (but sensible) shoes, dress pants, skirts and dresses and a classic bag. For men, khakis, dark jeans, tailored blazers and some quality button-up shirts are always a good investment. And for anyone, a quality winter coat and a nice pair of running shoes are never a waste of money.
A coffee maker
If you spend $5 per day on coffee out of the house, you’ll wind up spending $1,825 per year. Invest in a coffee maker, and you can drink more coffee for WAY less.
I LOVE my slow cooker so much, you guys! Let's count the ways it saves me money, shall we? First, it uses less electricity than a stove or oven, and it also doesn’t generate as much heat as an oven or frying so you can avoid having to turn that air conditioning up higher in the summer. Second, it allows me to cook big, filling meals while I'm at work, which has stopped me from ordering takeout on days when I'm too burnt out to cook, and enables me to bring leftovers for lunch for the rest of the week. In addition to all this, cooking with a crock pot means you can buy cheaper cuts of meat, because the slow cooking process will tenderize it to perfection.
It can be tempting to stock up on all your furniture at discount furniture stores like IKEA, but as someone who did exactly that about six years ago, let me tell you how many of my IKEA-brand dressers, bookshelves, end tables, bed frames and coffee tables I still have today: NONE! There's a reason why cheap furniture is so cheap, it falls apart! If you're looking to furnish your house on a budget, head to an estate sale, a second-hand store or your grandma's attic. When I moved into my current apartment, I bought a vintage, solid wood dining room table with four matching chairs for $75 at a second-hand store. It's still in mint condition, and I expect it will stay that way for WAY longer than the pathetic three years my old IKEA table lasted.
Quality cooking supplies
You get what you pay for when it comes to pots, pans and cooking utensils. We've all opted for the cheaper pan only to have the handle detach mid pancake flip, or watch the teflon coating flake off into our food. Higher-quality items, like this Martha Stewart 12-piece cookware set, won’t need to be replaced very often, if ever, and having the right tools to cook at home will save you a lot of money on takeout, and allow you to control the fat, salt and calorie content of you meals, which can help your health in the long run.
Organic foods more expensive, because they've been grown without being treated with harmful pesticides and don’t contain food additives and synthetic ingredients, such as preservatives, artificial sweeteners, colorings, flavorings, and MSG.
A non-organic apple, for example, can contain up to 36 different pesticides, according to the Food and Drug Administration, and cantaloupe often contains toxic and carcinogenic insecticides, and milk contains growth hormones. The nonprofit Nation of Change and other sources have linked these pesticides and additives to autism, cancers, obesity, Parkinson’s disease, and infertility along with a variety of issues in mood and behavior, especially in children. Studies also show many organic produce is higher in antioxidants and flavonoids. These unsettling results prove that while it might initially cost more, eating organic food can save you money down the road when it comes to co-pays, doctor visits, medications, pricey hospital visits, and health insurance premiums.