There's an impression that to save money you can't spend any money. While not spending money on items you don't need makes sense, there are some things that will pay you in the long run to purchase. While these items may cost you some money up-front, they'll ultimately more than pay for themselves in the savings they provide. Here is a list of ten things you should buy to help you save money.
Programmable Thermostat: Manual thermostats tend to cost households more money because of how thermostats are used. When it comes to heating or cooling a room, the thermostat temperature is usually adjusted beyond the true temperature desired. People set the thermostat at a higher or lower temperature than needed in hopes of making the house cool or warm more quickly even though this will not affect the speed at which the room temperature changes.
Manual thermostats also are adjusted more often to get the room to the desired temperature. The temperature is increased when the room gets a little cold, then decreased when it gets too warm. These manual adjustments by hand are rarely as accurate as can be automatically done with a programmable thermostat. The constant manual adjustments cost a great deal of money over time which a programmable thermostat can help save and pay for itself in a few months.
Faucet Aerator: Faucet aerators are small devices you place on your faucets in the house. They reduce the water flow coming out of the faucet by about half but because of the way they work, it may even feel stronger than normal flow. Using faucet aerators will save a typical family of four about 280 gallons of water a month and pay for themselves in less than a year.
Compact Fluorescent and LED Lights: While compact fluorescent (CF) light bulbs cost more than regular light bulbs, they use about two-thirds less energy and last years longer than regular light bulbs. A basic guide is that you can save $10 a year in electricity cost for each 100 watt bulb you replace (this includes factoring the extra cost of the light bulb and the longer life it has).
Light-emitting diode (LED) holiday lights cost a bit more than standard holiday lights, but they use 80 – 90% less electricity than standard lights and last more than 5 times as long. Due to the way they are made, they are virtually indestructible which means they won't accidentally get broken or need to be replaced every couple of year.
Things You Use When They Go On Sale: Anything that you use on a regular basis that goes on sale is worth buying. As long as you know that you are going to eventually use it and won't end up throwing out a large portion of it due to it expiring in some way. For a more in depth look at this you can read Instant 20% Returns.
Rechargeable Batteries: Batteries can cost a small fortune if you use them a lot of them. If you go through a lot of batteries or have electronic equipment that are “high drain” devices, purchasing Nickel-Metal Hydride (NiMH) rechargeable batteries can save you a lot of money. These replaced old-style NiCad rechargeable batteries and have a much higher capacity than NiCad's do. Best of all, they don't suffer from memory effect that could quickly shorten their life.
Safety Deposit Box: While this may not save you money on a yearly basis, it will save you a lot if any type of accident, disaster or robbery takes place. It'll also save you a ton of grief in settling claims since you'll have all the documentation to take care of anything that might arise.
clothes Line or Clothes Rack: If you are allowed to line dry your clothes, purchasing a clothes line will save you over $100 a year over using a dryer. If you aren't allowed to use a clothes line in your neighborhood, purchasing a clothes rack or two for drying will save you the same amount.
Water Filter If you are concerned about the quality of your tap water and regularly buy bottled water, purchasing a water filter is well worth the investment. A quality water filter will make your water just as pure as most bottled water and will save you a large amount of money over the long run in comparison to purchasing bottled water.
Low Flow Shower Heads: Replacing regular shower heads with low-flow shower heads can reduce your hot-water consumption while showering by as much as 30% and still provide a strong, invigorating spray. An added benefit for those with larger families is low-flow shower heads will make the hot water last longer for multiple showers.
If you use the shower an average of 30 minutes a day, replacing a typical 5-gallon-per-minute shower head with a 2.5 gallon-per-minute flow shower head will save you about $100 a year.
As the above items show, spending a little bit of money up-front can mean long term savings. By taking the time to make a small investment in the above items, you'll shave hundreds of dollars off your budget.
About the Author: Copyright Jeffrey Strain and SavingAdvice.com 2003 – 2007, All Rights Reserved.