We like to think of saving money as a linear 1-2-3 event where we save a few dollars first here and there in order to save that amount down the road.
However, saving money isn’t always as easy as a linear event.
Lots of things we do today will save us money down the road.
Here is a list of things that can save money for tomorrow if you splurged on it today.
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Table of Contents
1) Eating Healthier
Healthy living goes hand in hand with saving money. Have you guys noted the latest price on tobacco? Or the cost of a hospital bill? Yikes.
The worst excuse in the book is the person who claims they are not financially well enough to partake in the daily recommended servings of fruits and vegetables. The breakdown for an average serving of fruit is around 50 cents. What can you get that’s as filling or healthy at McDonald’s for 50 cents?
Bananas are even cheaper at less than 30 cents per cup. Apples are less than 60 cents per cup. Wallet un-friendly fruits like strawberries run up to about $2 a cup in comparison but no one said they mattered more than any fruit or vegetables. Eating in season helps keep cost down.
2) Early Holiday Shopping
Growing up outside of the United States, I didn’t have a chance to enjoy awesome American holidays celebrated. My family was really poor. Christmas is now my favorite American holiday. If only I could make Christmas happen more than just once a year…;)
I love Christmas. I think about holiday shopping all around so I do my shopping early.
I choose 3 universal gifts when I find a good sale because the best deals are not always around the holidays – it’s just better marketing around those times.
3) A College Degree
I “like” our higher education system as much as the next student debt-ridden millennial.
However, the statistics and as of right now, college graduates are still making higher salaries than their high school counterparts so it is (statistically) worth it to be a college graduate.
Although it seems college is expensive, colleges are a business. In fact, it’s a very profitable business.
The ball is in higher ed’s court and they get to name the price essentially because the demand is there. You can up better employment odds if you study for a degree.
4) Eco Appliances
LED bulbs are all the rage although they tend to be pricier than the standard incandescent bulbs. LEDs are lighter energy consumers which mean bigger savings in your pockets later on. Our family slaps down a few more dollars for the LED light bulb box than the CFL bulbs.
NEST (or any smart robotic auto-programmable thermostat) is another great bet here to spend in order to save money later. My husband scored a Nest thermostat 6 months ago for only $50 using subsidized coupons from our local government. Websearch your local city and state to find if they have NEST rebates like our Seattle city.
5) Kitchen Utensils
When I first graduated college, I was put off by how much kitchen equipment cost. Thanks to parents and my parent’s friends, they handed me some used pots, pans, and utensils. Even though it was not enough for a full kitchen, having the basic kitchen utensils made me stay at home to cook which saves me money from going out.
6) Skincare and Sunscreen
Sunscreen is good for you and can reduce the risk of skin cancer.
Did you know even indoor LED lights emit small amounts of UV that damages your skin without proper skincare?
That should be argument enough, cancer is expensive to treat and it’s preventable.
Pro-tip: if you dislike the texture and smell of traditional sunscreen, check out these gel texture creams that last longer and has a nicer scent.
You can get cheap kitchen sets on Amazon for less than $50 these days to start saving money on dining out.
A funny tidbit about flossing: 62% of wealthy people floss every day according to Rich Habits. Only 16% of low-income people admitted to flossing every day. Flossing your teeth reduces gum disease and gum bleeding.
A string tucked between teeth is unattractive. But my husband flosses his teeth routinely and religiously…and you know what? His dentist told him during his last visit to come just once instead of twice a year. Looks like taking care of your smile and flossing is already paying off!
Insurance!!! Yes, it is an ugly topic but it’s as important as paying your utility bills. Picture a one-income family with new baby twins and a new mortgage who just lost the family’s breadwinner. Besides the emotional devastation that compounds on the stress, if there is a large withstanding debt, then that family would be financially destroyed! Besides the skyrocketing medical bills and additional emotional toll – funeral are very expensive too. Get a good life insurance policy for the loves of your life!!! The discussion of term vs whole life insurance in specific will be dependent on the family’s situation. But usually, I recommend term life unless the surviving partner is a spendaholic.
Being a homeowner certainly isn’t easy; it’s a lot of elbow grease actually. In fact, it’s troublesome. But there are a lot of great benefits in living and owning a primary residence. Those things include tax-free appreciations up to $250,000 (single filers) / $500,000 (married couples), mortgage interest tax deduction and of course, owning a physical asset that will be able to provide basic shelter.
10) Home Upgrades, Maintenance, & Repairs
This one can cover a lot of ground. For example, adding more insulation to the attic right above our bedroom. We also took a quick walking tour of our house and noted areas of missing paint, exposed wood, and rusting nails. All signs that our humble abode would need a new coat of paint very soon.
One of the biggest thing to owning a home is being able to take care of it before small issues become big BIG expensive ones.
Both my husband and I paid top dollar for our college education, and we are homeowners and pretty home maintenance savvy ones at that!
It might not seem like expensive purchases likes a house or insurance “you won’t have to use” are worth the price…but down the road, it will become more obvious that a simple thing like a paid off home, insurance, and sunscreen could mean you will be alive with your loved ones longer. A good purchase if it’s a truly selfless one at the end of the day 🙂