(TNS)—When you’re trying to figure out how to save money, you probably think you’re doing a great job by always opting for the least expensive items. However, taking the cheap way out might not always be the best route. In fact, on many occasions, doing so can actually cost you more money.
Here are 10 ways to save money by spending more money up front:
1. Buying a high-quality sofa
Your sofa is likely the piece of furniture in your house that will get the most use over the duration of its lifetime. While it can be tempting to purchase a discounted model for $500 or less, buying cheap isn’t cost-effective in the long run.
Before purchasing your next sofa, make sure it aligns with the American Home Furnishings Alliance standard of quality — straight fabric seams; a heavy, sturdy frame; a gold UFAC tag (indicating it was made to reduce the chance of upholstery fires); and firm arms.
2. Purchasing well-made clothing
It’s tempting to take the cheap route and purchase lower-quality clothing for a fraction of the price of well-made attire. However, most of these inexpensive shirts, coats, pants and pairs of shoes won’t last longer than a year — if even that. It’s actually more economical to save up and purchase higher-quality clothing, as it will last for years to come.
3. Splurging on a good espresso machine
Do you head to your local coffee shop every day for a $4 espresso? If so, investing in a high-quality espresso machine now can help you save cash in the long run. For example, you could purchase a great Nespresso machine for around $250 and break even after just two months — given the purchase of a $4 espresso every day.
4. Hiring household help
Everyone has to cook, do the laundry, clean the house and walk the dog, but if these chores are inhibiting your ability to make money, it might be time to rethink your strategy. If your hourly income is greater than the amount you would spend to hire a cleaning person or a dog walker, consider accepting the help so you can focus on more valuable uses of your time, perhaps spent earning side income.
5. Getting pet insurance
If you have pets, you know how expensive veterinary care can get. Purchase pet insurance to make vet bills more affordable. Not only can you obtain coverage for illnesses and emergency visits, you can also opt for a plan that includes wellness care. Make cringing at the sight of each vet bill a thing of the past.
6. Opting for the extended warranty
When making a major purchase, such as buying a car, a refrigerator, or a washer or dryer, there’s a good chance the salesperson will try to sell you an extended warranty. While your first thought might be to decline the offer, as you’ve already spent a great deal of money, you might want to reconsider. Carefully review the terms and conditions of coverage to see if it could be beneficial. If so, protect your investment by electing for the extra coverage so long as the cost for it isn’t a huge fraction of the product’s price tag.
7. Obtaining a fitness membership
Many fitness studios allow you to purchase monthly memberships, i.e. packages for a select number of classes or pay-as-you-go plans. It’s always tempting to just pay the small fee for one class each time, but this actually causes you to spend more money, as most studios discount classes that are purchased in bulk.
8. Investing in ENERGY STAR bulbs
Swap outdated incandescent light bulbs for ENERGY STAR CFLs and LEDs to realize significant savings. Not only do ENERGY STAR LEDs use just 25 percent of the energy of incandescent bulbs, they also last up to eight times longer. These bulbs are more expensive initially, but LED lights can last up to 17 years, assuming eight hours of use per day, every day; so the savings are experienced over two decades!
9. Dry cleaning expensive clothing
You might think you’re being budget savvy by ignoring the “dry clean only” tag on the finer items in your closet, but doing so can actually cost you more money. Many fabrics aren’t meant to be cleaned in a standard washer or dryer, so simply tossing them in your home machines can ruin items by stretching and shrinking them, and causing them to lose their shape. Considering these items usually cost more to begin with, this could result in major financial loss should you ruin a suit, cashmere sweater or wool coat, among other items.
10. Purchasing food in resealable packaging
American families throw out roughly 25 percent of the food and beverages they purchase, resulting in $1,365 to $2,275 in waste for the average family of four every year, according to the National Resources Defense Council. Combat some of these costs by purchasing grocery items in resealable packages. These options might cost slightly more up front, but will save you money by allowing you to hold onto them for multiple uses, rather than having to throw them away upon opening.
It’s always important to only spend within your means, but make sure you’re not selling yourself short. Often times, saving up a little extra cash to make a higher-quality purchase can help you ultimately save much more money.
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