Knowing how to effectively spend your money so that you get the most from it can most certainly improve your quality of life – which brings me to the topic of frugality. Many people assume that being frugal means being poor or extremely cheap. However, this is not what being frugal means.
Being frugal essentially means being more economically aware of your purchases, essentially getting the most bang for your buck. Part of that means making smart purchasing decisions that will ultimately save you money over a long period of time. A frugal person doesn’t always look for the cheapest option, but the most effective economical option that will benefit them now and sometimes in the future.
With that being said, here are few purchases you might consider investing in today that could save you money long run.
1. A Transit Pass – For those who live in an area where having your own means of transportation is unnecessary (i.e. New York or Philadelphia), investing in a transit pass might be a more affordable option. When you factor in the cost of gas, car payments, and maintenance/repairs, over the course of a year you could be looking at spending thousands of dollars. Though the cost of car ownership has dropped over the last few years, you’re still looking at an average of more than $8,000 per year. However, a transit pass will likely cost you somewhere around $50-$100 per month depending on where you live and how far you travel daily. This averages about $600 – $1200 per year.
2. Streaming TV subscriptions – The cost of cable is outrageous these days. Not only are you paying for services you hardly use, but after the promotional period runs out, the prices go up. Even a basic cable subscription could cost you $50 not including internet or phone services. At $50 per month you’re looking at a whopping $600 or more per year. However, if you invest in a streaming television subscription service costing as little as $8 a month, you’re only spending about $100 per year.
3. A Coffee Machine – According to ABC news the average American spends about $1,100 per year on coffee alone! Investing in a coffee or espresso machine will likely run you anywhere from $20 to a few hundred dollars. However, the coffee machine would last you at least 2-5 years which makes the investment more than worth it.
4. A Crock-Pot – One of the quickest ways to watch your money go down the drain is ordering takeout. Whether you order from the dollar menu or use coupons it really starts to add up. One of the most common reasons we order takeout is because we’re busy and don’t have the time to make a meal. A crock-pot could eliminate the problem and the excuse. You simply throw the ingredients in the pot in the morning, and come home to a good meal at night. Crock pots only cost a few bucks and can save you thousands of dollars each year.
Here’s a great recipe to get you started.
5. Insurance – When you think of insurance of course you think about another monthly bill you have to pay. However, investing in insurance today will save you money down the line. Let’s say your apartment is robbed. The cost to replace everything could be more than you could afford, but by having the right renters insurance coverage, you could save money and have your items replaced at no additional cost. The same goes for car insurance. If you’re in an accident without insurance coverage, you will have to pay the entire bill which can cost thousands of dollars. However, car insurance requires that you only pay the deductible which of course is a lot less than paying out of pocket for your vehicle damages, medical costs, and so on.
As you can see, the above investments are certainly worth considering when you think about the overall costs of living without them. How do you save money? Let us know in the comments below!