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We're always talking about saving money, but sometimes spending money can help you save more in the long run. Here are 10 instances doling out cash can help you add more to your savings.
Do a big weekly grocery shop
I like to cook, but I'm a little lazy about buying groceries. It's hard to drop a lot of money on food all at once! When I do a big shop, it always seems like I'm spending so much money. Last week, for instance, the tab came to over $100 for two people. But, when I get lazy and don't do a grocery shop, I wind up going back to the store four or five times in a week, and end up spending even more than I would if I had just bought all my food for the week at once. Plan a few meals and make yourself go to the grocery store once a week.
Resole your shoes
I once had a pair of $150 boots that sat around for two years without once seeing the light of day because the soles had worn down. They were my favorite pair of boots, but I figured they were probably done for. I actually bought two other pairs of boots — and was going for a third when the light bulb went off — just get my old boots resoled! It cost about $50 and they feel like a whole new pair of boots. Save money on excessive numbers of shoes by getting your old pair resoled.
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Maintain your car
It's hard to part with the costs associated with maintaining your car — a $30 oil change, $20 for a tire rotation, or $75 for a tune up. But often these routine maintenance jobs will save you far more in the long run. Also, a simple vacuum and detail job for about $40 will have your car looking and feeling like new.
Spend money on your health
I'm not a health freak in the least — I love to bake anything with butter and sugar! — but I am willing to spend on keeping my overall health up to par. That means investing in some high quality foods like vegetables and organic meat. I buy vitamins and herbs to keep my immune system up. It also means spending money on a gym and workout equipment. Overall preventative health care keeps me out of the doctor's office, in shape, and from spending a lot of money associated with health problems.
Become a member
Except for a gym and a video store, I've never been a member of a store or club. However, I have friends and family that swear by big savings when they become members of stores like Costco, Sam's Club, and Amazon.com. How much do you save by being a store member?
I know green products can be super expensive, but some can actually save you money over time. Replacing your shower head to a low-flow can save you money on your water bill, and compact fluorescent lightbulbs will cut down on your over electricity bill. This also applies to spending a bit extra on energy-efficient refrigerators and dryers.
Back up your files
If you have a computer, spend $60-$100 on an external hard drive, please! If your computer crashes you won't have to pay even more money having someone recover all your lost files.
Buy clothes that look good, and fit
I'm not above shopping at thrift stores and Target, but it's worth it to spend money on a few nice pieces of clothing from a higher end store or brand, or even bringing old clothes to a tailor to have them repaired or altered. Higher quality clothes that fit also tend to wear out slower because they stretch out less, and wear out at a slower pace.
Buy a water filter
Think back about how much money you've spent on bottled water over the past decade and you might cringe — in fact, Americans spend an average of $1,400 every year on bottled water. Save your money by buying a high quality water filter, usually for about $100 and you'll save thousands of dollars over time.
Go on vacation
It might seem counter intuitive, but going on vacation can actually save you money overall. (Here's some places to fantasize about going that aren't all that inexpensive to visit. I know when I'm feeling burned out, I tend to spend money on junk food, shopping, alcohol, and other small expenses that add up over time. Going away, even on a short, inexpensive vacation will prevent burning out, and upon returning, I'm more likely to return to better habits, including better spending and budgeting habits. Offering vacation time to employees also saves businesses money by allowing workers to take time to reboot and be more productive at work.
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