If you’re anything like me, you probably prefer to buy the cheapest items possible just to save a few cents. Chances are that you probably avoid certain purchases altogether, because you perceive them as being unnecessary or overly expensive. But while this spendthrift attitude may be helpful most of the time, there are times when it can actually be detrimental to your savings plan. In fact, there are some so-called ‘expensive’ purchases that can actually save you money. Read on to discover five ‘splurges’ that can improve your life and your bottom line.
Cappuccino machine – If you’ve ever looked at the price tag on a high-end gourmet coffee machine, you know that it can cost somewhere in the hundreds of dollars. But then again, if you’ve looked at the cost of a cup at some coffee bars recently, you’ve probably noticed that a cup of coffee can cost as much as a full meal in some food chains. Here’s the bottom line:
Approximate cost: $200+
You’ll break even after…about 75 specialty coffee shop brews
Compact fluorescent light bulbs – For just a few cents, a traditional incandescent light bulb can last for 700-1000 hours. This may seem like a lot, but compact fluorescent light bulbs can last for over 10,000 hours, while using significantly less electricity to run.
Approximate cost: $3+
You’ll break even after…About 915 hours of usage
Water filtration system – If you purchase bottled water regularly when you’re on the go or you have gallon jugs delivered to your home water cooler, chances are good that you’re spending upwards of $30 each month on drinking water. Having a water filtration system installed on your kitchen sink will allow you to have crisp, drinkable water without the steep monthly fee. Filters that are attached to the faucet’s exterior are the cheapest, but even more stylish models that are installed under the sink can be found for a reasonable price.
Approximate cost: $40 for a faucet filter or $60 for an under-sink filter
You’ll break even after…1-2 months
Laptop – Today’s laptops only cost a bit more than a desktop, and are designed to last just as long (assuming you don’t drop it). The beauty of a laptop is that it requires much less energy to run, and can be used for hours at a time without charging it, which saves you money regularly. As an added advantage, a laptop can be used to continue working on those days when your internet service is out (I don’t know about you, but I have at least two of those a year, when it snows, when there’s an electrical failure, or when the cable company has an internal glitch).
Approximate cost: $400+
You’ll break even after…About a year
Smart power strip – I once mentioned that 75% of a home’s electricity is used when the power is off. This is known as the phantom charge, and it’s a phenomenon that can be easily avoided by using a smart power strip. Available on Amazon, these power strips can stop the flow of electricity to multiple electronic devices simultaneously, and can save you money for years to come.
Approximate cost: $25-$30, depending on the model
You’ll break even after: About 9 months
I hope you enjoy shopping for these items, guilt-free!