Putting in a little extra cash up front can save you a lot of money (and stress) over time.
With most of your hard-earned money going toward bills and living expenses, it's nice to give into temptation every once in a while and splurge on something for yourself. But if a guilty conscience is weighing on you, there are a few expenses that can help make your dollars go further while still allowing you to treat yourself. To help keep your wallet and yourself happy at the same time, consider making the following purchases.
1. A high-end coffee maker
There's no denying that caffeine is a crutch many of us depend on to function during the day. But if going to a local coffee shop is part of your morning routine, that pick-me-up might be costing you more than you realize. Indulging in a $5 beverage as little as three times a week amounts to a whopping $780 on a yearly basis. So why not get the comforts of a café at home? With gourmet coffee makers regularly being on sale for less than $200, you'll already be ahead of the game by the end of your first year even after factoring in the beans, creamer and sugar.
2. Quality clothing
From loose threads to patterns that don't really line up, it should come as no surprise that clothing from bargain stores isn't made to last. Although their prices are too good to pass up at first, these items typically lose their shape and colour far too soon. While revamping your wardrobe isn't something that needs to happen overnight, you should start making more of an effort to invest in high-quality, designer pieces. Spending a little extra on key basics means you'll get more wear and value out of the items you love most.
3. A hybrid car
Do you cringe at the sight of your fuel light going on? If prices at the pump are getting too much to bear, stop by a local Toyota dealer to check out the 2018 Prius Prime and Prius c. With base models coming factory-equipped with luxury features, the Prius' sticker price is quite comparable to that of a gasoline engine vehicle with the same features. What sets the Prius apart from the rest is its great fuel economy and lower cost of ownership. Aside from being reported as having the lowest average maintenance costs of any car over a 10-year period, the Prius uses almost 50 per cent less fuel than non-hybrid alternatives, meaning more value is actually returned to hybrid owners the higher gas prices are.
4. A slow cooker
After a long day of working and running errands, it can be hard to find the motivation to cook by the time you get home. While takeout is quick and easy, it won't be long until you find yourself hungry and frustrated all over again thanks to its small portions and high price point. For hassle-free cooking that won't break the bank, incorporate a slow cooker into your weekly meal plan. With the ability to cook almost anything, you'll love the time and money it saves you.
5. Home energy efficiency upgrades
Even if you're conscientious of your water use and are mindful about not leaving lights and appliances on, you're not reaping the full value of your efforts if your home isn't up-to-date in terms of energy efficiency. Switching to LED bulbs is an easy way to save money as they use less energy and last much longer than regular bulbs. A smart thermostat can help you monitor and optimize your heating use, so that you heat and cool your home only when you need to.
6. Protective phone case
Cell phones aren't used just to call and text anymore. They're our mini computers, personal planners, portable music libraries and even a digital extension of out wallets. With an increasing dependency on the smart phone, who can risk having to fork over hundreds of dollars for a new one? As careful as you may be, accidents happen and outfitting your phone with a high-quality case can ensure your it's protected against whatever life throws your way.
Saving money doesn't have to fill your life with restrictions and sacrifices. In some cases, spending more wisely means paying a little extra now instead of over time. So, if any of these purchases seem like a good idea to you, why not start investing in your future now? You'll thank yourself later!