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Thursday, June 4, 2015

Do You Need to Spend Money to Save Money?

You’ve heard people say that you need money to invest in order to make money.  I won’t argue about that one – I’m not a great investor of stock and bonds (and I should be).  However, I know that sometimes you need to spend some money in order to save some as well (save MORE than what you spend!).  For example…

1. Buying a few KITCHEN APPLIANCES to save on eating out or convenience foods: a blender will do wonders for you if you like mixed drinks; a coffee maker or a French press will help you drink good coffee at home and not go to a coffee shop; a wok will permit you to make delicious stir-fries at home; etc.  You get the point.  Of course these appliances can be received for birthdays and celebrations, but do not put on hold buying a $12 frying pan for your omelets if that means you will eat in for weekend brunch.

2. Buying a BICYCLE to save on transportation.  This is very important if your bus pass does not cover transportation in the summer.  But more than that, a bicycle can make it more convenient for you to get around AND it provides exercise.  However, bicycles come in a wide price range: from just above $100 at your favorite Canadian T*** store to thousands of dollars for a 20 lbs road bike.  However, to be useful, the cheap model works very well.  A used one is an even better deal.  In the same vein, investing in WARM WINTER CLOTHES means you will not mind as much walking outside in winter and will skip using a taxi.

3. You’ll need a few BUSINESS pieces of CLOTHING in order to interview for jobs and to work (unless there is a mandatory uniform).  Regardless, clean pants (I like navy or black)and a couple of button down shirts are not expensive and can be purchased in good shape, at a used clothing store (Value Village has lots).

4. Purchasing a SHOPPING CADDY can mean not having to take a taxi when you come back from grocery shopping.  This depends entirely on where your closest or discount grocery store is, but when I was a graduate student, the bus did not drop me off close enough to home for me to easily carry my grocery bags home every week.  Having a shopping caddy meant I could avoid taking a taxi after a particularly successful shopping trip.  A large back pack is very convenient too, but often more expensive (although it looks much cooler than the shopping caddy).  The shopping caddy is also very useful when using a laundromat.

In general, buying certain items in order to save money (in the long run) makes sense – however, you can see that the items I’m suggesting are not all that exciting to buy!

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