There’s an old saying that states, “It takes money to make money.” Well, I’m here to say that it sometimes also takes money to save money. For instance, my husband is charged an annual monthly web hosting fee for one of our web servers. It is slightly on the expensive side, but we get a lot of use out of it, and we generally like our hosting company. The other day, he received an email that touted a great deal: Purchase 5-years of web hosting in advance, and save 3 months off your host bill. Well, that sounds terrific. However, the bad news is that the 5-year deal would cost us $18,800, and this is after the 3-months off!
So, this got me thinking about other things that are a great deal, if you have the chunk of change lying around and can afford it. I’ll begin with the small items, the ones that seem more doable for most people.
- Bulk Groceries through a warehouse-style store: purchasing bulk paper goods, canned items, and dry food goods through Costco, or someplace similar to this, usually saves a shopper some money. But the catch is that you need to pay for an annual membership, usually about $50. You also need to be able to afford the total cost of the bulk items, so even if you save $8.00 on the bulk paper goods, you need to be able to afford $25 out of pocket to begin with.
- Carton of cigars or cigarettes: Of course, I’m not advocating smoking, it’s a dirty, nasty habit. Unfortunately, my husband is a cigar smoker. He finds that purchasing cigars in large quantities saves money, usually $2.50 per pack is saved. But, again, the initial pack costs almost $60. When we have this amount to spend, so that we can save in the long run, we purchase the boxes. If not, we are stuck with purchasing single packs from 7-11 for almost $5.00 a pop. Double Yuck!
- Metro Passes: You can save a ton over the long haul if you purchase a monthly metro pass for $40-50, especially if you ride the subway or bus daily. However, there are many people who don’t have that cash on hand, so they are stuck paying up to $5.00 a day or more for their transit. This can add up quickly to $60 or more a month. Purchasing the pass could save at least $10 a month.
- Parking permits: If you have to pay for parking near your work, or you go to school, purchasing a monthly or quarterly parking permit will save you money in the long run. But, again, you need to dish out $300 or more, depending on how long the parking permit is good for, up front. Yet another example of spending money to save money.
Now for some examples of large ticket items, the more money you have to begin with, the more you can save. Here are just a few examples:
- Putting a large down payment on a house: The more money you have saved for a down payment, the less of a loan you will need to take out. Usually, the large down payment will also qualify you for the lowest interest loan (providing your credit matches up with the amount you saved).
- Vacation Specials: JetBlue recently ran a special, pay $599 for a month and fly as much as you like. This is great, if you have the money and the time to fly.
- Auto purchase: This is pretty much the same as the house, put down a large down payment on a car, get a better APR on your auto loan. The amount of the loan will also be smaller, which is makes it easier to pay off.
I’m sure there are many, many other items I could think of or research. These are just ones that popped off the top of my (I mean my husband’s) head. Sometimes, those closest to you are the inspirations for ideas (and posts)!