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Spend Money Today To Save Money Tomorrow.

Those of you who are regular readers of this site know that I am not a fan of spending money I don’t have on things that don’t bring me very much in return. I often talk about saving your money for experiences rather than “things” that you don’t need, but this post is about the exact opposite. This post is about spending money today in order to save yourself money tomorrow. What in the world am I talking about? There are things you can buy today that will continue to save you money long after you have paid for them…and I have no problem buying items like this at all!

One of the things that I have bought a lot of lately are the Forever Stamps from the USPS. Forever Stamps can be used to mail a one-ounce letter regardless of when the stamps are purchased or used and no matter how prices may change in the future. Currently, the price of a regular postage stamp is $.42, but the price of postage goes up $.02 to $.44 in May…but if you buy Forever Stamps now at $.42, those will still be good for any first-class mail in eternity. Small savings in the short term, but bigger savings in the long run the more stamps that you have! And ours should last a while, as I really only use one or two a month.

Another great purchase that saves you money in the long term (and saves the environment, too) is a reusable water bottle that you can fill up with tap water. I am a huge proponent of tap water, and I truly believe that bottled water is not only a scam but a huge waste of money. Even if your tap water at home isn’t great, installing a $35 filter can clean it up pretty good. By using a reusable bottle from the likes of Sigg or Klean Kanteen, you are not only saving yourself from buying $1-$3 plastic bottles of water, but you are also reducing the ridiculous distances that some water travels to get to your store (think Fiji), and keeping all that plastic out of the waste stream. (Need help choosing a bottle? Check out “How To Choose A Safe Reusable Water Bottle“.)

Yet another way I save money in the long term by buying today is stocking up on food staples when they go on sale. Things like pasta noodles, grains, cans of soup, etc., can be bought in bulk and lasts nearly forever. Whenever you see a huge sale on items like this, at prices you have never seen before (even better if you have a coupon!), spend the extra couple of bucks to stock up. This not only helps to make sure you have some food on hand for quick dinners or even emergency situations, but it also can save you a ton of dough. Look for those long-term items at the store, and pick some extras up when they are on sale!

There are many different ways to spend money today to save money later, but these are just a few of the things that we have done. Do you think long-term about your expenses too? What kinds of things do you buy today so that you can save a little cash down the line? Let me (and everyone else) know in the comments so we can learn from each other!

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Comments (11)

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  1. I did not know stamps were going up so soon. Thanks for the tips. What time does the post office open? :)

    Thanks,
    Nate

  2. Yes, stock up on forever stamps. I did an analysis of them as potential investments. At the rate they keep increasing prices forever stamps offer a 2% return. Not fantastic by long term standards, but it was a fun exercise.

  3. Annie Jones says:

    In terms of a bigger purchases, we are using part of our tax return to buy a whole-house fan (sometimes called an attic fan) which my husband will install himself. It will help us avoid turning on the A/C in late spring and early fall (and maybe even all but the hottest of summer evenings), thereby saving money on cooling costs. We aren’t sure, but we anticipate it paying for itself in 1-3 years.

  4. I just blogged about this month being a good time to buy long underwear, as all the winter inventory goes on sale. Winter is almost over, so it’s like buying Christmas wrapping paper in January. Long underwear helps us stay comfortable while we keep our thermostat set at just 64 F during the day all through winter. Those longjohns will come in handy in another seven or eight months.

    I also recently ordered a solar oven. I look forward to learning to use it.

  5. You make some excellent points here. The one I like most is about the reusable water bottles. I am such an advocate of buying a good water bottle and reusing it over and over and over again (and washing it some too!).

    Good post.

  6. [...] Spend Money Today To Save Money Tomorrow. I like the idea of spending more money for buying quality items that last instead of cheap items that need replaced more often. [...]

  7. The price of stamps is tied to the consumer price index, which is approximately tied to the inflation rate. You might want to think twice before tying up your money in something that rises in value at just the rate of inflation. As pointed out in the article I found below, when you buy and use the stamps is important in this consideration, but I personally would not stock up on many of these.

    One other point, you might get an initial “return” on your investment, but keep in mind that this investment really doesn’t compound at all the way your cash would if it sat in a high rate CD or in the stock market (as it will eventually…).

    On the other hand, I’m writing an article now about how our local grocery store is offering 10% bonuses when you buy gift cards. This is certainly enough of a hedge to purchase at least several thousands of dollars worth of these cards, since there’s no limit.

    http://www.thesimpledollar.com/2007/02/27/usps-announces-the-forever-stamp-is-it-worth-your-039/

    http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2007/May/03/bz/FP705030317.html

  8. Johan says:

    Buying forever stamps is not a wise investment. MITBeta said it all, so I will just back up his/her post.

  9. David says:

    It’s not about an investment; it’s about saving a few bucks here and there. My mom uses 25 stamps a month, as she doesn’t trust online bill pay – over the course of a year, that’s 300 stamps. That’s quite a bit of savings if you buy forever stamps today.

  10. Forever stamps are good to buy just before rates go up, but you should buy only enough to last until just before the next rate increase. I got the impression that you were suggesting stocking up for a lot longer period. This would tie up cash that could probably earn a better return elsewhere.

    I apologize if I mischaracterized what you meant.

  11. david says:

    No worries MITBeta – but if someone is like my mom who uses over 300 stamps a year, buying enough for a year or two saves the purchaser from the rise in price for at least that long.

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