It might not make sense right away, but if you think about it, there are ways you can actually end up saving money in the long run by spending it right now. There is a fine line between cheapskate and smart shopper, and learning to walk that line could end up pumping up the balance in your savings account.
Take groceries, for instance. Why subject yourself to the ever-changing prices in the meat section of your favorite store, and hope you hit a good sale, when you can save hundreds of dollars a year by buying in bulk? Yes, we’re talking about buying the uncut version of a cow as opposed to two pounds of ground beef at a time.
You don’t need to live on a farm to take advantage of bulk meat pricing. You can purchase a quarter of a cow from a local farmer, and have a butcher cut it into hamburger, flank and sirloin steaks and package it for you. An extra benefit of buying local? Healthier food for your family. Local farms often raise all-natural or even organic beef, pork and chicken. You may also find deals on fresh, seasonal produce, which you can package and freeze for later use. Scope out the next farmer’s market in your area and ask around; you might be pleasantly surprised at the deals to be made. If you simply don’t have time to shop, many stores now offer online purchasing options and home delivery.
Go for quality rather than quantity. Although it may seem cheaper to buy that discount suit or pair of shoes from a big box store, it probably won’t stand the test of time that a higher quality item will. There’s a reason wing tip shoes and wool coats are classics; they last. Investing in a good quality clothing item that will last year after year with proper care can be a much smarter use of your budget dollars than repurchasing lesser quality items several times over the course of the next year or two.
Invest in yourself. Whether it’s a quality suit and tie for that job interview, or a self-development course to acquire skills that could help you move up the corporate ladder, don’t forget to invest in yourself. Continuing education is a great way to add to your skill set and qualify for a better paying position, either with your current employer or perhaps as an independent consultant. Sometimes the best investments are right under your nose.
Invest in your relationships. Although date nights and family vacations (or “staycations”) don’t have to be expensive, they are worthy investments. Setting aside time and money to build lasting memories with the ones you love is priceless (and it could be a lot less expensive than buying apology gifts). Besides, how much fun would it be to make it to the top of your profession after investing in yourself, if you had no one to celebrate your success with?
Consider hiring a financial advisor. This expense can be a very smart way to make the most of your money, both now and in the future. Talk with someone who has a proven track record of good money management, and let them help you put a plan together that works for your current budget, and which can be adjusted over time. A financial expert often has successful strategies that can assist you in reaching your financial goals quicker and less painfully than if you tried to figure things out all by yourself.
We hope these ideas have helped you see that sometimes, it is wiser to go ahead and spend money now to reap the benefits – and the savings – in the long run.