You can save money in the long run when you invest in these ten smart purchases that pay for themselves.
10. LED Light Bulbs
Even though they cost more than incandescent bulbs, LED light bulbs are more cost-efficient as well as energy-efficient. For example, a $1 incandescent bulb lasts 1,200 hours and uses $180 worth of electricity over a 23-year span. It also requires 21 changes within that span, which means that over that 23-year period, you’ll end up spending $201 on incandescent light bulbs. On the flip side, an $8 LED light bulb lasts 25,000 hours, uses $30 of electricity over a 23-year span, and doesn’t need changing over that 23-year period!
9. Battery Charger
Think about how many kids you have in your home. Now think about how many toys, handheld video games and other gadgets they own. Now think about how many of those items require batteries to operate them. When you think about it, you are more than likely dropping some serious cash on batteries. This is especially true when Christmas rolls around. Everything on their list seems to require batteries. Then, family members want to bring gifts to the kids but somehow forget to buy the batteries to go along with them. And, we haven’t even taken into account the things you use that require batteries! That’s why it’d be wise to invest in a battery charger. You can buy a universal battery charger for about $20 to $40 and the purchase will pay for itself in no time at all.
8. Metal Roofing
A metal roof will increase your home’s value because they’re longer-lasting and more durable than other types of roofing. They also are more energy-efficient. According to Cornett Roofing, a metal roof can save you nearly 30 percent on cooling costs. That’s because metal roofs reflect the sun’s UV rays, thereby decreasing the amount of heat transferred into your attic and eventually into the rest of your home.
Another plus is that metal roofs are low maintenance. In fact, some metal roofing has been proven to be virtually maintenance-free. Because of this, metal roofs have a long lifespan — 100+ years, to be exact. On the other hand, the average asphalt shingle roof has a lifespan of only 15 years.
TIP: Not all metal roofs are created equal, so make sure you get one that’s energy star rated.
7. TV Streaming Device
Ever since the conversion from analog to digital signal, many people have been forced to subscribe to paid services like cable or satellite for TV entertainment. But, most people nowadays don’t watch TV anyway, or at least not as much as they used to, so it’s not even worth it to pay a huge bill for something they hardly ever use. Fortunately, there are many streaming devices that let you watch TV shows and movies for little or nothing. For example, you can invest $50 in an Amazon Fire TV Stick and pick a subscription service — such as Hulu or Netflix — that starts at just $6 a month. Now that certainly is a lot less than what you’d pay for cable or satellite!
6. Stone Siding
Move over vinyl siding, stone siding is quickly becoming the more popular choice for home renovations. According to MONEY magazine, stone siding has been popping up a lot lately — and with good reason. It’s one of the most cost-effective home renovations. This siding, which is made from concrete that looks like real stone, recoups nearly 95 percent of the initial outlay, a report in Remodeling magazine revealed. But, that all depends on where you live. In Pacific states like California, Oregon and Washington, an initial $9,507 renovation can net homeowners nearly $1,000 more than the original price. But, in mid-Atlantic states like New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, the return for a $9,120 project is just 79.6 percent.
5. Coffee Maker
Do you have any idea how much you spend on coffee each day? Probably not. But, to give you an idea, here’s how much CNBC writer Shawn Carter found out he was spending on Starbucks: $2,300 annually! That could be you, too. You may not be spending that much, but if you tally the results, you’ll still probably be just as shocked. Here’s some advice: Skip the daily trip to Starbucks and purchase a coffee maker instead so you can brew your own coffee at home. And, if you’re really craving that Starbucks flavor, Starbucks sells bags of ground coffee. You can get one from Amazon or Walmart. A 12 oz. bag of Starbucks House Blend Ground Coffee from Walmart costs about $7.00.
4. Solar Electric System
This is one of those products where it’s easy to know when it has paid for itself because you can monitor the amount of kilowatt-hours you produce each month. So, exactly how long does it take for a solar electric system to pay for itself? Between five and twelve years, depending on your electricity rates and how much solar your system produces. Also, keep in mind that the federal solar tax credit allows you to deduct up to 30 percent of the cost of installing a solar energy system in your home, and there’s no cap to the value of the system installed.
3. Efficient Furnace
Depending on how old your furnace is, upgrading to an efficient one can easily save you 40 percent. This is due to what’s known as Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE). AFUE tells you the percentage of fuel that goes to heating your home vs. the amount that escapes through the vent pipe. With older units the AFUE would be in the range of 60 to 65 percent, meaning that about 40 percent is wasted. “However, most of the products that are sold and installed today range from the 95, 96, 97 percent efficiencies,” Kevin Shoemaker with Shoemaker Heating and Plumbing in Palmyra, Michigan, told WUOM FM. Plus, the new technology out today uses two-stage burners and air-handling systems to produce a more steady temperature in your home.
2. Water Filter and Reusable Water Bottle
Many of us have been duped into believing that bottled water is better for us than tap water. But, that couldn’t be any further from the truth. The truth of the matter is if there’s nothing wrong with the tap water at your home, you’re wasting your money on bottled water. “Bottled water costs between $1.00 and $7.50 per gallon nationally, on average”, according to data from the Minnesota Department of Health. Yet, tap water costs less than a penny a gallon. Plus, that bottled water you’re buying just might be tap water that’s been purified. According to the International Bottled Water Association (IBWA), “many bottled water companies use public water sources for their products.” In fact, more than 25 percent of bottled water comes from a municipal supply, Reader’s Digest says.
This might not be such a great purchase if you live in a rural area since everything is usually so spread out, but you can save tons of money riding a bicycle to work instead of driving a car if you live in an urban area. “Let’s say you drive 10 miles to and from work each day and use a gallon of gas. With gas prices averaging about $2.83 a gallon, that’s more than $14 for the week and more than $700 for the year — before factoring in errands around town and other excursions besides commuting,” MSN wrote in an article published on its website.
Your turn! What products have you purchased that have paid for themselves? Drop us a note about them in the comments section below. We’d love to hear from you!