Sometimes we’re less afraid about something going wrong than we are about something not being as good as it can be. We don’t want to waste a good opportunity, and every time we have some money to spend is another opportunity to better our lives.
So, how do we know whether we’re making good purchases? Here we’ve assembled some lesser-known ways to spend $20 and get more than your money’s worth.
It’s not a bad idea to be opportunistic about your spending habits. If there’s something on sale that you don’t need right now but you will need eventually, why not get it now?
For this reason, it’s also advised to stock up on nonperishable foods and non-foods that won’t deteriorate, such as toilet paper and paper towels. Especially if these are cheaper in bulk or on sale (or both!), you can wind up saving much more money in the long run.
Another way to save more endgame money is to switch to LED lightbulbs. Many people have already made the switch from incandescent bulbs to fluorescent (or CFL) ones, which are the better choice between those two. But these days, LEDs are even more efficient than either of those.
Some may be scared off by LED bulbs because they’re much more expensive per unit than other bulbs, but between the energy saved and how long these bulbs last before they burn out, they’ll wind up saving you much more money over the years.
Look for things that can be used for many reasons for a long time. Many would recommend investing in a reusable shopping bag or a small backpack, and other storage-and-transport options. After all, a reusable shopping bag can be used to carry much more than groceries. Not only will these last quite a while, but they’ll be better for the environment than using plastic bags.
Many would also recommend buying a reusable water bottle for similar reasons: convenience and consciousness. But some people don’t like plastic or metal water bottles because they’re bulky and not as convenient as they ought to be.
Fortunately, somebody recently had the bright idea to create a collapsible water bottle – think of one of those foil fruit-juice pouches, except bigger, sturdier and reusable. As innovative as these are, they still run cheap.
There are some cheap and simple solutions available to solve problems you may never need to solve, but if you ever do have to, you’ll want the solution.
Carbon monoxide leaks are thankfully rare, but they do happen, and an astounding amount of people don’t have carbon monoxide detectors in their homes. CO detectors are cheap, so there’s no reason not to get one if you can, just in case something bad should happen.
Similarly, many people don’t own jumper cables for their cars (and even fewer know how to use them correctly). Whenever somebody’s car needs a jump, nobody seems to have the wires around. So, whether it will be you or somebody else who needs their services, it pays to be the person who has them.
The Best Option?
Really, the “correct” way to make use of $20 would be to simply save it for a rainy day. This might seem obvious to some, but to others, it might be a tough move to make.
People who often find themselves tight on money might feel compelled to spend any extra funds right away, to make sure they get to see their money go toward something tangible before it gets eaten away by bills and little expenses here and there. Whether or not that’s a flawed line of reasoning is irrelevant, because any habit is tough to break.
But the key to getting over bad habits is replacing them with better ones.
Maybe, right now, it makes sense to stock up on canned soup or double-A batteries. Maybe it makes sense to buy a canvas knapsack or a little round disk that will hopefully never have to do its job. Maybe it even makes sense to treat yourself just a bit.
But the most sensible option could be to save your money for a time when such purchases do make sense.