We all enjoy the odd bargain and inexpensive label that delivers quality at a fraction of the price; however, sometimes shelling out a bit more up front can mean greater cost savings down the track.
Check out these seven things that could provide you with financial benefits over the long term.
1. Energy efficient products
Energy efficient appliances—fridges, washing machines, microwaves and air conditioners, can literally save you hundreds of dollars each year in running costs, with such appliances accounting for up to 33% of people’s home energy use, Australian Government figures show1.
The energy rating label is mandatory for a range of equipment so you can easily assess the energy consumption on the appliances you’re looking at.
Likewise, energy-efficient light bulbs often use about 25% to 80% less energy than traditional incandescent light bulbs and generally last three to 25 times longer2.
2. Water-efficient appliances
The Australian Government estimates by 2021 Australians could save more than $1 billion on their water and energy bills3 by using more water-efficient appliances and fixtures, specifically water-efficient showerheads, washing machines and toilets.
In addition, rain water tanks, which can be just as useful in urban areas as they are in rural zones, can generate cost savings. Tanks range from around $700 to $20004 and rebates may apply.
3. Solar power systems
Solar power systems, which generate free electricity, are becoming increasingly popular, with about 1.63 million roof top systems installed across the country as at 1 January 20175.
While there are upfront costs involved, solar power systems are becoming more affordable. Plus, they require little maintenance and generally last 20 years or more. Rebates here may also apply.
Marcus Dorreen, Director of Retail at energy services company Evergen (co-owned by CSIRO), says pre and post-retirees are showing increasing interest in solar batteries, with 50% of inquiries coming from people over age 55, with owners of solar battery systems reporting electricity-cost savings of up to 80%.
4. Programmable thermostats
On average, 40% of energy used in homes across Australia is for heating and cooling6.
By using thermostats and timers to make sure you're only heating a room as much as you need (and as required) can save you considerable money, depending on your usage.
5. Vegetable and herb gardens
Data from The Australia Institute shows 52% of all Australian households are growing some of their own food, with a further 13% intending to do so7.
Of the top five reasons to grow food at home, saving money was the second most popular response at 62%. Statistics indicate however that it’s not until people are saving more than $250 a year (which only 16% of people are), that real cost savings are achieved.
6. Beverage supplies
If you’re in the habit of buying a $4 bottle of water, coffee or smoothie every day, then your take-away drink of choice is costing you over $1,400 over a 12-month period.
Investing in a reusable drinking bottle, blender or espresso machine could save you hundreds of dollars per year.
7. Extended warranties
Extended warranties cost you a little more upfront but if you have a home appliance or device that breaks, particularly an expensive one like a fridge or laptop, you’ll be comforted to know you won’t be slogged with a high repair bill. Plus, if the equipment can’t be fixed, the company will usually replace it.
There are big and small investments you can make around the home today that will pay for themselves and help save hundreds, or even thousands of dollars, over the months and years ahead.
An added benefit is that many of these investments can lessen our impact on the environment at the same time!
Don’t forget, if you are keen to keep costs down around the home in general, we have a range of budgeting and planning calculators that may be able to assist.
Paying off study debts coupled with wage growth can make a big difference.