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.
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 show.i
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 longer.ii
The Australian Government estimates by 2021 Australians could save more than $1 billion on their water and energy billsiii by using more water-efficient appliances and fixtures, specifically water-efficient
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 $2000iv and rebates may apply.
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 2017.v
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%.
On average, 40% of energy used in homes across Australia is for heating and cooling.vi 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.
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 so.vii
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.
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.
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!
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This article contains information that is general in nature. It does not take into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular person. You need to consider your financial situation and needs before making any decisions based on this information.