Saving by Buying? How would that make sense?
How can you save money by spending money? It seems pretty counterintuitive, but there are a few things I purchased in just the last week, that I expect will result in money savings in the long term.
1) I got lured in by an Amazon deal. I know that sounds like a bad idea, but in this case it’s going to play out in my favor. Again this is taking a long term approach. I bought Sanyo SEC-N16SETEVP eneloop Super Power Pack rechargeable batteries. Between the game systems, cameras, and remote controls it seems like I’m buying batteries at least once a month. This package should eliminate that. I already own some of these eneloop batteries so I know how good they are. However, I did not own enough to offset all of our needs. Well, I will now. And for $33.99 the payback period on these is probably only 6 months to a year given our battery usage. In addition, I will be sending a lot fewer disposable batteries to the recycling bin!
2) I got gamed by PenFed. As I’ve been ranting about this month, PenFed has been making me crazy with new rules on the Platinum Cash Rewards VISA. Particularly, the idea of paying an annual fee annoyed the shit out of me and threatened to really eat into my 5% gas rewards. So, I gave in and moved $1,000 over to PenFed from my Uncertainty Fund (AKA emergency fund) to open a 2 year money market certificate (AKA a CD) at 1% interest. By doing so I avoid the annual fee AND I earn a higher rate of return on a small portion of my emergency fund. So, in the short and long term this should pay off positively since my gas rewards will not be eroded and I’m getting decent interest on the CD. Did I say decent interest? 1% is decent interest? ARGH! Oh well, that’s a different post I guess.
3) I bought AND successfully installed a toilet tank repair kit! I am not a professional plumber. I am not even an amateur plumber so this is a bit of a big deal for me. There’s a toilet near my home office that has been running incessantly for about a month. Many times during that month I have removed the lid and looked thoughtfully at the amazing engineering feat that is the modern toilet. It overwhelmed me. I would jiggle some parts, particularly a floating lever that seemed to control the water flow. It always seemed to settle a bit too low to turn off the water. My solution being the brilliant MBA that I am was to simply bend the rod so the balloon would raise the lever higher. This worked well for about a day until the lever then starting flipping from side to side after a flush because I had bent it of course! My next solution was to dump a cup of water into the tank after every flush. This worked completely but was unsustainable due to the high level of annoyance it engendered in me. So I finally caved and just bought the repair kit. I avoided the kit and it’s absurd looking parts for at least 2 weekends because well I was clueless. Finally I opened it up and voila! There was a great set of instructions with diagrams and part labels. I got to work and with a little help and only a little screaming and flooding was able to subdue the mighty beast in 2-3 hours. My guess is this is a 15 minute job for a real plumber. So my cost savings here is either a trickle because I spent $10 to eliminate a constant water leak or huge because I avoided having DW call a plumber or simply completely replacing the entire toilet (which she did mention).
So, there you have it. Saving by buying. What about you? Any examples of potential long-term savings from any purchases this week?