This is a guest post by Dave, who is also looking to retire no later than 45, but unlike Tim has no kids and doesn’t want any. Dave is from Ontario and is working towards his CGA certification.
I try to limit my consumerism significantly in order to attain a level of savings that will eventually be high enough that I no longer have to work. I stop myself (usually) from making wasteful purchases, and as such have begun (compared to five years ago) been able to somewhat reduce the amount of crap that I have lying around my house. There are a couple of purchases that I am pondering that may actually save me money down the road.
The first item I am looking at is fairly cheap, less than $100, that could possibly save me 25% in fuel costs per year for my car. I’d like to think that I am an efficient driver, but if I could save some of the approximately $2,000 per year in fuel costs I take on, I would be a happy person. I read about the Ultragauge in an article written by Mr. Money Moustache and have been pondering this purchase for the last month or so. On top of helping me, my wife just recently started driving our car by herself and this tool could possibly teach her to drive much more efficiently.
The second purchase I am looking into is a tankless water heater. Currently, I am renting a hot water heater – it was here when my wife and I moved in and we just haven’t really thought about it since then. This purchase will cost between about $1,500 and $2,000. It costs me about $35 per month for the hot water heater rental, so it would be about 4 years before I would have repaid the capital cost of the heater. I’m hoping that due to some efficiency gains had by not constantly heating a huge tank of water, that it would work out to around 3.5 years. Looking at cashflow, it’s one less payment I would have to make every month as well, and I am always looking to rid myself of bills.
One purchase that I made when I had just moved into my house, and has paid significant dividends is a programmable thermostat. This cost around $80 and easily saved that much money over the first 6 months between heating and cooling costs. In the winter when my wife and I are at work, the house is kept at a somewhat frigid 10 degrees Celsius. We make sure that it’s warm enough for when we get home, and then shut off the heat about an hour before we go to bed – on a normal weekday, the heat comes on for about an hour in the morning and 4 hours in the evening.
Those are just a few examples of many I’m sure there are for products that can be purchased that would save money.
What have you spent money on to save in the long-run?