9 Purchases That’ll Cost You Today — But Save You Money in the Future
You know the old cliche: You have to spend money to make money… er, save money.
Yes, we generally try to find ways to avoid spending money — there’s nothing like getting a great deal (or freebie)!
But sometimes, a little upfront splurge is worthwhile, especially if it’ll save a ton of money in the long run.
Here are nine ways to save money later by spending some today…
1. Subscribe to Save on Shaving Supplies
What do you typically spend on a five-pack of disposable razors from a retailer like Target? Five dollars? And you have to go to the store to pick them up or pay for shipping to have them delivered.
With a Dollar Shave Club subscription, you can get a free handle, plus up to five fresh blades every month for as little as $1.
That’s $48 per year in savings — $2,352 saved on shaving supplies from age 18 until you retire at 67 (because, after that, why not let it go?)
And DSC takes all the work out of stocking shaving supplies. You can set your subscription and forget it.
You can easily switch to every other month or pause your subscription if you’re traveling. It’s also easy to add items, like shaving butter and even hair gel, when you need them.
You can sign up now and get your first month free (after that, it’s just a few dollars each month).
2. Become a Member to Get Free Shipping on Amazon
You already know shopping on Amazon is a smart way to save money on almost everything on your list. Use Amazon Prime to make the most of those savings with free two-day shipping.
At $99 per year, you’ll want to do the math to ensure a Prime membership is worth it.
For example, if you receive about three shipments per month at approximately $5 each in shipping costs, Prime would save you $81 every year. If you rely on Amazon for everything from electronics to essentials like food and toiletries, your savings could be far more.
A Prime membership comes with some pretty cool money-saving perks beyond free shipping, too.
Members get access to streaming TV, movies and music; unlimited reading in books, magazines and more; unlimited photo storage, plus early access to Amazon Lightning deals. Think of how much you could save stocking your Kindle!
Sign up here to start a one-month free trial (after that, it’s $99 for the year or $10.99 per month).
3. Shop Online to Earn Gift Cards
We often find better deals shopping online than in-store — but there’s an even better reason to shop online. You can earn free gift cards.
The trick is signing up for a website called MyPoints, a cash-back site that rewards you for the shopping you were going to do anyway.
When you sign up, you can take advantage of this special offer: You’ll get a $10 gift certificate of your choice when you spend $20 on anything.
That’s an automatic $10 in savings next time you shop!
Here’s how to get it:
- Sign up for MyPoints with your name and email address.
- Within 30 days, log into the portal and spend at least $20 at one of its many partner retailers.
- MyPoints will then give you $10 worth of bonus points (1,750 points).
- You can either request your gift certificate online or in the mail. Choose a gift card for Amazon, Walmart, Target or a slew of other major retailers.
4. Charge Your Purchases to Earn Cash for Later
If you’re not using a rewards card for your everyday purchases, you’re leaving free money on the table.
Here’s an option we like: It’s the Chase Freedom Unlimited card. Its claim to fame? You’ll earn an unlimited 1.5% cash back on all your purchases. Plus, if you spend $500 in your first three months of opening the card (hi, groceries), you’ll pocket a $150 bonus.
There’s no annual fee, and the cash-back rewards don’t expire. We checked Credible’s annual rewards calculator, and it estimates $417 in annual rewards based on our spending habits.* (You can enter your unique spending habits and see what you’d earn, too.)
Get signed up — and 0% intro APR for 15 months — here.
*Annual Rewards amounts will change based on the amounts you enter. The monthly spending category names and definitions may vary among issuers, and categories may not align one-to-one.
5. Get Free Shipping at Walmart
Live in an expensive city without a nearby Walmart? (Or maybe you just don’t want to trudge through it’s seemingly-endless aisles?) Take advantage of the store’s famously-low prices by shopping online.
We love Walmart for all the clever ways it helps you save money on everything from groceries to toys. And this makes it even better.
With Walmart’s Shipping Pass, you can get free two-day shipping on any order, with no minimum purchase. If you’re an avid Walmart shopper, that could mean a lot of savings!
You’ll get free shipping on household items, toiletries, clothes, electronics, toys and more from Walmart.com for $49 a year.
Walmart usually requires a $50 minimum to get free shipping, but with Shipping Pass, you can order what you need — and only that. You’ll save money by skipping the impulse, fill-in purchases.
6. Buy in Bulk and Save
If you’re feeding kids or pets, have expensive prescriptions, or just love to stock up on affordable wine, a Costco membership might be worth the cost.
A regular “gold star” Costco membership costs $55, and it’s required to shop the membership club.
For that price, you can save money buying groceries in bulk, plus enjoy weird discounts on things like engagement rings and coffins!
You can purchase your membership online. You’ll receive a membership card via email within two days, and you can start shopping online or at any Costco location around the country.
7. Save on Your Favorite Books — and Coffee
Do you love a stroll around a good, old-fashioned brick-and-mortar bookstore? (Remember, we’re writers here, so this sounds like a perfect day…)
You can save money on your beloved books — and Starbucks coffee! — with a Barnes and Noble membership. For $25 a year, you’ll receive a membership card that entitles you to a 10% discount on anything in the store.
If you spend more than $250 a year on books, games and music — about 11 hardcover books — this membership will save you money.
Or, if the Barnes and Noble Café is your favorite place to stop for a daily latte, you’ll quickly make your money back in savings — and then some.
8. Get Free Shipping at Hundreds of Retailers
What if your favorite retailer doesn’t offer free shipping? We found a site called ShopRunner that offers a solution.
For a one-time fee of $79, you get a lifetime membership, which gives you free two-day shipping on any orders at hundreds of partner retailers.
You’ll get the benefit when you shop online at retailers like Neiman Marcus, Cole Haan, Toys’R’Us, GNC and more.
Once you’re a member, ShopRunner is easy to use. As long as you’re logged into its site, you’ll be logged in when you shop at any partner site. Otherwise, you’ll see a ShopRunner logo on a product page, which you can click to sign in.
9. Stream Music to Save on Records (and CDs and Cassettes…)
If you’re a music junkie (and you can deign to forgo vinyl), you could save a ton of money and space by subscribing to a streaming service.
You can get free access to ad-supported versions of most popular services. But if you want the freedom to download albums, listen to songs a la carte and forgo ads (for the sake of sanity), a subscription is worth it.
Pandora One gives you ad-free listening and better audio quality on the classic streaming service for $4.99 a month or $54.89 for a year.
Spotify Premium is free for 30 days for new users, and $9.99 a month after ($4.99 for students). Premium gives you online and offline ad-free listening, unlimited skips and higher sound quality.
Apple Music is free to new users for the first three months, then $9.99 a month for individuals or $14.99 a month for a family plan for up to six users. The subscription gives you access to unlimited skips on Apple Radio, the ability to save content for offline listening and other unique features.
To decide which would be the best fit for you, read our music streaming service comparison.