The thing is, sometimes spending a little money now can help you save a lot more money later. Think of it like this: $40 might seem a lot to drop on a reusable water bottle now, but in the long run you're going to end up spending way more than that on bottled water. You can apply this mindset to anything.
Once you crack it, your bank balance (and Future You) will thank you, because it all adds up.
Read on for some ideas of things you can invest in right now to help set you up for the future.
If you always lose things
Are you always putting objects in different handbags and places? Only to be in a rush to leave before realising you have zero idea where your keys are?
You need to get yourself a Tile Mate. It starts from $24.99 for one and it works by popping this sleek little friend onto your keys, purse, or anything else you don’t want to lose. You then track it via Bluetooth on your phone – because, aside from the emotional cost, constant key cutting and purse replacements are financially gutting, too. Tile Mate runs off a free app, and allows you to "ring" all the objects you can’t find.
These smart tags also come in super handy when on trips. Pop one in your luggage to keep tabs on your suitcase.
If you love to clean
Do away with your monthly paper towel and cleaning spray purchases. If you buy a microfibre cloth, you can clean worktops using only water, saving money on cleaning products. Yep. I discovered this hack after being told my hob is 'delicate' and, turns out, these cloths are excellent.
You just wet them, wring out the excess water, and wipe away. It's ideal if you're the one in your share house who always ends up buying the cleaning solutions.
Just buy a kit the first time you shop and then purchase the refillable tablets each time after that. Good for the planet and your wallet? Sign me up.
If you menstruate
According to a 2019 study, people who menstruate spend an average of $9379.73 on period products over the course of their reproductive years.
You owe it to your bank balance to at least try out an alternative to (taxed) tampons and pads. From period undies to period cups, getting on the reusable train can help you save money as well as create less waste that's headed for landfill.
If you have a regular exercise routine
Usually, getting rid of a fitness membership is one of the first things that money experts tell you to cut. However, sometimes, investing in memberships up front can save you more in the long run.
If you know you'll attend a certain number of classes per week, see what upfront deals your gym or studio has. While it may seem like a blow to pay a lump sum, you'll be saving on the month-to-month option.
Other apps like ClassPass ask you to pay a certain amount per month but then you can attend any class you'd like across the city (rather than being confined to your one, local yoga studio, for example).
If you're in a regular routine with your fitness, seek out the best deal to save your future self cash.
If your electricity bills are sky-high
Bulbs are boring and there are so many more interesting things to purchase. However, they are pretty important for... you know, doing anything after the hours of 6pm.
Anyway, one bulb that isn't boring is the humble Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL). It uses one-third to one-fifth of the electricity of a normal bulb. Which is a massive difference. Your local supermarket should have them in stock, like these Woolworths ones. Swap all the bulbs in your home for CFLs, and stop crying every time you open your electricity bill.
Please note that this information is general in nature and shouldn't be construed as financial advice.