When Spending Money Actually Saves You Money

The Billfold — which, mind you, is not another personal finance site — aims to do away with the misbelief that talking about difficult money issues is uncomfortable. Instead, they've created a space to have an honest conversation about how we save, spend and repay our debts. Or, why we'll buy a dozen oysters before we pay our rent.
This is the year I decided that I wanted to stop living with roommates and get my own place. This is going to be accomplished in part by looking for a better paying job, and cutting back on some of my expenses — the latter of of which I’m accomplishing by spending.
$35 for a well-reviewed thermos and a vow to never step inside of a coffee shop for the rest of the year. $11 for an electric kettle and a $3 box of teabags to keep at the office so I won’t be able to use the excuse that I’m too busy in the morning to fill up my thermos before leaving my apartment, so I might as well go to the coffee shop. I also have a French press I could keep at work.
$50 on a slow cooker, because my friends who have one tell me I can just dump a bunch of stuff in it before I go to work and then come home to a delicious dinner, which will hopefully prevent me from picking up Chipotle on my way home (you can save so much money by slow cooking your own meat and then scoop it into a tortilla when you get home, I’m told).
$30 on a magazine subscription, instead of buying each issue individually at the grocery store for $5.99. $25 to mend a tear in a winter coat I have instead of buying a new winter coat, even though I saw that J. Crew was having a 40 percent off sale on all their winter coats the other day. I nearly convinced myself that a new winter coat would be a Really Good Buy until I realized that even with the discount, the cost would still be nearly $200.
$300 for a bike, and then returning the bike, and paying a 10 percent restocking fee after realizing that I am not going to be enough of a bike person to save money on transportation. (Okay, so obviously I did not save money doing this, but at least the entire cost of the bike didn’t end up being a sunk cost.) Cost of waffling on being a bike person: $30.
Total spent: $181
Total saved: Only time will tell
Now, all I have to do is get that better-paying job.

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