Small Investments = Big Returns

Small Investments = Big Returns

Rebecca Orlov
Jan 12, 2009

In these tough economic times, saving a dollar or two can turn into a lot more by year's end. Although they may not be real time savers, these money and time investments can help you turn a cup a coffee a day into a $1000 later on. Check out the tips after the jump...

Everyday life - both inside and outside the home - moves along. By being thoughtful and making decisions, your own money and how you spend it can add up in your savings. Keep in mind, these tips are suggestions and offer a general idea of money spent in these situations.

Tip #: Buy a bread maker.

  • Cost: You can buy one for $55. If it saves you just $4 a week on store-bought bread, that's $208 a year.
  • Return: 280%

Tip #2: Get a credit card with a great sign-up bonus.

  • Cost: The $40 annual fee. After your first purchase you get enough reward miles for a free flight, saving maybe $250. Then cancel the card.
  • Return: 525%.

Tip #3: Take out a local library card.

  • Cost: Nothing. If it saves you $10 a month on books, that's $120 a year.
  • Return: Infinite.

Tip #4: Replace your premium cable package with a Netflix subscription and a $100 set-top box. You can download movies and TV programs as well getting DVDs through the mail.

  • Cost: $100 for the cheapest set-top box, plus $17 a month for a three-movie subscription.
  • Return: If it replaces a $50-a-month cable package, that's a 98% return on investment.

Tip #5: Order a packet of seeds and plant them in a window box or garden. Growing your own herbs, spices, and even vegetables – depending on the amount of space you have – is a great investment.

  • Cost: Spend just $10 on seeds and saved a mere $50 in the year.
  • Return: That's a 400% ROI.

Tip #6: Switch to a prepaid cellphone.

  • Cost: $20 for the phone, and maybe $100 a year for minutes. Move the rest of your talk-time to free Internet calls, and stop hemorrhaging $60 a month on a cellular plan.
  • Return: 500%

Tip #7: Start making your own coffee to take to work each morning.

  • Cost: $20 for a Thermos, $10 for a filter and papers, and $60 a year for ground coffee. Then skip the $4 a day drive-thru.
  • Return: If that saves you $1,000 a year, the return is more than 1,000 %.

[Tips by WSJ via Yahoo]

Check out more savings tips from Apartment Therapy

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