Spending money to save money might seem like a self-defeating proposition, but there are times when spending a few dollars now will save you some money far into the future.

One purchase that immediately comes to mind is savings bonds. Buying savings bonds now may not seem like it's going to benefit you at all, but it's a safe investment and the money will always be there when you really need it. Just make sure you let the bonds mature before you cash them in.

Sometimes purchasing a car will help you save money. Here is a perfect case in point: the Saturn L-300 I owned for six years...the last two free and clear with no payments...was stalling for no good reason. Sometimes it would stop running while I was driving it down the highway. Not good. I'm a big proponent of buying used cars and letting somebody else take the depreciation, so I traded in my used Saturn for a used KIA mini-van. KIA is rated as one of the safest vehicles around, gets decent mileage, and the mini-van is the perfect size for my family. Sure, I have car payments now, but trying to maintain the Saturn would have turned into a money pit. I came across some message boards online which indicated the stalling problem was one which has plagued the Saturn L-300. I could either spend $10,000 trying to fix a six year old car...or spend the money on a nearly new used vehicle which runs perfectly. I chose to spend money to save some money.

I have also replaced nearly every incandescent light bulb in my house with compact fluorescent bulbs. The CF bulbs cost more...about five dollars each...but they save me about $20 a month on my electric bill. They were definitely a good investment.

Nicotine gum or patches are also an expense worth paying for if you are a smoker. A pack of cigarettes costs about $4 where I live. If you go through a pack every two days, that's about $700 a year. Nicotine gum or patches cost about $40 per package, and after a package or two you are (hopefully) smoke free. The savings don't just come from not having to purchase cigarettes anymore. You'll be healthier, which will save you money on doctor bills for years to come.

Once in awhile I will come across a great "10-pound meat sale" at one of our local grocery stores. The store sells 10-pound packages of meat at a very good discount because I'm buying it in bulk. The packages cost more than I would normally spend for chops or steaks or roast, but will last for much longer than the smaller packages I normally buy.

Paying for insurance, whether it's health, auto, or life, may not seem like it carries much of a benefit while you're paying the premiums, but it's much better to pay the premiums and get peace of mind than to have a real emergency and not have the insurance to fall back upon in case the worst should happen.

Buying something of quality that will last, instead of buying what is cheap, can sometimes save you plenty of money. I found this out when I went through a series of cheap frying pans I bought at Walmart. The non-stick surface would wear out after a month or two, and I'd have to buy another one. I finally caved and bought a much nicer frying pan from the Pampered Chef for about $80. It has lasted me about a year and it's still just as good as the day I bought it. I would have gone through a dozen $10 frying pans by now.

Those are just a few examples, but of course there are many more. Are there any instances in which spending some money helped you save money?


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