12 things to invest in now that will save you money in the long run

Your wallet will thank you.

Invest-Hero Credit: Instant Pot/Echelon

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Spend or save? That's the big question most of us face when we're about to buy something. Do you pay more for something nicer (like those $100 Lululemon leggings) or something convenient (like takeout instead of cooking at home)? Or do you go with the cheaper pick or DIY version instead? It's tough to know when to spend and when to save.

To help you—and your bank account—we've rounded up 12 things that are worth spending money on now to spend less later. Whether it's an exercise bike for working out at home or the ever popular Canada Goose parka that will last for years, these are the products that will end up saving you money.

1. This barista-worthy coffee maker

Credit: Technivorm

Wake up and smell the coffee at home.

That daily skinny vanilla latte (hold the whip) from Starbucks adds up fast. But what if you could make your favorite cuppa at home? You can, with the right coffee maker. Of all the ones we've tested, we found the sleek Technivorm Moccamaster to be the best by far. Not only does it look stylish sitting on your countertop but it also brews a delicious, flavorful cup of joe and does so in minutes (perfect for busy weekday mornings).

Get the Technivorm Moccamaster from Amazon for $299

2. Our favorite smart thermostat

Credit: Sensi

End the thermostat wars once and for all.

Every month, you get your energy bill. And every month, you probably die a little inside when you see how much you're spending on heating and air. One way you can cut costs? Upgrade to a smart thermostat. Our experts recommend the Emerson Sensi because it's incredibly easy to set up (and to use) and is compatible with almost every smart assistant. Plus, you can even control it from your phone (perfect for when you forget to turn down the thermostat when you leave the house).

Get the Emerson Sensi Touch Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat from Amazon for $143.46

3. This reusable water bottle

Credit: Reviewed/Betsey Goldwasser

Stay hydrated.

Not only are plastic water bottles not so great for the environment, they're also not so great for your wallet. Instead of buying packs of plastic bottles every week, opt for our favorite reusable water bottle from beloved brand Brita instead. It uses Brita's famous filter technology to keep your water chemical- and odor-free and is made of insulating stainless steel so your beverage will stay icy cold all day long.

Get the Brita 20 Ounce Premium Filtering Water Bottle from Amazon for $24.99

4. This top-rated exercise bike

Credit: Echelon

No gym, no problem.

Between your monthly gym membership and pricey studio classes, staying in shape is an expensive affair. The solution (especially applicable amid the pandemic)? Start working out at home. For that, a lot of people love the Echelon exercise bike. A more budget-friendly alternative to the wildly popular Peloton, the Echelon has rave reviews for being easy to set up and use and fans say the workouts—which you can stream live or watch on-demand—are fun and motivating (and challenging!).

Get the Echelon X1 Smart Bike from Echelon for $838.98

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5. This brilliant lamp for at-home manicures

Credit: Amazon

A gel manicure at home? Yes, please.

Love getting your nails done on a regular basis but hate paying $40+ for it? Our Smart Home Editor, Sarah Kovac, feels the same way so she tried out this UV lamp to see if it could give her a salon-worthy manicure. Her verdict? It does—she says it's quick and easy to use (it sets polish in just 30 seconds) and likes that you can use it with any type of gel polish.

Get the Sun2C LED Nail Dryer Lamp from Amazon for $39.99

6. The best cookware

Credit: Reviewed/Jackson Ruckar

You'll get 2 saucepans, a stockpot, a sauté pan, 2 skillets, and a steamer insert.

You could settle for cheap pots and pans but why bother when you'll simply have to replace them in a few years (or even a few months)? It's worth investing in a top-of-the-line cookware set like this one from Cuisinart. Our experts dubbed it the best of the best thanks to the fact that the pots and pans are made of durable stainless, are easy to handle, and conduct heat evenly for better cooking.

Get the Cuisinart Stainless Steel 12-Piece Cookware Set from Amazon for $298.95

7. The Instant Pot everyone is obsessed with

Instant Pot
Credit: Reviewed/Betsey Goldwasser

Let this gadget cook for you.

We get it—ordering takeout is easy, delicious, and something we all love to do on a Friday night. But if you're ordering from the local Chinese place almost every single night, you could save a lot of money by cooking at home instead. And that doesn't have to be hard, thanks to the Instant Pot Ultra, which is the number one Instant Pot you can buy. We love that it has so many functions (from pressure cooking to slow cooking to steaming) and that it can have a meal that usually takes an hour on the table in just 20 minutes.

Get the Instant Pot Ultra 10-in-1 from Amazon for $149.95

8. This expert-approved smart plug

Credit: Reviewed/Ben Keough

It's compatible with both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.

Smart home products are always, well, a smart way to reduce how much you spend on things like energy and water bills. One of our go-to picks for that is this smart plug from Eufy. It's our experts' best value choice because not only is it more affordable than other options but it tracks your energy usage and lets you know which appliances or systems are using the most electricity so you can adjust accordingly.

Get the Eufy Smart Plug from Amazon for $22.99

9. A high-quality winter coat

Credit: North Face/Canada Goose

Both the North Face and Canada Goose make great parkas.

There are some things you should never sacrifice quality for—and a winter coat is certainly one of them. While Canada Goose is arguably the best of the best when it comes to high-end coats that will keep you warm and last for years, it's very pricey (but worth the splurge, according to our Shopping Director who loves hers!). A more affordable—but still great quality—pick is a North Face parka. One of my colleagues swears by hers, saying it's gotten her through many tough New England winters so far.

10. A multi-tool for DIY repairs

Credit: Chan

One tool, so many uses.

If you've ever paid for a plumber, electrician, or any other similar service, you're all too aware that home repairs and renovations don't come cheap. While some things should be left to the pros, you can do minor repairs and fixer-uppers yourself with a good multi-tool. Our experts recommend the Leatherman Wave+ because it's convenient and easy to use and has all the basic tools a homeowner needs (pliers, wire cutters, a screwdriver, blades, bit drivers, and more!).

Get the Leatherman Wave+ from Amazon for $99.95

11. The Roku Ultra so you can cancel cable

Credit: Reviewed/TJ Donegan

The Roku remote even uses voice control so you can speak your requests.

Cutting cable = cutting costs. That's why we're big fans of the Roku Ultra. It's the best media streaming device we've ever tested because it provides a superior streaming experience and is compatible with both 4K and HDR. More importantly, it offers all of the major services like Netflix, Hulu, HBO, and even Apple TV so you can watch any and every show your heart desires.

Get the Roku Ultra from Amazon for $99

12. A Rent the Runway membership

Rent the Runway
Credit: Rent the Runway

Shop everything from Tory Burch to Gucci.

Spring? New clothes. Summer? New clothes. Fall? New clothes. Winter? New clothes. If you're the type of person who completely overhauls their wardrobe every season (or every few weeks, if you're being honest), a membership to Rent the Runway might be a good fit for you. Our Shopping Director, Samantha Matt, has been using it for years and loves that it gives her access to thousands of designer pieces that she can simply borrow and return when she's bored of them.

Sign up for your first month of Rent the Runway for $69

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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.

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