18 Things to Stop Spending Your Money On
What would you say if I told you-you could save thousands of dollars every year on things you don’t need? How most services that you pay for can be done at home for a fraction of the cost. How simple budget cuts can prevent you from paying a ton of unnecessary bills every month. If you want to save thousands every year, these are the 18 things to stop spending your money.
1. Annual gym pass
Cancel your gym membership and do your workouts at home! You’ll save on the pass and the gas to get there. Forget the treadmill and take a jog around your neighborhood or local park. You’ll appreciate the breath of fresh air and it’ll be better than breathing gym sweat.
For strength training and for added weight during your workouts, invest in a pair of dumbbells. I have a pair of 8 lb dumbbells that are awesome for daily workouts.
Starbucks is not the cheapest cup of coffee you can buy, especially if you’re drinking it every day. If you buy a cup every work day at around $5 a cup, you’re spending an astonishing $1,200 every year. Revamp your morning routine and brew your own cup at home.
According to CoffeeDetective, brewing your own coffee costs only 27 cents per cup. An ol’ fashion french press will be your best money-saving option and it won’t take away from the flavor and richness you like in a store-bought coffee.
3. Eating out
This includes takeout, fast food, as well that ready-made lunch at your local supermarket.
I use the Mint app to track my expenses and was amazed to see just how much eating out has been eating into my wallet!
I know we’re busy (and maybe not the best chefs), but having the willpower to refrain from eating out will save you an enormous amount of money in the long haul.
4. Costco or Sam’s Club membership
Costco has an amazing policy. Love them or receive a full refund on your membership.
Yep, they’ll refund your full membership, no questions asked. Any time. But don’t take advantage of this, especially if you’ve used your membership pretty much every day of the entire year (unless you can live with the immense guilt…).
You can get a full refund on your membership at Sam’s Club if it’s within 30 days of your purchase date. Later than that, they will refund you a portion depending on how much time has lapsed.
Save money and wait for your favorite movies to come out on Redbox (or Netflix).
6. Manicures and pedicures
Growing up with a mom who’s a nail tech meant I never ran out of nail polish options. It also made me realize it’s pretty easy to do most nail designs yourself. If you’re at a block for creativity, Pinterest, YouTube, and Instagram are all great sources for #nailspiration.
And if you don’t want to spend $8-10 on a bottle of polish (’cause c’mon who does?), check if there’s a beauty supply in your area that’s open to the public. You can get a bottle of polish there for under $1.
7. Hair salon visits
Ask a trusty friend (or mom) to help you redo your roots and touch-ups. Just be sure to return the favor if requested.
8. Wax hair removal treatments
It isn’t difficult to do wax hair removal at home and it’s a tremendous money saver. Remember to pull the strips opposite the direction of hair growth and always allow the wax time to cool. A wax burn is definitely not sexy.
Cable’s overrated. Hook your laptop to your television via an HDMI cable and watch your favorite shows online for free.
10. Netflix (if you’re feeling extra frugal)
11. Spotify or other music streaming services
Instead of paying for premium, stick with the free version. By the way, a useful trick for getting a specific song to play on Spotify is to create a playlist with just that song. More often than not, you’ll be able to listen to your song.
12. Cellphone and data plan
Unless your job requires it, you probably don’t need an extensive plan. A reduction can save you hundreds every year and it’ll give you a reason not to spend too much time on your phone when you’re out.
13. Magazine subscriptions
Most magazines can be read online. This is one expenditure you definitely do not need.
14. Buying vegetables or fruits you can grow at home
Growing your own vegetables at home is amazing because not only does it save money, you and your family will be able to enjoy 100% organic and pesticide-free produce.
You don’t have to be an expert gardener or even have a large backyard in order to grow your own produce. I have a moderate backyard. It’s barely big enough for the dogs to roam, but my dad has managed to plant guava, chili peppers, cilantro, lemongrass, tomatoes, kumquat, Chinese apples and aloe vera. I think we even had persimmons and dragonfruit at one point.
According to LifeHacker, the seven easiest vegetables to grow for beginners are lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, radishes, green beans, and zucchini. For more information on growing your own vegetable garden, check out Home & Garden’s guide to planting your first garden.
15. Bottled water
Water bottles are harmful to the environment and it’s such an unnecessary purchase. Save money and Mother Earth with a simple water filter and reusable bottles. I highly recommend getting a Hydro Flask if you don’t already own one. It’s insulated and keeps drinks hot or cold no matter the temperature. The outer surface is a great place to decorate with preppy stickers.
16. Things you don’t need
This is easier said than done when those shoes are literally begging to come home with you. Questions to ask yourself before making a purchase:
- Will I wear/use this in 6 months?
- Is it multi-functional?
- Would people readily take it off my hands if decide to sell it?
- Is this something I actually need?
A good psychological trick to play on yourself is to carry your beloved item with you as if you intend to buy it. For most people, just carrying the item around is enough to let it go.
You can also consider the item’s cost in terms of how much groceries it can buy or what bills it can go towards.
17. High end makeup
Find drug-store alternatives to your favorite products that won’t have you sacrificing your budget or makeup quality. For reference, check out SELF’s Drugstore Dupes from Beauty Editors.
18. Processed foods
When you purchase processed food, you’re essentially paying for sugar, salt, and calories. Make your money go further by making your own homemade snacks. Some of my favorite healthy snacks and beverages to make at home:
- Kale, zucchini, and sweet potato chips
- Potato wedges
- Protein cereal bars
- Arnold Palmer
- Matcha latte (made with real Matcha!)
Hopefully, after reading this, you’ve found ways to save money for what really matters. Is there anything you’ve cut out of your budget that saved you a ton of money?
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