Stop spending money you don’t have on unnecessary things you don’t need!
No matter where you are in your journey to a financially free lifestyle, tips that save you money are always welcome, right? I have been on my financial journey for 10 years and am still finding ways to free up money in our budget. A big way that I stop spending money is by not buying unnecessary things. Check out these 13 items that you can stop wasting money on.
Have you ever looked at an item in your home and wondered why you have it? All too often we are pressured into buying something because everyone thinks it was life changing for them and so you think it must be good. Come to find out, it just is something else you wasted your money on.
If you really want to stop spending money on unnecessary things, really take the time to consider if you NEED an item before buying it. Only buy what you need after you have considered if you can really get by without it, or decide if it just a convenience purchase. Convenience is costing you money!
Here are the unnecessary things you don’t need to buy
With so many options out there for t.v. streaming or movies, this should be a no brainer. I am not a huge fan of watching television, but my hubby is. When we decided that paying nearly $100 a month on cable was a waste of money, we looked around for other options.
What we ended up with is a good mix of digital antenna, Sling T.V., and Netflix. In case you haven’t yet heard of Sling, it is a form of t.v. a la carte where you choose which packages you want to purchase and only pay for that. So, if you love sports, get a sports package, home decor is your thing, get the home channels, kids like Disney, get the Disney channel. We pay about $30 a month for this.
Other options instead of cable include Hulu, Amazon, and specialty channels like HBO. Check out this post for some additional info. This is #1 on my list of tips to save money because it is super expensive and probably not used as much as it should be. So stop spending money on cable and get a different option instead or just ditch it all together to save even more!
Okay, before you go off thinking that I think haircuts are unnecessary things, hear me out. When Little Mister was just a wee baby, we decided that we would cut his hair. At the time, Mr. Hubster was working on base so he was able to get super cheap cuts. When we went down to a one income family, we had to change our hair cutting habits. We had been successfully cutting Little Mister’s hair for a while so we just added on my hubs to the docket.
I have been doing both of their hair for close to 3 years now and have saved over $720 each year just on haircuts! I have even stopped spending money on my own cuts and started cutting my own hair. If I can do it, so can you!
By the way, this isn’t too intimidating. Just look at some YouTube videos like ones from this channel and give it a go! The worst thing is that you would just shave it down…which I have had to do to the hubs before. It is a learning process, but is pretty easy. I use these clippers here for my family. They aren’t the most expensive but they are excellent for what we do!
3. Car payments
If you are keeping a new car that means you are probably always paying a car payment. The average car loan is 5-6 years so keeping your car for well beyond that time is the best way to get more bang for your buck.
I am not even discussing leasing a vehicle because that is just not a smart way to go about car ownership. Instead, save up for a car that you can afford with cash and put the amount that you WOULD have made on the car payment into your retirement savings.
Bam! Retirement solved and you drive a paid for car!
4. Expensive outings or dates
Dates can be expensive, but when you add in all of your family members, it can be really costly. Instead of spending a lot for a family outing or even a date, wait until you find good deals on Groupon or from your local family amusement park such as zoos, water parks, and more. Asking for money for birthday gifts for yourself or the kids can help you purchase year passes for fun places that you will all enjoy.
Every year we ask for money for Little Mister. We in turn use that money to buy zoo passes, Science Center passes, or even Sea World passes. It has been a great way to save ourselves money and Little Mister still gets to have a lot of fun all year round.
5. Full priced clothing
This is easier said than done, I realize, but try to think of it this way, you can buy more pieces of clothing for the same amount if you buy items on sale or even better, used. Consignment is a great option for shopping because you can generally find high end or very nice clothing for a serious fraction of the price. Check out my post on sustainable shopping where you will learn about the best items to buy second hand to help guide your thrifting.
The best thing that I have done to my clothing budget is to throw out my desire for specific brands. I get what I like and what looks good on me despite the brand. Same for Little Mister, I get mostly used clothing for him (except undies and socks) and have saved so much money!
6. Laundry softener
Out of all the things to not buy on this list, this one is probably the easiest to replace. Two words…wool balls. Throw a few in your dryer with your wet clothes and you get static free, soft clothes. Add a few drops of essential oils to the balls and you get fresh smelling clothes that are free of the toxins that are found in laundry softener sheets.
Which, by the way, did you know that softener sheets are the most toxic items in most households? That is pretty horrible so why shouldn’t you make the switch. Check out my list of favorite cleaning products in my popular post, the best natural cleaning products.
7. Laundry detergent
When looking for things to not buy in your household, look for items that you can DIY instead of buying prepackaged. Laundry detergent is the perfect example of this as you can make your own detergent for about 5 cents a load. The best part is, it doesn’t take a lot of time to make it. It takes me about 15 minutes to make my own detergent that I can use for a month or more.
The recipe that I use is from Dwelling In Happiness and it is borax free, natural, and environmentally friendly. Think about how much plastic and cardboard you will save by making your own detergent. And about how much money you will save when you stop spending money on expensive detergent and DIY instead.
8. Paper towels
Okay, this is one of the items on this list that are completely unnecessary things! Paper towels used around the house for cleaning can be swapped with old rags and t shirts. If you use paper towels or napkins, make a 1 time purchase of table linens to use instead so you can stop spending money on DISPOSABLE goods.
Not only is this great for your budget, but it is better for the environment.
Full transparency, I have only recently made this change. Being as environmentally friendly as possible is a big deal to me, but I still have some nasty habits that I need to change. Paper towel use was one of them. We replaced our paper towels with old rags and have saved so much waste and money just in a few months.
9. Extended warranties
It seems like every electronic (big or small) comes with an extended warranty. Sure, it may only be $11 (for a small item), but that can add up if you are buying many products with warranties every year. Chances are pretty good that your product will last past the warranty period anyway. Opt to save the money instead just in case you have to replace an item.
Be sure to purchase high quality items that are made to last instead of cheaply made goods that are sure to break if you even look at it the wrong way. Better yet, get your appliances or tools used! They are some of the best items to buy second hand.
10. Specialty appliances
Part of this may come from me having downsized to a townhome, but specialty appliances are really just a waste of money and space. If you walk into any bed, bath, and kitchen store, you will see so many different appliances…for just one use. A popcorn machine? Who needs this, really? Instead of buying a Belgian waffle maker, buy a waffle and convertible griddle, get a food processor with many attachments to perform the work of 5 different appliances.
You could potentially spend a lot of money on kitchen gadgets and then on top of that add the warranties…nope. Just add this one to the list of things to stop spending money on and get versatile appliances that you can use for years to come.
And definitely try to buy appliances used. One of my best estate sale finds was a reversible waffle griddle. It was FREE! And 6 years later it is still working perfectly!
I get it, kids need some toys for imagination and play development, but excessive toys are doing anyone any good. Too many toys are uneccessary things and we as the parents have to be the one in control of this.
Toy libraries have popped up recently in a lot of places which means that you can borrow toys and take them back. This means no long lasting clutter and your kids get to play with “new” toys all the time!
12. Name brand foods
I am a fan of Aldi. If you have one of these around you, be sure to check it out to help you save money on groceries. The only downside is that you will find a lot of Aldi brand foods there. Letting go of name brand foods will for sure save you money and who knows, you may even end up liking them more!
13. Expensive phone plans
If you live in a bigger area, getting a cheaper phone service or a pay by minute phone is a great option. You can choose to get the same type of service (including internet) for a fraction of the cost. Even if you live in a smaller town, ask around, you may find that some people still have luck with them.
When I left my career, our expensive phone service was definitely one of the things we have to stop spending money on. We cut our bill in HALF and have not noticed a change in service at all.
Are you ready to stop spending money on unnecessary things and start reaching your financial goals?
Remember that when it comes to creating a budget that works for you and your family you need to ask yourself what is really important to you and what are just unnecessary things. If paying $30 every month for a haircut is a higher priority than having a fun (and cheap) family outing, then get your hair cut.
It is also a learning process. 50% of the items on this list may be easy for you to stop spending money on, but in 3 years maybe you will be giving them all up! Baby steps will lead you to a life that you truly love.
So, how about you? Do you have any tips to save money?
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