Saving money can be hard to do. And switching your mindset from a spending mindset to a saving mindset can be even harder to do. It is a long process, and it takes dedication. This past year or so I have been working on improving my spending habits. And in this post, I am going to go through the top 12 things to stop buying to save lots of money, and why!
In the end, it is definitely worth it when you get your priorities straight and can start saving lots of money for the more important things in life! So, read on to find out all of the things I stopped buying to save money!
Related Posts: Best Way to Track Expenses in the New Year!
I used to get my nails done once every 3 weeks or so. I kept up this habit for at least 3 years.
It took me a while to decide to finally cut them out, and it was an adjustment to having natural nails, but after a while, I just couldn’t justify the cost.
If you are spending anywhere between $30-$100 every few weeks or so on your nails, I would ask yourself if it is an absolutely necessary expense for you.
If it is, maybe you can try and find a way to do your nails yourself or use the press-on nails for special occasions. I did this for my bestie’s wedding, and it worked out perfectly!
Along the same lines as nails, I also went through a phase where I got eyelash extensions consistently every 2-3 weeks. And while I loved the look of having eyelash extensions, the cost was just too much to keep up.
Not getting my eyelashes done saves me around $75 every 2-3 weeks! Cha-ching, more money for my savings account!
3. Food Delivery
My boyfriend and I used to order food delivery multiple times every weekend. Once I started tracking my spending, I could see how much it was costing me.
I was very surprised to see how much it added up over the course of the year.
So now, even though I have not completely cut out food delivery, I have severely reduced my spending on it. I also make sure to check multiple apps to make sure I am getting the best price when we do decide to order in. And it generally is Doordash who has the least amount of fees!
Now, I have to be honest, I have not completely cut out spending money on clothes. But it is my goal to drastically reduce it.
I was doing really well before quarantine hit, then out of boredom I got in the habit of online shopping and spending way too much on clothes in particular.
According to my spending tracker, I have spent the same amount on clothes this year as I have groceries.
So, this is something I am actively working on. I used to buy multiple new outfits for any and all trips I took, big or small. And for any special occasions too. This was completely unnecessary. I have come a long way from that point, but I am still far from where I want to be.
Not only is buying clothes this often not good for your wallet, it’s also not good for the environment. You can re-wear the clothes your own to make new outfits and help save the planet by reducing clothing waste!
Side note, though, whenever I do decide to buy clothes, I make sure to maximize cash back, credit card rewards, and coupon codes so that I get the best deal on it!
For cashback, I use Cashbackmonitor.com to see which website offers the highest percentage back. I use Rakuten the most and right now if you sign-up before December 25, 2020, you get a $40 cashback bonus!
I also check my current credit cards to see which one will get the most points for my purchase!
Obviously, you can’t cut out spending on groceries, and you shouldn’t because it is the most affordable way to eat. However, there are some ways you can reduce your grocery spend.
One way I save money on groceries is by meal planning, making a list, and sticking to it.
You should also not go grocery shopping when you are hungry as it could cause you to make many impulsive purchases.
We just recently got an Aldi near us, so I have been doing all of our shopping there and our grocery bill has gone down significantly (hello .79 cent eggs!). They carry a lot of random off brands, but they have had everything I have needed so far which is great! Plus, they have a lot of affordable organic options as well!
I tried doing our grocery shopping at Walmart recently, but they didn’t carry one thing I needed. And if I have to make more than one stop for my groceries, then saving the money doesn’t seem as worth it to me.
So, it might be worth it to look around in your area to see if there is a lower-cost grocery store that has everything you need. Saving an extra $25-$50 or more every week or so can add up in the long run!
And if not, always buy the generic brand when you can. It doesn’t make sense to spend more for a name brand when the generic is almost always the exact same! Usually, they are even made in the same factory!
Now I have another confession, I have not cut out cable yet. But that’s because my boyfriend and I live with another couple right now, so the cost is pretty low between the 4 of us.
However, the first thing I am going to do if/when they move out is cancel the cable. We have Directv plus all of the streaming services you can imagine. It’s just unnecessary.
We watch streaming services way more than we watch regular TV and I think we can get everything we need from a lower-cost streaming TV like Fubo or Hulu TV, etc.
So, if you’re like me and feel like you are not getting the value out of TV as you should be, cut the cord!
7. Stuff in General
I used to buy stuff just because it was a good deal (Black Friday anyone?). This amounted to me having a lot of clutter and not enough space to store it all. Some stuff I never even used!
Quarantine has forced me to look closer at my “stuff”’. I have purged the apartment over the last few months and either sold or donated everything I can.
It feels really good to be rid of so much clutter! And it now forces me to think twice about buying anything.
I make sure to ask myself do I really need this item? Can I live without it?
If I can’t, then I would check to see if I can buy it second hand off of Craigslist or Offerup.
I just read a post recently that inspired me to try and never pay retail again! I wish I had read this before we bought our new couch this year. While our bums are happy, our wallets were not very happy.
I know that you can find amazing deals this way as I have sold a bunch of stuff over the last few months for way less than I should accept. But just because I want to get rid of it fast, I would list items for way below what they are worth.
I even gave away a Cal-King headboard in not bad shape for free, just to get it out of the house and I thought it would take too long to get an offer because it had slight discoloration.
But the girl that picked it up said she was going to re-cover it and I didn’t even think about doing that! She definitely would have paid something for it, and I missed out on some extra cash. Lesson learned.
8. Gym Membership
I have joined many gyms off and on over the years. Hardly ever going when I was signed up.
It has been a waste of money every time.
I have actually acquired different sets of weights over the years, and during quarantine, have finally started a consistent strength training program by watching Youtube videos.
I have been able to get stronger and lose 20+ pounds during quarantine using this method, all for free! So, you don’t need to spend lots of money every month for a gym membership, there is a lot you can do on your own with a little research and creativity.
Check Offerup for weights and equipment that people may be getting rid of.
Now, if you are someone who absolutely needs to go to a gym, then by all means that is ok. Make sure to shop around for the best price for what you need and fit it in your budget.
9. Makeup & Skincare Products
If you wear makeup and are anything like me, you probably have enough makeup to last a lifetime. I used to buy makeup non-stop wanting to try everything, but this was so wasteful.
Now I will not buy anything new until I use up all of the old. For makeup, it will be a while because I have soooo many foundations, powders, blushes, etc. And I’m not even wearing makeup at all because of quarantine.
Skincare though is a different story, but I only replace items that I use consistently and love.
But this has been a huge savings over the last year. Again, ask yourself if you really need something before you buy it!
For a long time, I would have gawked at the suggestion to cut back on alcohol. Going out and drinking and hanging out with friends was super important and drinking always came along with that.
Thankfully, as I get older, I have less of an urge to drink and now I know I can still hang out with my friends and not drink or drink much less.
So, saving money on alcohol has been a side effect of me wanting to drink less, which is a great perk. Alcohol is expensive and really adds up to excessive costs quickly.
Anywhere you can save money on alcohol or not drink it at all, can really help you save much more money!
11. New Cars
Last year, after doing a lot of research about buying and leasing cars, I decided to lease a new Volkswagen. It fit in my budget and I wanted the peace of mind knowing that a new car (shouldn’t) have any problems.
I hated spending money on fixing my old car and felt like it could leave me stranded on the side of the street at any moment. I also did not feel comfortable driving far distances.
But now, I wish I had looked for a slightly older car to buy instead of lease. Cars depreciate so much the second they drive off the car lot.
And when you lease, you are paying money every month just to drive a car for a period of time, and don’t actually own anything, which is never a great decision.
So, don’t ever feel like you have to drive a new car to impress anyone or for “status”. Most wealthy people actually drive old cars and don’t spend money unnecessarily on new cars.
Find a slightly used car to buy instead and save yourself a TON of money.
12. Expensive Vacations
Now, I don’t think this is a category I have had to cut out because I have never really taken expensive vacations. I have always used points and found good deals on my vacations.
Check out how I booked a two-week trip to Europe for about $700 using points and rewards! I estimate that I saved about $2700 for 2 people.
This is a pretty good deal but I feel like I could make it better. Once we can travel again I want to re-book this trip and I will write an updated post on it!
Or read about how to get the Southwest Companion Pass. It is an incredible value if you can use it with a friend or significant other! I try to fly Southwest whenever possible to maximize this perk.
However, over the last few years, I have tried to cut out the number of trips I do. One year I think I went to Vegas 12 times. Even though I never spent a ton of money while I was there, it definitely adds up over time.
So think about each trip you are considering and if it is something you absolutely want to do. And if it is, plan for it using points! If credit card points seem scary then read my post about how credit cards work! They are not very scary when you learn how to use them properly. And your credit score will benefit, mine is always hovering in the high 700s-800 range.
Well there you have it, my top 12 things to stop spending money on to save lots of money! Let me know in the comments if I have inspired you to cut out any of the above items!
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