I’m not much of a flashy person. I prefer to spend money on experiences more than things, however, that wasn’t always the case. Back in my 20s and early 30s, I used to spend a lot of money on things I didn’t need.
I used to tell myself that I needed the clothes for work, but really I just wanted to keep up with everyone else at work. In fact, I really was trying my best to look better than everyone at work.
My friends and I used to go out a lot as well. No matter if it was to a happy hour after work or to some concert on the weekend, I felt I had to go or I would miss out.
Or when I met this guy who I wanted to impress and ended up buying an expensive car that ended up being a lemon and big budget buster.
I did these things, simply because I could. I had the money to do so. I was very careless with my money and ended up getting in a lot of debt because of it. Thankfully, I’m a different person and realized the error of my ways.
Also, when I realized that I was shopping out of boredom or to make myself feel better, there were other issues in play. Or when I moved I realized that most of the things I had accumulated sit in a shed and a basement collecting dust. If someone would throw my stuff out, I wouldn’t even miss them.
So, now I see things differently and I don’t waste money like I used to. Some of my family and friends chuck it up to that I’m broke, but it’s a values game for me now. I value experiences and time over things.
There are some things I absolutely will not pay for (or try to avoid at all costs), which has worked out very well for me. The same family and friends who look at me weird are also the same ones who have to wait to payday to buy tickets to an event or to take a trip.
I’m not saying I handle my money better or that I’m smarter when it comes to financial things. However, I do believe that if you’re spending money on things that you think will make you look or feel better, then you’ll be broke quicker than you know.
Here are a few things I refuse to buy and believe are a waste of money.
I am going to be perfectly honest with you. I have never purchased a brand new car. I’ve had car payments, but I quickly learned I didn’t love them. This, in my opinion, is a waste of money. My dad is a body mechanic, so we’ve always had access to cars.
I know people who never, not had a car payment. Blame it on the Dave Ramsey in my ear, but new cars are a waste of money. Not only do they depreciate quickly, but I can also think of so many things you can rather do with that money.
Buy a car with cash and upgrade when your finances allow. If you live in a major city with a good transportation system, consider going without a car. Put the extra money into savings or pay down debt.
There’s no need for cable, especially today, mainly because of streaming companies such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video. I’ve been a member of Netflix years before they began streaming, where we would rent DVDs and mail them back when finished.
Cable is hella expensive and I think you can find other things to do with the hundreds of dollars you would save by cutting the cord. Also, with running a business, a blog, and being my fabulous self, I don’t really have time to sit down and watch tv.
If you are considering cutting the cord, check out these free online sites to watch tv.
As much as I need to go to the gym, I just don’t. I have paid for a gym membership for years and barely went. One year I never stepped foot in one and wasted money I couldn’t afford to.
In fact, gyms know that you will probably waste your membership. They don’t care, they still get paid. They know that you will lie to yourself that you’re going to go one day or they make it extra difficult for you to cancel.
If getting fit is important to you and you will make use of a gym, then, by all means, go for it. I know for me, it’s just not feasible. I’d rather go for a walk around the neighborhood or stream workouts on my Amazon Firestick.
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I’ve downloaded games on my phone and if not careful can find myself wasting a day away on them. They may be free to download, but of course, there are pop-ups that tease you with more points, coins, or lives for just 99 cents or more.
Don’t do it.
These in-app purchases can add up quickly without you realizing it. I once spent $50 one month on a casino game I downloaded. Yes, a casino game with fake money. Don’t be like me.
If you’re able to play games on your phone or tablet without paying for additional bonuses, then, by all means, continue what you do. However, if you find yourself making quick purchases to continue on a game, just delete the app from your phone.
Spending money on razors can get expensive. I don’t purchase disposable razors anymore like I used to. I’ve been a member of the Dollar Shave Club for well over a year (maybe two) now. I just purchased handles for the family and each month (or every other month), there’s a shipment of blades coming to my house.
These razors work well for women as well as men and my son and I use them without a problem. I often purchase some of their products for my son’s beard, which he says are pretty good. I still use the same handle I’ve had since the beginning and spend about $6 for a pack of four blades. I often skip a month, because I don’t shave as much during the winter months.
If you want to look into getting your own razors through the Dollar Shave Club, go here to get started.
Pre-cut or Sliced Veggies
Anything that is done for you will cost you money. These time-savers won’t do anything for your pocket and are a complete waste of money. I just avoid buying pre-sliced fruits or vegetables.
If you like your fruits and vegetables sliced and ready for you, just do it yourself and bag them up after coming home from the grocery store. You’ll save a dollar or more each time.
Manicures and Pedicures
As much as I love to get my nails done, I don’t go to the salon often. For the last few years, I’ve been wearing my natural nails and don’t really need the upkeep when I had gel or acrylic on my nails.
I know you’re probably thinking, “You don’t sound like you enjoy anything fun”. First of all, that’s not true. Ha! I just don’t think they’re that healthy for you or your nails, so I like to limit the process as much as possible. Avoiding the UV rays or potential fungal infections make it worth it for me, as well as saving a hundred dollars or more each month.
Learn how to take care of your nails at home and buy quality products. If you can’t forgo the nail salon altogether, how about extending the time of your visits? Instead of every two weeks, why not go every three weeks? You’ll end up saving money either way.
Hair Salon Visits
Currently, my hair is natural so I don’t go to the hairdresser as much as when I wore a relaxer. Not only is that safer for my hair, but I end up saving a lot of money. For coloring or cutting, I go to the professionals, but for the most part, I can take care of my own hair at home.
In fact, I’ve begun to love the versatility of wearing wigs and alternate between them and wearing my hair out. If you learn how to take care of your hair at home and you can extend the visits between salon visits, which in the long run will save you money.
Unless you have absolutely nowhere else to stay, I would avoid hotels. They can be a complete waste of money, especially if you’re staying longer than a few days. You can usually find a cheaper place when you reserve a stay with an Airbnb. Often times you’ll find that you’ll have more of the amenities at home and can save money than if you were staying at a hotel.
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- How to Travel More Even When You’re on a Tight Budget
If you’re not careful, bank fees will eat you up. This includes ATM fees and overdraft fees. I am careful about only using ATMs in my network. I also try to keep a padding so I’m not getting hit with overdraft fees. At $38 a pop, these add up quickly, often to the tune of thousands of dollars.
The worse part is that banks make money off of these fees and will make adjustments to your account that benefits them the most financially. Don’t fall into the trap. A little planning each week goes a long way. See how I save on bank fees here.
Drinking coffee is an everyday affair for me, however, I don’t visit Starbucks as much as I used to. In fact, I can remember only a handful of times I stepped inside of a Starbucks’ cafe in the past year.
Nowadays, I just purchase my k-cups for my Keurig and brew coffee at home. Some people may think this is a waste, however, I’m still saving money than going to Starbucks everyday. I used to have a traditional coffee pot, but would make more than I could drink and would end up throwing the rest away.
Whoever thought of bottling up water and selling it was genius. However, as convenient as water bottles are for you, the price tag can add up quickly. Not only is it bad for the environment, but you’ll also save money using a Brita Filter to fill up your own bottle to carry around.
Most electronics come with a one-year warranty already, so in my opinion, purchasing an extended warranty, for the most part, is unnecessary. I remember one time being offered an extended warranty which ended up costing more than the gadget. Yikes!
Unless you’re buying a car or a very expensive computer, I would say forget the extended warranty and just save the money. If something will go wrong, it will probably do so within the first year. After a year, you would’ve probably forgotten where you put the warranty in the first place anyway.
Here’s my list, so what are some things you avoid wasting money on?