Cutting your spending may seem hard because it feels like you’re taking away things that bring you joy, but is that true? I’m sure you’ve regretted buying something many times, but can you think of a time you really regretted not buying something? (other than experiences like travel). For most people, the answer is no.
Once you realize saying no to buying that unnecessary décor piece, that new tool that you’ll use once, the new iphone, etc. actually brings you a step closer to your dream life, everything changes. Saying no to buying things & saving money turns into a pleasurable and rewarding experience. You are now $20, $200, or $1,000+ closer to your financial goals, which may be retirement, being debt free, or having an emergency fund to give you peace of mind. Not to mention it has been scientifically proven that having less things actually brings humans more joy (and it’s better for the environment to be consuming less).
Try to be mindful of what is truly most important to you in life and how you can use money to focus on what matters most to you. Examples: Time with Friends and Family, Travel, Having a Child, etc. It is also very important to focus on Gratitude. Be grateful for everything you already have. One of my favorite quotes is: “Remember when you wanted what you currently have.”
So let’s get into the ways you can stop wasting your hard earned money… (in no particular order):
- 1: Any Insurance that is not home, life, auto, or health, is pretty much a rip off. Get rid of your phone insurance, pet insurance, warranties, etc. Instead, take that money you would be spending on those types of insurance and put it in a savings account. I can almost guarantee by the time you need the insurance, you will have saved up enough to just pay for it yourself. Often these types of insurance still come with a deductible and/or coinsurance or other hidden fees that end up making it not worth it at all. For the necessary insurance, shop around to find the best deal.
- 2. Go through your online banking and see if there are any unused or unnecessary subscriptions you can get rid of. Now if you love Netfilx and use it very frequently, keep it! I’m talking about things you maybe forgot about or could easily live without, like your gym membership that you swear you are going to use one day! Additional Examples: car washes, beauty subscription boxes, Amazon Prime, etc.
- 3. Since we are on the topic of subscriptions, if you are subscribed to Disney+, Hulu, and Netflix because you have different shows/movies you like to watch on all of them, consider rotating your subscriptions. Example: Pay for Netflix in March, then pay for Hulu in April, then Disney+ in May, then repeat the cycle. This way, you are only paying for one at a time, but still get to enjoy all of your shows. If you live somewhere that has a long, cold Winter (like where I live, in MN), consider canceling most or all of your subscriptions in the summer when you’ll be able to do more outside, then add them back during the winter months while you’re hibernating. Same can be said for other things like car washes, wash your own car in the summer in your driveway, and pay for them in the winter so you don’t need to get out of your car when its 10 degrees Fahrenheit. Cars need it more in the winter anyway because of the salt and sand, not as much in the summer, also rain is a free car wash.
- 4. When you’re in the store or online shopping and you see something you want and are contemplating buying it, don’t buy it right away. Leave it where it is. If you are going about your business a couple days later and are still thinking about it, go buy it, but chances are you will totally forget about it. Only buy things you LOVE and are going to get a lot of use out of.
- 5. If you have cable and/or a landline, it’s 2020. There is no need for these anymore, unless you do not get service at your residence. With Hulu or YouTube extensions you can get cable shows for a fraction of the cost.
- 6. Any money spent on things that are truly terrible for your health: cigarettes, vapes, alcohol, drugs, and even soda. These are all expensive and very bad for you, so if you’re not addicted, please stop wasting your money on these things. If you are addicted, try to find a healthier habit to replace your unhealthy one with and consult a medical professional. Stop putting toxic things in your body & drink water.
- 7. Anything done in a salon. Because of the pandemic, a lot of people had to start dying/cutting/waxing their own hair, doing their own nails, etc. I suggest you keep this up after the pandemic is over. Unless you LOVE this and seriously do not have time to do it yourself. Cutting your own hair may be a stretch, but I know you can do your own nails and other hair removal at home.
- 8. Look into Refinancing any debt you have. Interest rates are at an all time low so now is the best time. This can save you tens of thousands of dollars over time.
- 9. Stick to the grocery store. My husband and I totally wasted thousands of dollars over the last 4 years by eating out, it’s really just not worth it most of the time. We still eat out, just 95% less than we used to, the pandemic “helped” with this as well. If you want ice cream, don’t go to Dairy Queen, just buy a tub of ice cream at the store and have 10 servings for the price of one at DQ.
- 10. You don’t need a new phone or a new car every year or every couple years. If what you have works, stick with it. Be grateful you even have a car or phone.
Now what are you going to do with all the money you save? Invest it! Pay down debt! I suggest following my 10 Step Plan to Financial Freedom.
Other Helpful Posts: