Ever get to the end of the month, peek at your bank account, and wonder, ” woah..where’d all my money go?” If so, this list of what to stop buying to save money will help you reevaluate and reclaim your checkbook! Here’s a simple, but effective, exercise. Grab a printed or PDF of your bank … Continued
Ever get to the end of the month, peek at your bank account, and wonder, ” woah..where’d all my money go?” If so, this list of what to stop buying to save money will help you reevaluate and reclaim your checkbook!
Here’s a simple, but effective, exercise. Grab a printed or PDF of your bank statements for the last 3 months. Grab a highlighter and highlight anything you would say isn’t essential. If you’re anything like most people, you’re going to see a LOT more yellow than you might expect! Once you start looking at it, you will be amazed at just how many things you can waste your money on throughout the month or a year. And a lot of times, they’re things that really don’t benefit or enrich your life.
There are seven expenses that we often overlook, believing them to be necessities, small treats, or insignificant purchases. Some of them are small amounts but quickly add up without us realizing it. Or, they are sometimes large expenses that we tell ourselves we need or deserve.
The truth about living a more debt-free life really comes down to these items that we tend to overlook. Even the smallest expense can add up over time, so always keep an eye out for overspending as it is oh-so-easy to do.
Get started organizing your finances so you can simplify your life and spending.
What to Stop Buying to Save Money
You may find yourself guilty of making some unnecessary purchases – I know I do. Sometimes, I find myself falling back into that familiar hole of spending on things that I don’t really need.
If you are serious about saving more money and spending less, there are non-necessities that you can stop buying to save money. Here are the seven most common things to seriously consider dropping from your expense list.
1. Dinners at Nice Restaurants
Believe it or not, dining out can be a huge expense for many people – especially if you have a taste for the more fancy restaurants.
Eating out can be an expense that doesn’t look excessive at first glance but can quickly add up to a ridiculous amount of money.
This is the kind of expense that doesn’t really enrich your life. Sure, you might enjoy eating out at nice restaurants, but you go there, eat your meal, and leave. Once the meal is over, it’s over.
You’re typically not creating lasting memories or investing in something that you can use.
One easy way to cut back on this kind of expense is to do takeaway instead. Find a restaurant that is a little cheaper (like Taco Bell – my favorite!) and take advantage of their delivery service. This will help you feel like you’re getting a treat without going to a super expensive restaurant.
You could also make a rule only to eat out at lunch, as it is usually cheaper than dinner prices and offers more affordable restaurant options. Taking advantage of lunch options will have a lower cost overall.
Or, you could take opt to eat out at happy hour when most food and drink options are significantly cheaper. This allows you to still enjoy the treat of eating out but at a notable discount.
2. Purchasing New Clothes
Buying new clothes is a big no-no if you want to stop buying to save money and be more financially free.
Clothes can easily feel like a relatively small expense that isn’t a big deal. But, just like any other kind of expense, it adds up, and it adds up fast.
Before you know it, you could be spending hundreds of dollars a month just on clothes that you really don’t need.
We often just like the idea of new and different, but in reality, none of us need very many clothes to get by. And there’s certainly no necessity to be buying new clothes consistently.
One way that I like to fulfill that urge to shop for clothes is to go thrift shopping. Many second-hand stores offer a wide selection of clothes. Clothing is actually one of the most plentiful items at thrift stores.
You can even check out used clothing online on websites created just for that purpose, such as ThredUp, one of my favorite online consignment stores. These types of websites offer a better quality of used items that are still significantly cheaper than new clothes.
Buying a new car is a huge expense, and I mean huge. A new car can easily wipe out your savings and more.
The reality is, we don’t need new cars. There are so many other options that are much more affordable and are honestly often just as good.
Nowadays, there really isn’t a good reason to pay the money for a new car when there is such an abundance of used cars to buy that are still of great quality.
You can find all kinds of vehicles that are 3 to 4 years old and very affordable. Many of these cars still run just as well and have a long lifespan left.
If you are serious about your financial goals, you should ditch the idea of buying new cars.
Or, if you do not often drive and only need a car for certain trips or tasks, you could use a pre-leased car.
Pre-leased cars have often been very well taken care of. Companies offer a long history of how their vehicles have been used and any issues it has had. This is a great option if you are worried about buying a used car and making sure that it runs properly.
4. Unnecessary Space
Space is a huge expense that we probably have all overlooked at one point. Maybe this means you are renting a house or an apartment that is larger than you need. Or, perhaps you bought a house that is much larger than necessary.
This might not seem like a big deal, but in reality, you are paying money per square foot, which means that you could actually be wasting money.
If you live alone and are renting a three-bedroom home, with two bedrooms sitting empty…that’s stealing away your money. Most people who live on their own don’t really need that much space.
Just one extra bedroom can waste hundreds if not thousands of your hard-earned dollars every year. Think of all of the other things that money could be going to.
Try to only buy or rent places that have the space that you need. Of course, we all want a little extra space, but there is a fine line between a little extra space and a lot of wasted money.
5. Excessive Hobby Supplies
As good as having a hobby is, it can often get out of hand money-wise.
They are great for giving you an outlet that encourages creativity and a productive way of passing the time. But, hobbies can often become a huge expense if you aren’t careful.
Sometimes our hobbies can transform into yet another way to spend our money in ways that are not necessary. This usually comes in the form of stocking up and hoarding supplies that we don’t need.
Try to avoid buying a bunch of supplies, even if they are inexpensive – because they can quickly add up.
If you have supplies you don’t need or don’t plan on using, why not sell them? You can get back at least a portion of your money by reselling hobby supplies you don’t plan to use.
6. Stop Buying Books
Okay, okay. Hear me out! If you enjoy reading, buying books can become a huge expense throughout the year.
Reading is a great way to spend your free time, but buying books can be a very expensive hobby – especially when there are many other options.
Get a library card instead, and you will have a building full of books available to you. This is the best way to avoid buying books throughout the month while still getting to read as many as you like.
Or, you could listen to audiobooks through Hoopla. Hoopla is an amazing digital service that connects with your local library, giving you access to all of their movies, books, etc.
Websites like this allow you to borrow digital books, movies, tv shows, and more, just like you would if you physically went to the library. Only now – you don’t even need to leave your house.
As much as I love a vacation, I have to admit that vacations rarely end up being on the list of necessary expenses.
If you are really serious about saving money and living a debt-free life, vacations might need to take a backseat for a while.
The good thing is that this doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy vacationing at all. In fact, there are several options that can allow you to vacation on a very tight budget.
Travel hacking is the most popular way of doing this, where people travel for very little money – or even for free. This usually means redeeming credit card points, getting frequent flier miles, or signing up for flyer and hotel programs.
Using these kinds of travel hacks can allow you to still take that yearly vacation while spending very little. You can even get a free flight or a free night in a hotel if you get good at travel hacking.