Although you probably don’t want to, spending money is necessary sometimes – but you do have a choice about where your money goes.
Living a frugal lifestyle has not always come naturally to me, but after making the switch from being a spender to a saver almost 4 years ago, my life has become much less stressful.
I no longer worry about coming up with the money to pay bills, I can always buy a pair of shoes once mine are worn and need replacing and there’s always money in our emergency fund in case something bad were to happen to us, financially.
The reason that we no longer struggle with money is because refuse to spend it on things that aren’t completely necessary.
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These are 10 things we don’t spend money on:
1. Warranties: I don’t think I’ve ever actually used any warranty that I paid for, so for the past 4 years now I haven’t paid for any at all. In my opinion, they’re a waste of money for most things.
2. Books: We get most of our books from the library these days. They have so many books (and movies, music and magazines!) available for FREE. If I find a book that I really enjoy, I will “buy” it – through Amazon. I redeem most of my Swag bucks for Amazon.ca credit and usually spend it on books that I like – and kitchen gadgets.
3. Magazine Subscriptions: Is it just me, or do most magazines just consist of ads? I haven’t read a good magazine in years (except “Real Simple” – I love that one!). My husband has a magazine subscription for The Economist, but we got that for free with some WagJag credit that I had.
4. Family Outings: We take advantage of all of the free activities we can do locally, such as parks. Luckily, there are a lot of nice places around us that we regularily visit for free.
5. Water at Restaurants: It’s not often that we go out to eat at restaraunts, but when we do, I always order a water to drink. Most restaurants make the majority of their profit from beverages because they are priced so high, so I never buy them and just stick to water.
6. Cleaning Supplies: I get most of our cleaning supplies for free with coupons, so it’s very rare that I will buy them while out shopping. I have also been trying to make more of our cleaners at home, usually from vinegar and baking soda (you can clean pretty much anything with those 2 items alone).
7. Gym Membership: Not only do I not have the time (or the discipline!) to go to the gym on a regular basis, I am simply not willing to pay the outrageous prices to join one. We stay active by going for long walks. I also really love my 30 Day Shred DVD for days that I am not able to get outside.
8. Car Payments: We decided a few years ago that we would never take on a loan to get another car. When the time comes that our current vehicle needs replacing, we will pay cash. Since we are not saving for a car right now (and are instead saving for a home of our own), we would use our emergency fund if we needed to replace our van in a hurry (if we were in a car accident and the car was totalled, for example).
9. Fancy Home Decor: With a toddler in the house that wants to grab everything he sees, it’s been awhile since I’ve had anything nice in the house. All of my favourite decor pieces are packed away for when the kids are older. Our couches are more than 5 years old and in dire need of replacing, but I refuse to get anything new until we move (so we can get the perfect size for our home).
Plus, it’s just not worth it to have nice things that will just get ruined by messy toddlers!
10. Store-bought Baked Goods: I make most of our baked goods from scratch, so I never usually buy pre-made baked goods from the store. Not only are they usually very expensive, but I personally find that baking (and cooking) usually results in much tastier food.
The list can go on and on, but those are the main things that we don’t spend our hard-earned cash on.
There are certain areas that we splurge, but for the most part, right now we are focused on saving as much of our money as possible – so we avoid the items on this list in order to do so.
I’d much rather sacrifice now to live a better life later.