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One easy and effective way to get extra cash to save or pay off your debt faster without having to side hustle is by changing your spending habits. As in, stop buying things.

This could save you a few hundred dollars a year, possibly more.

This year we have a few things we stopped buying to save money. However, do NOT make this ONE REALLY BIG MISTAKE when you do.

Like other bills we’ve reduced or paid off, you should be taking that amount and putting it towards another bill or into savings. It’s a mental game.

For example, we paid off our car loan last year which was approximately $300 a month. We then pay an extra $300 a month towards another debt.


The amount you save will obviously vary, but even if you estimate and save $100 a month on things you stop buying to save money you’ll have $1,200 for savings or debt payoff. That’s a good chunk of change.

THINGS WE STOPPED BUYING TO SAVE MONEY

 

BOOKS

There are so many FREE resources to get reading material. We aren’t really bookworms, but since I’m trying to increase my investing knowledge for the New Year the library has become my new best friend.

Some libraries are better stocked than others, but they can order books based on request if they have the budget. So if there’s a particular book you want ask, they may be able to get it for you.

Google the book you’re looking for to see if there are any free/cheap versions of what you want. I just found a FREE version of the book The Millionaire Next Door if you’re interested in reading it.

I also use my survey cash if there’s a book I really want to have a physical copy of.

SUBSCRIPTIONS

I had several subscriptions for different magazines. Some I got because I kept getting exclusive offers that are given to everyone ūüėČ while others I got because they offered free gifts or extra years. Hint: These are just to sucker you in, which I was.

I used to have one that was $10 for the whole year, but once the price went up I dropped them.

I’m not saying you should cancel all your subscriptions, especially if you enjoy them. But, if you’re looking to save some extra cash fast this is a good place to start.

I’ve found that lots of times when I canceled my subscriptions better offers for the same magazine came in the mail a few months later.

Other subscriptions to look at: radio, computer software, etc.


SHAMPOO/CONDITIONER/TOILETRIES

Okay before you freak out, no¬†these aren’t things¬†that I won’t ever buy again.

Last year and the beginning of this year I did a boatload of surveys where I was sent warehouse sized bottles of shampoo and conditioner to test for free. Some surveys sent trial sizes too, but trust me there’s a lot.¬†I have enough to last me the rest of this year and then some.

I also got to do a few surveys for deodorant and have multiple brands and scents stored in our bathroom cabinets.

PAPER TOWELS/NAPKINS

This is a little tougher, but I don’t sweat it as much since it’s not as expensive as the other things we stopped buying to save money.

Instead of using paper towels to dry our hands or clean we use towels.

It’s easy to grab the paper towels when they’re there so I (hide them from my husband) try to keep them in the closet.

Napkins aren’t expensive, but when you have kids and a husband who uses an abnormal amount it adds up. We have cloth napkins which we never used¬†before¬†that I brought out. They make me feel like I’m at a fancy restaurant lol.

PHONE APPS

The app store is full of fun games to play and apps to make life easier. The good news, there’s usually a free version. There was one I had when pregnant with both my kids that I loved.

My husband has a few games that he’s purchased on his phone, but recently stopped.¬†Not because he¬†knows it’s a waste of money, but also because his account was recently hacked. That’s right hacked!

I noticed an almost $300 charge to our credit card from the app store for games. I nicely mentioned it to the hubby while secretly fuming. Turns out he had bought a game for $9.99, but all of the additional charges were fraud. It then happened again, but with another credit card my husband has on file on his phone. We are currently sorting it out with the app store and our credit cards.

Tip: If you make purchases on your phone or anywhere else online do not store your credit card information. Regularly check your credit card bills each month to make sure you’re charged the right amount. By doing this I caught on to the fact that we were the victims of account hacking.


GYM MEMBERSHIP

Hahahahaha…okay it’s not that funny. We’ve contemplated joining a gym with all of the “good” New Year’s deals, but opted not to.

Once the weather warms up we are going to go for walks in the neighborhood and runs in the park.

Why waste our money on a gym membership we’ll barely use when we can exercise at home at our convenience for free. YouTube has thousands of free workout videos to follow along with that you can check out.

NEW TOYS

My kids have more toys than they need, but for some reason are happy with paper, crayons, and giant boxes. I’m told they’ll grow out of that eventually so I’m enjoying it now.

I don’t buy my kids new toys because everyone else does. They get toys for birthdays, holidays, and just because.

I recently brought home a huge bag of toys for them that was on a neighbor’s curb marked free. My kids freaked out. They were all in like new condition.

If you plan to stop buying new toys to save money you can try selling the ones your kids no longer play with at one of the places we are using to sell our way out of debt. We believe in paying it forward so most of the time we donate their toys or give them to someone who could use them.

So far for every holiday or birthday I’ve put money into my kids’ savings accounts instead of buying big gifts. I hope to save enough for some college payments in the future.

GARBAGE BAGS

I never realized how expensive garbage bags are. It seems silly to spend money on something that you know needs to be dumped out. However, I’ve had my fair share of garbage bag blowouts to know there is a difference in quality and price.

Through one of our side hustles we came across a lot of boxes of garbage bags. We paid very cheap for the lot and instead of selling them, we are using them for ourselves.

Prior to this¬†I also used plastic grocery bags instead of garbage bags. You obviously can’t fit as much garbage in them, but they did help cut down on the amount of garbage bags we used.

NEW CARS

Rich people don’t buy brand new cars because they know the minute the car drives off the dealership lot it’s value decreases significantly.

I’m not rich, but I know enough to know it’s never worth it to buy a brand new car.

Last month we bought a van for our side hustles and a car to replace the mini van, both in cash. We were able to do this because we had money in savings AND both cars were used with a good amount of mileage on both.

LUNCH AT WORK

There’s always someone at work ordering food for lunch/dinner. $15 here and $20 there adds up very quickly.

We’ve stopped buying lunch out to save money. I try my best to meal prep and brown bag our lunches. This is both cheaper, tastier, and healthier.

We reserve eat-out days for co workers birthdays and special occasions.


LOTTO TICKETS/GAMBLING

I am one of the most unlucky people when it comes to giveaways and gambling. For me it’s like throwing money into the trash.

Studies have found that lottery sales are highest in poor neighborhoods, which speaks volumes. We all dream of the possibility of living a life of luxury.

Not buying lottery tickets won’t make us millionaires, but by taking that money and investing it or buying more things to turn for a profit we’d be guaranteed money rather than depending on luck.

BOTTLED ICED TEA/BEVERAGES

I make my own iced tea or infused waters every day. It’s cheaper and I can control the sweetness level. My kids love it too.

We only buy bottled water to have in the house for road trips and other outings.

 

things we stopped buying to save money

 

Combining the costs of all the things we stopped buying to save money adds up to roughly $400 a month. Because we are still paying off our credit card debt, our savings account does not accurately reflect this number. However, it is an eye opening realization how much money we can save just by cutting back on our spending.

Once our debts are paid off we are going to build up our emergency fund, start investing, and tackling our mortgage payments.

 

Lesson: Do not let the money you save get lost in your bank account only to be wasted somewhere else. Automate that amount to go towards another bill or into savings.

 

What have you stopped buying to save money?

 

 

 

 

 

46 thoughts on “Things We Stopped Buying To Save Money”

  1. Meal planning helps me a lot with saving money! Otherwise we will eat out a lot, or I will buy random groceries that end up getting thrown away. It also helps me lose weight when I better meal plan so I focus most of my efforts on that! And trying to only run additional errands once a week instead of running out every time I think of something I need. Multiple Target trips a week is no good!

  2. We’ve gotten much better, but still have some waste here and there. Planning has definitely helped us cut down too and made our grocery bill much more manageable.

  3. I love, love, love posts like this! Gets me thinking of creative ways we can save money, too. You’re ideas are great! My husband and I are in the middle of a finances class, and this helps me think of ways to put the principles we’re learning into action

  4. I love this post! Super interesting and you make a lot of great points! I am definitely going to stop buying some of these! Thanks for sharing!

  5. thank you! What’s surprising is I don’t even miss the things on this list. The extra money is for debt payoff, but once that’s done can’t wait to use it for travel.

  6. Very good suggestions. Many, Many years ago I was a faithful reader and follower of The Tightwad Gazette and she got me on the cloth napkin kick, I’ve never looked back! The library is an excellent resource, I get so many books *and* movies from the library. I used to send a bottle of water in my teen daughter’s lunch every day, but this year we had a talk about waste (the expense is totally minimal, but the waste is huge) and now I send her Hydroflask filled with water and a couple of lemon slices each day. It’s been really good.

  7. Thank you. I’m going to have to look that up. Our library has a bunch of movies and video games, but I never think to look at them. Might have to make a trip this week. Love your idea of using a water bottle with lemon slices. I might have to try that. My husband takes a water bottle every day to work and I agree it is very wasteful.

  8. I do most of those, but I could never give up my books or gym membership. I do buy all my books for 50 cents at the thrift store though so I save that way.

  9. I do like the feel of a book rather than on a tablet/computer, but electronic versions do save space in our house. I’m not against gym memberships if we used them to the fullest. I used to love getting yelled at in a good boot camp class lol

  10. I never put many of these items into perspective, but when you actually step back and think about the items you mention and the cost involved, it makes perfect sense!

  11. I agree. I thought the same about my magazines. $10 a year is nothing, but adding them all up with a few other things equals the cost of a nice road trip for us.

  12. That survey idea for free products sounds great! We do without a lot of the above mentioned products as well, for frugality, simplicity, and minimalism sake! We’re trying to cut the devices too, but that’s proving harder… ūüėČ

  13. My husband and I love the idea of a simple life, it seems to be less stressful too. The devices are hard because of our side hustle and my blogging. Once the weather is nicer TV time will drop and we’ll spend more times outdoors.

  14. We never signed up for cable once we got married. We live in an area that has TONS of stations you can get over antenna. But everyone else has cable. Isn’t it amazing all the little things you do/have and how much they add up?

  15. I forgot how good public television was until we cut the cable completely for almost a year. You’re right, until I sat down and calculated it I didn’t realize just how much these costs really were. I think we are fairly frugal so I could only imagine how much more it is for other people.

  16. These are great tips! I definitely been working to cut eating out and been getting better each month. And the phone apps absolutely!

  17. Thank you, that’s great. Once in awhile I’ll eat out for a special occasion with coworkers, but I don’t miss it because we always eat at the same places anyways.

  18. Great ideas. I agree with the gym membership. It’s one of the biggest money wastes!

  19. Yes! I know a lot of people who have to have them and pay OVER $100 a month. I haven’t even joined at $20 a month. However, one’s health is extremely important and if a gym is going to do that then I would cut on a lot of the other categories.

  20. Like you mentioned, I stopped eating lunch out at work except for special occasions or a rarity. I was spending too much when I started tracking it for a while. My friends and I found that it wasn’t the eating out we loved; it was the time together. We bring our healthier food and eat away from our desks. Win!

  21. That’s such a great idea. We have parties where we each bring something in and they are always a hundred times better than when we order out. We should do that more often.

  22. Yes, we have done all of those things. I became a stay-home, homeschooling Mom 8 years ago and we went to one-salary. So, we have sold stuff and stopped buying things like we stopped buying hand soap (I make it), stopped buying laundry detergent (I make it). Really saves. Also, I stopped buying diapers with my last child and did all cloth diapers. Saved a boatload! Wish I would have done it with the other 4.

  23. This is so inspiring. I have thought about making our own soap and laundry detergent, but didn’t know if it would be time and cost efficient. I think I’ll have to look into it again. Being a stay at home mom has been a dream/nightmare of mine. No easy task, but rewarding.

  24. Yes! Yes! Yes! To ALL of this! I have had so many conversations with people over the years about many of the items on the list. When I help people with their budget, I see tears form in their eyes when I tell them they need to eliminate all the nail and hair appointments and stop eating out.

  25. LOL yes! You are their voice of reason. Most people want to be debt free, but can’t stand to hear the truth. No matter how much you make, being debt-free is achievable. It’s how bad you want it.

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