Below are 15 things you can cut out of your life to save a significant amount of money. I will admit, there are several things I do splurge on – such as organic apples – but for the most part, our shopping habits cut out much of the fluff so we can continue moving closer to our financial goals. By creating good buying habits, you will start to devalue the overpriced items you once bought!
1. Brand Name Items
Did you know that many generic items are actually made by brand name companies – just re-branded with a generic name? For instance, the same company that makes Target’s generic diapers makes Huggies… Don’t discount generic just because it isn’t name brand. Often the generic is just as good if not better than the name brand, and with big savings!
2. Gym Membership
Do you actually use your gym membership as much as you should? If not, get rid of it! There are several cheap gyms that offer the same machines and weights at a much better price. My wife and I switched our gym membership from an expensive trendy gym to the local YMCA. We save about $100 a month and are getting in the same workouts. Also, if you use your membership and are not willing to give it up, talk to the manager to see if you can get a discount for being a loyal customer – it doesn’t hurt to ask!
3. Name Brand Clothes
OK, this one comes with a disclaimer. Some generic clothing does fall apart easily while name brands may hold up better, but this is not always the case. You don’t need to spend $100 on a T-Shirt when a $20 one will do the same job. ROSS is a great place to shop because they carry quality clothing at a discounted price. Avoid shopping for expensive clothing at malls – no one cares what you are wearing, I promise! If you don’t believe me, what brand of clothing is your co-worker wearing right now? I bet you have no idea – you may not even remember the color shirt they have on….
4. Items “On Sale”
Just because an item is “on sale” doesn’t mean anything. Don’t be fooled by marketing gimmicks. One of my side hustles is at a mall and I see the pricing gimmicks they pull on a daily basis. When they have their big 20% off sales, some stores jack up their prices by 20% and then put on the discount tag… you are not saving a dime! Don’t feel pressured to buy something just because it is on the sale rack.
When was the last time you picked up a book off your bookshelf and read it? Most people put their books away and never open them again after they read them once. I do have a couple of books I recently purchased, but that was after I borrowed them from the library and really enjoyed them. I have gone through them several times since then. Most books can be requested at your library and reserved for you – at no cost! Avoid buying them first if there is a chance you are never going to read them again.
6. Shredded Cheese
Wait, what? Have you ever looked at the price difference between shredded and block cheese? I swear they must cut cheese with a diamond cutter – there is no reason it should cost so much. Try buying a block of cheese and shredding off the amount you need each time. It will save you money over the long run and it is not that inconvenient.
7. Magazine Subscriptions
Do you have a magazine subscription that comes to your house every couple of weeks because you really liked it in the beginning? Let me guess, you signed up and every year you forget to stop the automatic payment and continue to get the magazine year after year. Call today and stop that subscription! Most of what you find in those magazines are available for free on your smartphone.
8. Lottery Tickets
Seriously do I have to list this one? But you can’t win if you don’t play! Well, you can’t lose money on lottery tickets if you don’t spend it on them! If you are an avid lottery player, you and I both know you are way in the red when it comes to your winnings vs. spending… give up that dream, you’re not going to win big – and if you do, the odds are you will file for bankruptcy 5 years later… but that’s another article…
9. Anything In A Gas Station
Do you stop for a morning doughnut and coffee every morning? Where do you think the gas stations make all their money? Truth bomb – it’s not from gas sales. Gas sales are highly regulated and taxed. The majority of a gas station’s income is from the highly overpriced goods inside the store. Buy your doughnuts from your local grocery store, avoid that overpriced stop every morning.
This one has been discussed before. Cut the cord – just do it! You spend way to much on channels you never watch. You can get many live sports games on HULU if that is what you are worried about.
11. Disposable Water Bottles
Not only are we quickly littering the planet with plastics, but there is no need to buy these. Buy reusable water bottles and fill them up. If you’re a water snob like some of the people I live with, you can get a reverse osmosis system at your house if you’re concerned about taste.
12. Shaving Gel
Some of you with sensitive faces may hate me for this one, but my ruggedly handsome cheeks do just fine shaving in the shower. If you have such sensitive skin you can’t imagine shaving with water, try using a small amount of hair conditioner – it will do the trick!
13. Coffee At Coffee Shops
Again this has been discussed before, why are you going to pay 4 dollars for a cup of coffee that would cost you 25 cents at home??? You are paying an awful lot for the convenience of standing in a long line at Starbucks.
14. Eating Out At Restaurants
I know, I know – you can’t cook. That’s OK, neither can I! Make dining out a special event rather than a norm. It will be more exciting when it is a treat instead of routine. There are plenty of meal prep companies out there that will prepare and deliver food for you at a fraction of the cost of dining out if you really don’t know how to use the microwave….
15. Impulse Buying
This is a very tough one. You walk through the store and just need to have that item! You buy it and go home. A week later you regret your purchase and set aside said item and plan to return it to the store… A month later the item is still sitting there and you never end up returning it. If you have one of those impulse feelings, go home and sleep on it. If you still want it the next day – and can afford to pay for it with cash – then you may lessen the regret after thoughtful consideration.
Are there other things you have stopped buying that have saved you money? Comment below, I would love to hear your ideas! If you have not already, please sign up for my emails in the subscription below. Thank you for reading and stay safe! You work too hard to be this broke!