I feel proud that I can we, as a family, are pretty good with our money. We have no debt, and save, invest and plan for retirement on a monthly basis.
I know the topic of finances can be taboo, but friends, I don’t want to be working when I’m 95 years old. Saving money and making smart decisions is important. I asked on our Savvy Squad private Facebook group (join us!) if you’d like me to share financial insights and tips how to better save more money, and I got a resounding yes (with one exception, though I love an honest reply!!).
As important as it is to save, it can be equally helpful to realize what things to stop buying and spending money on. Please email me or comment if you have other finance questions. I’m not an expert but Adam is game for guest contributing with me so we can be as helpful as possible.
Here are 10 things to stop buying to save more money each month.
All that wine & specialty cocktails at dinner.
We went to dinner last week with another couple and because we had a few drinks before during a happy hour, we were shocked at the cost of our bill. It was SO low! Restaurants get you with those $12 cocktails and glasses of wine, and that’s only if you have one. When it’s Adam and I out for dinner, we rarely have more than one drink. I rather have one at home or when we get back and save or use that money elsewhere.
Nail polish at the drug store.
Why in the heck was I buying cute new nail colors when in reality, I rarely do my nails at home? Waste. I have so many I never use. Yes, I’m spending money on manicures and pedicures, but if I’m spending there, there’s no point in duplicating by buying polish, too.
Impromptu Amazon Prime purchases.
Anyone else guilty of this?! Amazon Prime is seriously my savior (I also have an Amazon page for the blog where you can see my purchases), but I absolutely have been guilty of making unnecessary purchases thanks to a great review of a random item along with my credit card info being so easily stored. A friend and I joked, “is it really spending money if we buy it on Amazon?” It’s funny and for sure we laughed, but if you’re cutting back, try cutting here first.
If we do takeout, it’s typically from Pollo Tropical, Chipotle, Bolay, Blaze Pizza or another place with fresh ingredients that cost us under $15-$20. We know people regularly bring in meals from restaurants that must cost upwards of $40 each time. I don’t cook as much as others — though I’m becoming pretty handy thanks to Trader Joe’s. Affordable takeout is a helpful option once a week. I also just got this practical dinner cookbook that I’m hopeful has some great, easy recipes.
Food you consistently toss before you eat.
One more on the food front: if you’re consistently tossing the same food because it’s going bad… stop buying it. Are you a hopeful grocery shopper — i.e. this week, I’ll for sure eat broccoli and bananas three times! — yet it rarely happens? Be honest with yourself, with your schedule and what you really eat. It’s wasting money and likely making you feel guilty. Better to save your money and allocate it toward something else.
Not my favorite money saving trick, but Adam asks for very little in life so since he’s a huge fan of buying our cars (we usually get a relatively new, pre-owned with warranty), and we keep ’em. So, for the relevance of this post, we quit swapping out our cars every 2-3 years or leasing.
Currently, neither of us has a car payment, nor have we for a few years. It’s an amazing savings. I have friends paying upward of $500-700 per car. Adam is due for a new car soon but we’ve been able to allocate this extra amount toward savings, toward a trip, toward college funds, you name it.
My kiddos have way too many toys. I’m even the “terrible parent” who asked family members to stop bringing gifts during every visit. Their presence should be the gift, not another gift that gets tossed aside in five minutes. I do treat them to age appropriate books and toys, especially if they’re for creative play or for outside (fresh air = worth it!), but new toys on the regular, or each time you go to Target and they’re good… no, not necessary.
Our kids only open a few of their toys for their birthday and the rest go in a closet. During the year, we find opportunities to gift them one (they also select some to donate). They appreciate it so much more & it helps keep clutter at bay.
You like a top so much you buy it in every color. In fact, I hear bloggers who are trying to sell, so they constantly tell readers, “I’m going to pick this up in every color” as if there wasn’t a cost to this lifestyle. Or, do you purchase something only to realize you own something super similar. If your other item is ill-fitting, consider selling it on a site/app like Poshmark; I then use money I earn toward new items.
If you’re constantly feel like “you have nothing to wear,” start a list in your phone notes about what you’re lacking. It will help you stay focused while shopping and purchase what you actually need.
Have you looked closely lately at your bills? I was shocked to realize I was paying $9.99 for a subscription service for something I hadn’t used in six months. Serious fail. Don’t just pay your credit card bills; look closely and be unapologetic about cutting services and subscriptions you’re not regularly using.
Last one, and yup, it’s food again. I always have snacks with me. I do this for two reasons: I’m hungry all the time and like to know I have something I will like (love rX bars, and even the “kids” chocolate chip ones) or a trail mix pack, I often get from Trader Joe’s. I also do this because otherwise I’m scrambling to buy something if I’m out forever and it’s way pricey and not even what I want. I also keep a few snacks in my car for my kiddos (think gold fish, veggie straws, animal crackers) so if hunger strikes, we’re not making pit stops or impulse purchases.
So what did you think of these things to stop buying? Is this helpful and would you like more posts about finance and money? Comment below or send me an email; questions welcome!
You can also save this 10 Things to Stop Buying post by pinning or saving the image below:
Join the Conversation
Shira RosenbluthJune 14, 2018 at 2:28 PM
Ah I love this. I do a few of these already but there are a couple new ones I need to work on too!
chadJune 14, 2018 at 2:25 PM
Great article Alyson, you are spot on. It is shockingly amazing how all it all adds up!
RachJune 13, 2018 at 9:46 PM
This is so great post Alyson! I really enjoyed reading it. I have cut out very similar things and it is insane knowing how much money I have saved! I really love it when bloggers talking about finance because that is reality!