I consider myself a fairly frugal person. I haven’t always been this way, though. It’s taken years of learning how to simplify and cut back on the things I don’t need. And while there are areas in my financial life where I could make improvements, I’m proud of how far I’ve come.
Here are 13 things I quit buying to save money.
13 Things I Quit Buying to Save Money
1. I cut the cord. We mainly watch DVDs in my house. Now that I’ve built up a nice DVD collection, I rarely spend anything on movies anymore. When I had cable, it cost about $75/month, so cutting the cord has saved us a lot of money.
2. I don’t go to the gym. Over the years, I’ve found gym memberships to be a waste of money for our family. No matter how good my intentions of going to the gym were, in reality, I rarely utilized my gym memberships. Because of this, my husband and I decided to invest in a small at home gym. I do strength exercises with our power rack and weights, and I get my cardio in on the elliptical.
3. I rarely go to the movies. We used to go out to the movies every weekend. Once we decided to cut back on our spending, we now go months and months without going to the movie theater. Now, as a family, we enjoy going to the park or finding ways to explore the city.
4. I rarely drink. I’ve never been a drinker. I’m talking maybe a few drinks a year. For some people, drinking is a significant expense. A drink or two a day can add up. Cutting back on alcohol is a great way to save money.
7. I don’t go shopping. I’m not saying that I never go shopping, of course, I go shopping when I need household necessities like soap, tissue, etc. However, I only go shopping when I need something.
5. I hardly ever go out. When cutting back on expenses, we always cut back on going out. We rarely go to the theater, opera, clubs, or out to eat at restaurants.
6. I stay healthy. As mentioned above, I exercise at home and I don’t drink (or smoke for that matter). Because I live a healthy lifestyle, I rarely have to go to the doctors, which means more money in my pocket.
7. We paid off our cars. A few years ago my husband and I decided to pay off our cars. We love not having a car note, and we plan to keep it that way. Even when we decide to get new cars, we’ll be paying cash.
9. I bring my own lunch. In the workplace, I’ve noticed that people tend to eat out every day, spending anywhere from $8-20 per lunch. I usually bring leftovers and fruit for lunch. Saving me at least $40 a week.
10. I don’t subscribe to any magazines. I used to have subscriptions to my favorite magazines. Now I use my local library to read magazines on my iPad for free.
11. I rarely buy new clothes. This is a little embarrassing to say, but I rarely buy new clothes. I pretty much wear what I own until it starts to fall apart. I told you I was frugal.
12. I never travel. Don’t get me wrong; I love to travel. When my savings accounts are where I want them to be, I will start traveling again. But for now, I’m fine staying at home and exploring my state.
13. I skip the lattes. I used to frequently buy lattes from Starbucks at the cost of about $5 per latte. Now I make my own coffee.
There are more small ways that I’ve learned to save, like cooking most of my meals at home, using less electricity, and more. There are also things I could still cut back on.
When it comes to cutting back on expenses, I’m proud of how far I’ve come. We’re putting more money into savings than ever before, and that’s definitely something to be proud of.