You might be surprised how much we actually need as humans. Most people spend money easily, without thinking before spending. But there are so much things we could live without that will save us money. Here’s a list of things you should stop buying if you want to save money.
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As some of you might know, I did a buy nothing challenge at the beginning of this year and learned so much from it. It made me think things through and question myself. Do I really need this? Is there another option instead of spending money?
Before the challenge, we already changed some things to save money. We are working towards a life where we don’t need much money. That way we don’t have to work full-time and have more free time for the people and things we love.
If you are looking for more money and more time, you should definitely check out these things you should stop buying to save money.
Things to stop buying to save money
I used to buy something new for Christmas every year (for me and for the boys). Or something new for a wedding or special occasion. But why should you buy something you only wear once, or maybe twice?
Nowadays I have only a few items in my wardrobe for special occasions. I own two dresses and for Christmas I have a very nice sweater with a shiny star on it which is great for Christmas. But I also love to wear it on regular days.
If you have some basic items, you can always mix and match and create a lot of different looks without the need for hundreds of items. And with accessories, like a belt, you can make every outfit special.
This is a personal one, but I almost never wear jewelry. Sometimes when we go out I like to put on a bracelet, my wedding ring and a necklace. But most days I don’t wear any jewelry.
Especially with little kids it’s much more practical to take jewelry off. So I just never buy anything, even if I come across something I like. I know I’m not going to wear it.
Another personal one. I never really used cosmetics, only a little bit as a teenager. o I don’t actually own any cosmetics either, other than a camouflage stick to cover my tired eyes :’)
Cosmetics can be really expensive, so it can save a lot of money if you use less or look for cheap brands.
Personal Hygiene products
For my curly hair, I always used an expensive brand. Why? Because it worked and I was used to it. Then I decided to try out a cheap brand. The result? I didn’t notice any difference, other than in my wallet!
Also other personal hygiene products are usually perfectly fine from cheap brands. It can save you so much money!
Of course we have toys for the boys. But we never buy toys just because they are being good kids or something. They get toys on their birthdays and with “Sinterklaas” (a Dutch holiday, a bit like Christmas).
Whenever they see something they want, I write it down for them. That way we don’t have to come up with a list when it’s their birthday. Plus they feel heard which usually avoids tantrums / whining :)
I used to love new furniture and make everything match. Nowadays I look for cheaper items that are practical and timeless. Another option is to look for secondhand items and style them yourself to match your taste.
For example, I really like this LACK TV table from IKEA, it’s really basic and simple, but what else do you need?
I love Christmas and love to have a beautiful tree and make our home cozy. But the decorations are expensive right before Christmas.
Nowadays I use our decorations items multiple years and if I want something new, I buy it after Christmas as it’s all on sale then.
I love to buy books. But they take up space and cost money. Another option is to go to the library. How many books do you actually read more than once? You can always borrow a book a second time if you like to read it again.
You can also buy E-books. They are cheaper and don’t use up any space in your house.
Another option is Amazon Prime. Did you know that you can borrow kindle E-books for free? If you don’t have a subscription yet, you can try Amazon Prime for free for 30 days.
Theme Party Stuff
Throwing birthday parties for the kids is great. But I’m not going to buy all pirate decorations this year and Spiderman decorations next year. I rather buy something we can use multiple years.
If you are anything like me, you might have bought some exercise equipment before. You start off really enthusiastic and after a few weeks, you start using it less until it sits there doing nothing.
I’ve done this multiple times. Every time I was like, but this time I AM going to use it! Yeah right… So stop buying equipment if you know in the back of your head that you aren’t going to use it for years.
When we moved to our current house 1,5 years ago, we decided to go without cable. We already didn’t watch much TV, so it was a logic step to take. I haven’t missed it since. We can watch most things online and we have Netflix and Videoland, which is a Dutch streaming service.
We also have Disney+ now to try out. It’s released exclusively to the Netherlands and free to try till November 12th. I signed up yesterday and it’s awesome! So many childhood memories. It’s not just Disney stuff, but also Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars and National Geographic.
I’m not sure yet if we want to keep that subscription after the trail period as it’s € 6,99 a month. Maybe we can trade it for Videoland, which costs the same. But let’s see how we like it while it’s still free.
Landline phone services
When we moved, we also didn’t want a landline anymore. We both have a mobile phone and we didn’t really use our landline phone anyway. I haven’t missed it a single day.
We only have one. A magazine about psychology which we always read. We’ve had other magazine subscriptions before, but those just piled up unread. It wasn’t interesting enough to read right away and then after a year I had a bunch of magazines laying around, still wrapped in it’s plastic.
Probably most adults owned a gym membership once in their life. But most of us stop going and forget to cancel it. Such a waste of money! Plus there are lots of free options to work out instead of going to the gym.
How about a walk or run outside? Or check out Youtube for free lessons, like yoga or dancing.
You know those games with levels that make you go crazy? Or very competitive games or games where you get killed all the time by people who are a higher level, so you almost have to spend money to grow faster?
Those are the worst as the developers know exactly how to convince you to spend money. It’s usually just small prices, so it seems harmless. But when you look at your bank account later, you see all these little prices add up.
And then you find out that you actually spend $50 on a game because you wanted to pass a level…
So unless you are strong enough to withstand this, get rid of such games and spend your time & money on something else.
If you always think before you buy and question yourself if you really need it, you can stop buying unnecessary things to save money.
Is your spending out of control? Can you think of things you should stop buying? Or have you already stopped spending money on certain things to save money? Love to hear your thoughts!