Friday, April 13, 2012

Things I Don't Spend Money On...

I saw a post on one of my favorite blogs, Money Saving Mom, called 7 Things We Don’t Buy. I’ve seen a few other bloggers do the same thing and I thought it would be a good exercise for me – to see if there actually is anything I don’t spend my money on. I was actually surprised to find that there are quite a few things I don't spend on that others do. Initially I had a hard time coming up with things because for the most part these are unconscious decisions. I still don't have control of my finances but it's good to know that when I want to practice restraint I can. Here's my list:

1.Salon Hair Color – I’ve been dying my own hair since I was in high school but as an adult I have often given in to the convenience of letting somebody else do it. A couple of years ago I decided it just wasn’t worth the expense. I do my own color, stick to brunette shades which are hard to mess up and I always use a coupon.
2.Bottled Water – I used to be a big offender in this category. I bought large bottles of Aquafina several days a week. Now I have a Brita pitcher at home and I keep a plastic (non-bpa) reusable bottle on my desk at work to use at the water cooler.
3.Paper Plates – I used a lot of these. I was super lazy about doing dishes so this was my solution. Now I use regular plates and I wash dishes every night before bed.
4.Soda – this is a recent one and the one I am most proud of! I used to buy at least a 12 pack every pay period as well as buying one or more individual sodas at work every day. Now I drink tea at restaurants and water everywhere else.
5.Magazines at the grocery store – I am a magazine JUNKIE. I used to be really bad, buying one or two every time I was at the store. Now I have subscriptions that I got at a discounted rate for Cooking Light and Budget Travel and I recently subscribed to All You. The rest I just don’t need.
6.Napkins – this might just be laziness rather than money saving savvy. I do buy paper towels so I use those rather than paper napkins since they can do double duty.
7.Books (not including E-books) – I’m an avid reader. I used to be able to drop $60 without blinking an eye at Barnes and Noble. I still buy books but now I get them on my Ipad. They are typically less expensive than the real thing.
8.Premium Gas – to be honest, I’ve never done this. I’ve always just bought what was cheapest.
9.Food Club Memberships – I don’t have a Costco and Sam’s club membership. I shared one with a friend once and went one time in a year. As a single person without kids it’s just not worth it for me.
10.Alcohol at restaurants – I go out to eat pretty frequently with my boyfriend or my friends and everyone always orders alcoholic beverages ….except me. That can really run your tab up. I stick to water or tea…no specialty froo froo drinks either. I prefer not to drink my calories…or my money.
11.Shaving Cream – I use lotion typically or body wash. I don’t need something else cluttering up my shower!
12.Salad dressing - I make my own vinaigrette's with vinegar, oil, mustard, and seasonings. I do sometimes buy Ranch and Italian packets to make Stephanie O’Dea’s 3 Packet Roast.

Something I noticed on other people's lists was Cable TV. I actually didn't have cable for several months and I spent a ton of money on movies, Hulu plus, and the premium Netflix account. My boyfriend and I spent football season in bars and spending money on food. For me having cable is better. What things don't you spend money on? What things do you refuse to give up?

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