I am very excited to welcome Dr. Penny Pincher from Penny Pincher Journal who will be talking to you about 10 Things You Don’t Need.
10 Things You Don’t Need
Do you wish you had more money? The easiest way to get more money is to spend less of the money you are already making. Of course, this is easier said than done. An easy way to cut spending is to stop buying things you don’t need. This sounds pretty obvious, but what are some things you don’t need that you can easily cut?
OK, most of you probably do not own a yacht, but many people I know own big toys such as travel trailers, RV’s, boats, classic cars, and motorcycles. Consider how much you actually use your expensive toys and decide if you want to keep money tied up in them or if would be better off selling these items. For many people, this money would be better spent paying down debts or investing for retirement.
For years, I got a local daily newspaper and the New York Times and enjoyed them, but during the downturn of 2008 I decided to stop my newspaper subscription. Sometimes I buy a local paper on Saturday, but otherwise I don’t miss it that much. I listen to NPR news every morning and evening to stay up with local, national, and world events.
It was hard to cut satellite TV after having over 100 channels for many years, but I did it anyway. I was paying over $100 per month and couldn’t stand it anymore. I have replaced satellite TV with Netflix and an indoor HDTV antenna to get a few free channels over the air. Sure, I get a lot fewer channels, but I like saving $100 every month! You can see in the photo below how I activated the free Dish Network plan!
Fast food is expensive and not very healthy, so why not stop buying it? Fast food is popular because it tastes good and is very convenient. In order to cut fast food, you’ll need to replace it with meals you can make at home or lunches you can pack at home and take with you to work. This one takes some work, but is worth the effort in terms of money saved and the extra pounds you’ll lose. Once you get in the habit of taking your lunch, it is very easy to do and saves a lot of money.
Coffee at Starbucks
There was a time when I bought at least one cup of coffee at a coffee shop every day for around $2 per cup. Now I make a 16 oz cup of coffee at home every day from fresh ground whole coffee beans for about 60 cents. The savings does add up, and I can make better coffee at home than you can get in a coffee shop. You can make even cheaper coffee at home if you use less expensive ground coffee. Not only do you save money on the cost of the coffee, but you also save time spent waiting in line and cut down on extra driving as well.
A New Car
Used cars these days are nicer and more reliable than ever. I recently had to replace my 13 year old car after it was totaled after hitting a deer- and I bought a 10 year old car. I am happy to let someone else pay the depreciation and get a less expensive car. My 10 year old car is loaded with features, yet cost a lot less than a newer car. You do need to shop carefully for older cars- I was fortunate to find one that was in great shape at a good price. If you buy a new car, it becomes a used car as soon as you drive it off the lot. Why not just buy a used car and save some money?
My last haircut was in 2008- at least that was the last haircut that I paid for. I got a $25 buzzer set and give myself a haircut whenever I want at home for free. I have saved hundreds of dollars and have also saved lots of time waiting at the barbershop as well. This works not only for me, but we often give my sons haircuts at home too.
My wife has been working to get me to cut down on paper towel use for years, and I am finally getting closer to zero paper towel use. It seems silly to buy something just to throw it away, and this exactly what you are doing when you buy paper towels. What are you going to do with paper towels? You are going to throw them away. I have started using cloth towels, napkins, and washcloths instead of paper towels. I have also started to use garbage bags more efficiently so I can use less of them too.
It really bothers me when I have to pay a service fee of several dollars to get money out of my account at an ATM- in fact it bothers me so much that I don’t do it. I used go only to ATMs that were in my network and were free. Now I take out cash at the bank on payday to load up the envelope we use to buy food. However you approach this, you should be able to entirely avoid ATM fees. Why pay fees to get access to your own money?
I used to save way too much stuff. I even kept broken things around in case I someday needed spare parts. Eventually I realized that keeping a lot of stuff around has a cost. It is hard to find anything when you need it, and your space is filled with stuff. I have gotten rid of a lot of my extra stuff- mostly by selling it at consignment shops, on craigslist, on eBay, and taking it to an auction house. I have made thousands of dollars selling stuff I don’t need. You can get your space back and get money for your clutter. After you declutter is a great time to stop buying any more stuff you don’t really need that will become clutter…
What Don’t You Need?
So, are any of these 10 things you don’t need things that you are willing to actually cut to save money? What are the best things you have been able to cut from your budget to save money? Check out Penny Pincher Journal for more tips on spending less and saving money every day.
In 2013, Dr. Penny Pincher bought a puppy on impulse that changed his life. He realized he would have to quickly find ways to spend less money to cover this unplanned expense. He started searching for ways to spend less money and sharing penny pinching tips on his blog. You might wonder if Dr. Penny Pincher is really a doctor… yes he is- with a Ph.D. in engineering.