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How To Stop Buying Things
My family and friends tell me that I’m good with money so they often ask me: “How do you save money?”
That’s a very general question that I sometimes find hard to answer because I like searching for ways to make extra money and building some passive income streams to make saving feel a little easier.
However, I could still answer that better when you specifically ask me what things I stopped buying to save money.
So, this is what I realized when I spent some time thinking about my past (unnecessary) purchases…
I saved WAY more money than I could have imagined once I became more mindful and intentional about my spending.
If you follow my blog, you’ll know that I’m not a fan of cutting things I enjoy. Definitely not!
Instead, I paid attention to the unnecessary purchases that didn’t add any value to my life.
Here are the things I stopped buying to save money!
I want to point out #1 helped my fiancé and I save money without having to cut back on the drinks we enjoy! ❤️
On top of that, you can read my story of how cutting cable and HGTV channels made a huge difference to not only my bank account, but my life as well! I honestly didn’t expect that coming. 😮
More of our readers’ favorite posts from this personal finance and money blog:
- How To Stop Spending Money You Don’t Freaking Have (#5 is a Proven Strategy That Works!)
- How To Make Money Using Pinterest For Beginners (No Experience Required)
- How To Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck and Save Money
- The Struggle is Real: How To Save Money on a Low Income (or One Income)
Don’t forget to pin this for later!
1. Reduce your spending by earning FREE gift cards to Starbucks.
Okay, so I did not stop buying my favorite drinks from Starbucks!
I’m able to save money and reduce my spending because my favorite money-saving resources like Swagbucks allows you to earn FREE gift cards by watching videos, surfing the web, shopping for things you normally buy, playing games, and completing surveys!
I always get so excited when it comes to redeeming those FREE $50-$100 Starbucks gift cards!
Yep, the small and quick wins make me a happy gal. 🙂
In addition to Starbucks gift cards, I like how they offer other gift card selections like Amazon, Walmart, and more!
This is one of the most well-known and popular surveys and cash rewards program in North America. It’s absolutely free to use!
Swagbucks is 100% legitimate and has paid out their members over $321,087,343 to date! I’ve been a Swagbucks user since 2009 and I recommend them to those who want to earn free gift cards.
👉 You can get a FREE $5 bonus from Swagbucks here just by signing up today. 😊
⭐️ Important: Make sure you verify the email from Swagbucks in your inbox so you can get your FREE $5 bonus and start earning free gift cards immediately!
👉 I also recommend using Survey Junkie today so you can earn those sweet gift cards for free! I also use this resource 🙌
More ways to grab free gift cards! ❤️
Another similar website and free app I like to use to redeem free Starbucks and Amazon gift cards is MyPoints.
It’s one of my favorite hacks that allow me to reduce my spending so I could save more money. It’s quick and easy to join.
Plus, membership is 100% FREE, so why not take advantage of free resources to save money?
Want more resources that give consumers free money, gift cards, and rewards? Check out these clever ways to earn free gift cards online (Amazon, Walmart, Starbucks, Target, and more!)
2. Cutting cable helped me make money.
According to this USA Today article, the price of cable service has increased 53% since 2007. The average bill was around $100.98 per month ($1,211.76 a year) in 2017, which is almost two times as fast as inflation.
$100.98 per month? That’s no chump change!
You can actually use this FREE service called Trim that everyone’s raving about to help you lower your TV, Internet, cellphone and other monthly bills.
Though our cable bill wasn’t that high, we still stopped spending $55 per month ($660 per year) because we were barely using the service.
Even when I was using our cable service at times, I would binge-watch my favorite HGTV shows for many hours which led me feeling sluggish and unaccomplished for the entire day!
TRUST ME, once you find more meaningful activities to do during your free time, you’ll save money and won’t miss cable at all!
How to stop buying things:
After I ditched cable and focused on fun activities that make money, I naturally stopped spending money on unnecessary things within the past year (without even noticing)!
For example, I like answering easy survey questions with these best online survey sites during my spare time for some extra cash each month.
I recommend signing up for American Consumer Opinion if you’re looking for a new survey site to try. It only requires your e-mail to join, so it’s quick to become an exclusive member to participate in surveys and their research projects.
I like how their questions are in a multiple-choice format so it makes it really easy for me to complete online for extra money. Like all survey sites, it’s absolutely free to use!
Aside from taking surveys for fun, one of my favorite activities to do today is blogging! In fact, since I started a blog, I stopped spending money on unnecessary things and managed to save a TON of money!
Plus, I’m now able to make $5,000+ per month online with my small blog! 💰 Just imagine what this extra money could do for you.
Could it help you pay off some debt, pay the monthly bills (on time), or perhaps save money for your other financial goals? You can decide! 🙂
⭐️ If you asked me over a year ago, I had absolutely no clue that blogs could make money! I didn’t even know what blogs were! You too can learn how a small blog like mine makes money online. In fact, you can get started with my easy step-by-step tutorial on how to start a profitable blog here.
In the end, I was so happy to find this perfect alternative to watching TV! 🙂
That brings up my next point…
Do you know how many hours of TV the average American watches per day?
Five hours and four minutes per day!
Geez, that’s almost a full-time job according to The New York Times!
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that watching TV is bad.
Just too much of it makes you become sluggish and unproductive according to a Forbes article I read. That’s exactly why I watch less TV these days!
BTW, I’m not saying you have to cut cable. I personally made the decision to get rid of it because I really enjoy blogging (and making extra money from the blog) during my spare time.
3. I stopped buying paperback books on Amazon!
During my college years, and even a few years after I graduated, I loved buying stuff on Amazon and spent $15-$20 per month ($200 per year) on the best-selling finance books.
Some books were unnecessary purchases since I haven’t read them and they’re collecting dust as I speak.
However, I still re-read this really amazing book from time to time because it’s one of my favorite personal finance classics that has literally changed my life!
Overall, I don’t have a huge library of books lying around my place, but it’s enough to say I wasted money, so I stopped buying books on Amazon to save money!
🌟✅ PRO TIP: If you like buying books or shopping on Amazon, you can earn FREE Amazon gift cards by taking easy surveys with Survey Junkie.
On top of Swagbucks, I LOVE using this free resource to help me save extra money each month. 💵💸
👉 Click here to sign up for Survey Junkie and start earning FREE gift cards or cash immediately so you can stop spending! It’s fast and 100% FREE to use! 😊
4. Eating out too often.
Before making trips to the grocery store, we used to dine out for breakfast, lunch, and dinner almost every single day! When we reviewed our past bills, we were spending over $20,000 on food each year.
I know you might be reading this and thinking: “What??? That’s insane. Impossible!”
We even asked our friends and coworkers to add up their annual food costs (groceries, takeouts, restaurants, drinks, snacks, etc.) and they were shocked at how much they were spending! 😦
So, before you jump to conclusions, here is a breakdown of our personal food costs NOT including snacks, special drinks, or appetizers!
|Breakfast & Tea||Lunch||Dinner||Total|
|Yearly Food Cost Per Person||$12,168.00|
|Yearly Food Cost Per Couple||$24,336.00|
It’s insane because we thought we were just “living a normal life.” That’s actually quite common when you live in an expensive city.
After realizing how much money we were wasting, we started packing our lunches and making meals at home.
Today, we balance between eating in and going out. To be honest, we enjoy this lifestyle much more because we start to appreciate the foods we eat when we go out to special restaurants!
I highly recommend you to review your personal food costs to see how much you’re spending as well! You might be shocked yourself but the numbers don’t lie!!!
According to this CNBC article, the author writes: “It’s easy to start from a $10 salad one day and end up with a $30,000 credit card tab a year later. In fact, it’s becoming common.”
This is exactly how I felt throwing money away at restaurants and takeouts… 🙁
The $5 Meal Plan!
If you don’t know how to meal plan, or the idea sounds too overwhelming, I highly recommend this $5 meal plan service which will help you save time and money! 🥙🌮
This is simply a weekly meal plan service that aims to make your life SUPER easy and stress-free!
For only $5 a month, you’ll receive a delicious meal plan that costs less than $2 per meal. Stop dining out often and start saving AT LEAST $400 every month per person!
Again, my fiancé and I saved over $11,000 in a year when we reduced our food expense!
If you’re not sure whether this meal plan service is right for you, they offer a FREE 14-day risk-free trial here for you to test out.
They’re very serious when it comes to customer satisfaction. So if it doesn’t work out, you can cancel at any time without ever spending a cent. Absolutely no questions asked!
With that said, we stopped dining out so often to save more money!
Read also: How To Stop Spending Money on Unnecessary Things (#5 Really Works Like a Charm!)
5. Impulse buys at the grocery store (this is more than you think).
After reducing our spending on takeouts and restaurants, we started making trips to the grocery stores more often.
My fiancé is the one who loves to shop for groceries and on most days, he would walk into the store with no plan and buy on impulse. BAD MOVE!
Most of the food went to waste because we were never able to finish it before the expiry date. To fix the problem and save money, I made it a habit for him to write down the items we need (and the stuff we actually eat) with this cute printable I made.
I use resources to find FREE money hacks! 💵
On top of ditching the impulse buys and following a shopping list, we use Checkout 51 (available in the U.S. and Canada) to get FREE cash back on our groceries and home goods!
Every Thursday, the app would update the list with 100+ offers. We shop the offers from that list since they feature items we normally buy.
Then, we would quickly snap a picture of our receipt through the app with our smartphones and wait a few days for FREE cash to hit our accounts. Once your account reaches a minimum of $20, you can request your check at no cost!
🌟 Try them out and grab your FREE $5 BONUS here when you sign up through my link and upload your first few receipts.
You won’t make thousands of dollars but it feels good to receive a nice little check for extra spending. 💵 🛍
Here’s a screenshot of my $55.10 check that’s being mailed to me! HORRAY for FREE cash!!! 😀
If you live in Canada, I also recommend giving this FREE Caddle app a try here (plus get a $1 bonus). It only requires your e-mail to start saving money so you can reduce your spending.
It’s one of my favorite money-saving apps for Canadians and I use it every week to get cash back from my Costco receipts.
I also earn money by uploading my other grocery receipts whenever I purchase a product that I was going to buy with or without the special offer (I only buy things I need and use). It’s like earning free money, so why not?
One of my favorite features is the Caddle daily survey poll for cash because it takes literally 5 to 10 seconds to complete an extremely short survey. This is something quick that I do when I’m sitting in the passenger seat or riding the bus.
You can request to get paid once you hit $20, which doesn’t cost you anything and shouldn’t take very long.
I personally like accumulating a bigger balance because it feels more rewarding — it feels almost like free money mailed to me. 🙂
Here’s an example of one of my checks from them:
Read also: How We Reduce Our Food and Grocery Expenses by 50%! 👈
💵 Need help with budgeting and mastering your money?
Download our fail-proof budget printables that can help you save money like a pro!
My fiance and I were inspired by Gail Vaz-Oxlade’s money makeover shows and that’s how we learned about her clever budget strategy.
To help you master your savings, we created our version of her fail-proof budget plan just for you!
In this budget kit, we included a monthly budget tool that keeps track of all your income sources plus expenses. We also made these pretty weekly printables that will keep your budget and savings on track.
These free printables were made to give you instant results to boost your confidence in your financial journey.
This budget kit is only exclusive to my subscribers so you can grab your FREE copy here!
Read also: How This Savings Strategy Helped Us Save Almost $1,000,000 in 8 Years (Without Winning The Lottery)
6. Overbuying makeup and beauty products.
To save money, I stopped buying so many expensive makeup and other products from Sephora and high-end department stores.
I’ll admit that this wasn’t easy at first. But I was serious about saving money so I bought less and less of their products by only sticking to a few expensive ones that I absolutely LOVE!
Generally, I may splurge on expensive foundation and skincare, but I started using lower-cost alternatives for some products that aren’t as important to me.
For example, I spend very little on mascara like this one here. This is SO much more affordable and it works just as well as expensive ones! 😲
🌟 PRO TIP: When I do spend, I would take advantage of money-saving resources like Ebates to get FREE money back on my purchases from Sephora along with other stores I usually shop at. I really LOVE Ebates and I always recommend them to my family and friends! It’s 100% FREE to use too! 💵
👉 Check out my honest Ebates review (plus get a FREE $10 bonus). This covers a quick tutorial on how you can save money on your day-to-day purchases at over 2,000+ stores WITHOUT putting in effort. NO gimmicks at all!
I still look the same and never felt any prettier by buying more makeup. The only difference is I save hundreds of dollars by being more mindful and intentional with what I buy.
With that said, I choose to save money so that I could invest in stocks which gives me capital returns. 🙂
7. Travel-sized products.
Yes, I stopped buying convenience to save money.
I admit they’re cute and all, but I couldn’t stand how little product I was getting for the price I was paying. In the end, I couldn’t justify paying more for “convenience” so I went for these reusable travel bottles to save money.
You know that ready-to-go travel-sized products are limited in selection and brand, so why settle?
8. Magazine subscriptions.
I went through a phase where I was obsessed with home décor so I signed up for magazine subscriptions to get inspiring ideas.
And this is what I realized…
There wasn’t a lot of great content in those magazines.
They didn’t offer solutions for decorating my home on a budget. Instead, they were only filled with gorgeous pictures (or should I call them ads) to lure me into buying their really pretty furniture products like this one here. I honestly go crazy over stuff like that… 😱
Well, instead of buying brand new solid wood furniture like that, I soon learned that I could flip my own to either save money or make extra money!
Not only was I wasting money on magazine subscriptions, but I was also wasting money on home décor products that I didn’t need.
To think of it, I was paying to look at ads, which encouraged me to spend even more!
To fix this problem, I discovered Pinterest and Home/DIY Bloggers that provided budget-friendly solutions to help me save money! Gosh, why didn’t I think of that sooner?
This robot can help you stop spending…
Speaking of those magazine subscriptions, you can also stop spending on your other unused subscriptions!
🤖💵 Are you too busy to negotiate some of your bills?
Did you know that Trim Financial Manager (a FREE personal finance bot) can help you effortlessly save money? This robot can negotiate the prices of your monthly Cable, Internet, and other subscriptions FOR YOU! He can also auto fight fees with your bank!
Also, if there’s ever a subscription that you want to cut, just tell Trim by sending him a text message and he’ll cancel that service for you.
Check it out…
He can also inform you of how much you spent (and on what) when you ask him. That way, you are aware of your spending habits like this…
Trim has helped users save over $8,000,000!
🌟 You can sign up for Trim for FREE here so he can put FREE money back into your wallet. 💰💰💰 He’s exclusive to the U.S. only so take advantage of him!
9. Knick-knacks/doodads (the compounding power of $1 saved). 💵 🔜 💰💰💰
It’s those “cute” random objects (ornaments, toys, notepads, or things with a cute character… Hello Kitty, anyone?) that stops us from saving money!
If you’ve been at the Forever 21 checkout aisle, you’ll know exactly what I mean! I know that they’re irresistibly cute, but let me tell you something…
Being broke ain’t cute, girl!
When I went through a de-cluttering phase, I was surprised at how much money I wasted!
Again, a few dollars here and there adds up to a bunch of crap that doesn’t add any value to your life!
I could’ve saved for an emergency fund, a nice vacation, something I truly appreciate and love, or a contribution to my investment account.
💰 PRO TIP: Treat every dollar you save and invest as a “worker” that can grow into more dollars (i.e. more workers). The trick is to have more of your “money work for you” so you can watch your savings grow without having to lift a finger. That’s the power of saving money with compound interest.
Read also: The Secrets To Becoming a Millionaire (Without Winning The Lottery)
Going forward, when you’re about to buy a knick-knack that costs $5 to $10, ask yourself whether you’re willing to give up 5 to 10 “workers” who could potentially create more workers for you.
This process compounds into something BIG and could leave you with a ton of money saved (without you even realizing)!
My fiance and I have been slowly saving and investing our money for years. As a result, our investments grew exponentially to more than what we could have imagined!
Readers, before you buy anything, do yourself a favor and ask: “Does this add any value to my life?”
It not, don’t buy it and you’ll save a ton of money!
Remember, each dollar you save and invest is a “worker” you keep. That “worker” can magically make money for you. 🙂
Over to you — What about you? What things did you stop buying to save money? To add more money to your bank account, don’t forget to check out the best places to get FREE cash below!
👉 Get FREE cash here! 💵 💵 💵
Are you new to my blog?
If you follow me, you’ll know that I’m all about saving money and making money.
Below are some of my favorite sites and resources that may help you! The best part is that they’re all FREE to use!
American Consumer Opinion (ACOP): This company has over 6 million members who get paid to answer surveys online. I use this free resource as a fun way to earn a little extra cash. Each survey is easy and takes less than 10 minutes to complete.
They ask really simple questions in the form of multiple choice such as “Which soda brand do you drink”? Or “Which of the following fast food chains are your top choices to go to for a burger”?
👉 Sign up for ACOP for FREE and start earning extra money today! Signing up only requires your e-mail, so it’s super fast and easy! 💵 💵 💵
MyPoints: You can earn FREE gift cards to your favorite stores or FREE cash just by watching videos, taking surveys, shopping online, reading e-mails and more. MyPoints has paid out their members $236,000,000!
🌟 Sign up for MyPoints here for FREE and get a $5 bonus immediately when you take 5 surveys! 💵
⭐️ Important: Don’t forget to verify the email from MyPoints in your inbox so that you can redeem your bonus!
Related post: The Top Survey Sites To Join For FREE Today (Earn up to $50 per survey)!
Drop: My fiancé and I use this FREE Drop app to rack up cash rewards on our everyday purchases. I love how this app allows us to combine their offers with other cash back rewards and store promos. That’s how we get the most cash back! 😉
My referral code is applicable to both the U.S. and Canada!
Related post: To learn more, read my honest review and tutorial on how Drop works. If you like the idea of passive savings, then I’m sure you’re going to enjoy this app as much as I do!
Ebates: You get FREE cash just for shopping at over 2,000 of your favorite stores. This includes Walmart, Macy’s, Apple, Kohl’s, Target, eBay, and so many more! I use Ebates to save over a few hundred dollars per year just for shopping for the things I normally buy.
🌟 Sign up here and get your FREE $10 bonus after making your first $25 purchase through Ebates. 🛍💵
If you live in Canada, use this link to sign up and get your FREE $5 bonus.
Related post: To learn more, read my full review and tutorial on how to use Ebates here. You will LOVE Ebates! ❤
Here’s my #1 tip to saving more money!
Up to this point, you’ve read about the things I’ve stopped buying to save money. I have to admit that saving money can feel a bit restrictive at times especially when you have a low income (trust me, I know how this feels!). But life doesn’t have to be that way if you’re willing to put in a bit of effort to make extra money. That’s exactly what I’ve been doing and I would love to help you!
There’s a limit to how much you can save, but there’s no limit to how much you can make.
To give you some money making ideas (so that you could save more money comfortably), I wrote these posts to help you reach your fullest earning potential — most of them require little to no experience. I sincerely hope these articles help! Dive in!
– A Full Guide To Making An Extra $1,000 Per Month Blogging (No Experience Required)
– 11 Things We’ve Done To Make Extra Money (#8 is Hiring Now)
– How I Make Over $100 Everyday on Pinterest (No Experience Required)
Enjoyed this post? Don’t forget to share it and follow me on Pinterest! 🙂