Frugal Living Tips: Don’t Waste Your Money

It seems like everywhere you turn, there’s a hidden cost or fee associated with something you’re trying to do. So you do what I’ve done, suck up the extra cost, and deal. Why? It’s easier than bothering to plan ahead so you don’t waste your money, because planning is full of the bullsh!t. Who wants to plan when you can do it right! this! moment?

Apparently, me. Also, probably, you.

In that vein, it’s time to play, “don’t waste your money!” with your host, Becky, as Herself.

don't spend your money

1) Don’t waste your money on that dress you just KNOW will fit you… one of these days (substitute pants, shirts, or um, pants). Why? It’ll fill you with guilt when you see it hanging sadly in your closet, and it will only serve to increase the clutter in your house. Since clutter = stress, you want to reduce stress and focus on the things you CAN control. One of them is absolutely clutter. And guilt over not fitting into that size -2 dress.

2) Don’t waste your money on ATM Fees. Dude. It’s your money. It really is. Chances are? You worked HARD for that money. Sure, it’s annoying to have to plan a trip to the bank to withdraw YOUR MONEY, but it beats the crap out of paying those stupid ATM fees. Last one I paid? Three bucks. That was MY money. If I’d bothered to plan better, I could’ve NEATLY avoided it.

3) Don’t waste your money playing the Lotto – sure it sounds great: you pay a couple of bucks for the opportunity to win millions of dollars. Who wouldn’t want to become an overnight millionaire? (answer: me, but that’s just because I’m afraid of the Lottery Curse). Chances of winning the Lotto? Smaller than the chances you’d get struck by lightening tomorrow. The Lottery is NOT something you want to spend your money on.

4) Don’t waste your money on a new phone right before the newER new phone is coming out (yes, iPhone 5, I’m talking to you). It’s tempting all, “I have the latest in technology, neener-neener,” but really, that extra money you’re spending now can be saved in a few short weeks, when the current newest phone becomes obsolete. So bite your nails, wait it out, and be sure to negotiate your way into the very best deal on your cell phone ever. Be sure when you buy technology, the next best thing isn’t waiting around the corner.

5) Don’t waste your money on buying lunch. Packing your own lunch sucks. I haven’t enjoyed eating a brown-bagged peanut butter sandwich since… well, ever. There’s no room for doubt, packing your lunch is no fun. Going out to lunch once in awhile with coworkers is okay – everyone has to make the time and money to have some fun – but if you do it every day? You’re blowing wads of money. Don’t waste your money going out to lunch.

6) Don’t waste your money on Blu-Ray Movies (or DVD’s) – with services like Hulu and Netflix around every corner, you don’t need to be spending upwards of 20 bucks a pop to see all those special features unless it’s a movie you KNOW you want to see the extra features for. Movies take up a lot of space that could be better occupied with LESS CLUTTER.

don't waste your money
(this is awesome, by the way – saving trees AND cash)


What other things can you think of not to waste your money on?

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18 thoughts on “Frugal Living Tips: Don’t Waste Your Money

  1. Pingback: Parenting Map By Region - Mommy Wants Vodka

  2. I bank with a small regional bank. Upside = great personal service with no monthly fees. Downside = fewer fee-free ATMs. So, rather than pay the $3 to$6 in atm fees, or spend a gallon of gas driving to the fee-free atm, i will ask for cash back when i swipe my debit card for groceries. Fee-free cash withdrawal. Bam. Boom. Fuck the banks and their fees.

  3. Coffee – I LUHVE me a good Starbucks latte, but at $4.50/ea. I just can’t justify it all that often. I make my coffee at home in the morning and splurge ($3 for a giant bottle that lasts me a few weeks) on flavored creamer.

    • Yeah, I’m so with you. Whenever people say stuff like, “stop going for coffee” as a means to save monies, I’m all, “been doing it for years.” Starbucks is a treat for me. TOTAL treat.

  4. Imma be an asshole for a moment. I don’t think we should be focusing on these little money wasters. What you should be focusing on are the big things- credit card debt, high interest rates on said cards, and big ticket purchases. If you have all the big things in order, the little things don’t matter.
    You need to shift your mindset to the things you like rather than the things you are supposed to have. For example. I like Starbucks. A LOT. I also own a $350 espresso machine. It was purchased to wean me off of Starbucks. Epic fail. (Now I make a latte at home and then buy one at Starbucks later.) My nasty habit is expensive. Sure, I could stop buying the lattes that I love and save some dough, but what if I shift my spending from the things I don’t care about to the things that I do? So instead of cutting back on Starbucks, I cut my cable. I don’t care about cable. My $75 cable bill went right to Starbucks and I don’t feel a thing. I have my happy and I haven’t actually wasted any money!
    Hate ATM fees? Change your bank. There are a lot of online banks that will reimburse your ATM fees. So do some smaller banks, like Cindy, above, mentioned.
    To really get ahead, we need to look at the forest, not the trees. Think big. Little stuff is inconsequential.
    BTW- Becky, you are awesomesauce and I am so glad to see you embrace your inner frugal!

      • Furnishing a home on a budget? It would be a place to mention avoiding debt, & also repurpose/reuse/etc. Save money, save the planet, and fuck the banks with their fees & interest.

      • I can remember when my kids were litlte we would make all sorts of crafts from construction paper which was not very expensive also they played alot with imagination outside using things they found in the yard

    • Cutting your cable is brave(Hi, my name is Joules and I’m a teevee junkie) and awesome if that works for you because that is a big old chunk to save monthly. And I get what you’re saying about the big picture, other Cindy, but those little expenditures add up to a lot more than we like to think about in the long run. So true that we need to worry about the big stuff, but every little bit helps and it also puts us in the mindset of being careful with our purchases.

  5. The Cindy that isn’t me has a point. Sunshine and I are in the process of paying down debt. Truck note? Gone. (And $500/month more in our pockets.) We also payed off another loan ($300/month more in our pockets), and will have gotten rid of another $500/month payment by the first of October. If I could get Sunshine to quit using other banks’ ATMs, I guarantee you it would put $100 or more in our pockets every month (yeah, he uses other banks’ATMs THAT DAMN MUCH). His damned warehouse is literally a mere few blocks from oone of our bank’s ATMs. Ass. I think that the little things do matter, just not to the point of depriving one’s self of the pleasure of living.

  6. I think both Cindys have a point. Yes, by all means, take care of the big things. They are the painful, obvious things to deal with, and their effect on your budget is huge and immediate. But those little things… they add up over time. So no, don’t deprive yourself, but be careful about your purchases. Which is why I try to write my purchases down (so that I track my spending and hold myself accountable) and why I sometimes put off purchasing things (though there are admittedly some purchases you just CAN’T put off — but waiting helps me to decide how much do I really need/want whatever I was planning to buy — and to be sure I’m not confusing wants with needs, especially when money is tight.). That sounds nice and simple, but it takes discipline and setting priorities. Blech. Boring. So, yeah, definitely allow yourself some splurges. Right now I’m thinking I could use some chocolate!

    • What I’m learning about this is that I have to make the time to budget and spend time carefully considering my purchases. It’s going to take time and energy, but I can do this.

  7. I play the lottery. Twice a week. Every week. I totally get your advice on this point and agree that gambling doesn’t pay. But, for me, two dollars a week for hope is a pretty good deal.

  8. I am about as frugal as they get. I wont buy ahtnniyg from the thrift store. They have two seperate dumpsters. One for regular trash and one for their Unsellable items. They always fill it up with store wares every week. Then I go and take care of it.

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