Conversations are often about WHAT we spend our money on – not what we DON’T.
Why change the direction of conversation? Because our culture is consumed with consumerism. You do not have to look far to notice that we are bombarded with kind “suggestions” on what we should spend our money on.
Think advertisements on tv and the radio
Think flyers in doorways of any public place
Think daily conversations with whomever you run into
No matter where you turn, there is someone or something “screaming” at you, telling you what you should buy and how it would improve your life.
I guess in a way, some things I do listen to. If it does improve my life, saves money in the end, and is worth my time, well, maybe I will throw an ear that way. Majority of the time though, I close the door on those suggestions.
Why write a blog post about what we DON’T spend our money on? I think we can get caught up in the idea that we need to have what everyone else has. Not that I am trying to prove that we can live without something, but want to encourage you to think twice about succumbing to the pressures of what you should spend your money on.
Cable. At this time we just don’t need it, especially with the cost of it. I am a huge sports fanatic and I do miss some GREAT sporting events because we do not have it, but we often watch big games with friends, so they are kind enough to have us over. We find that when we are at a place (like hotel) that has cable, we find there really isn’t anything that we want to watch. We feel we’d be paying for background noise since we can’t find all that much to watch when we can. Now if you could pay for 5 stations? Our thoughts might change.
Hired help. If we can, we try to fix things ourselves. My husband is the king of going on google or youtube to fix something! He also has a book on how to fix about anything, and let me tell you, he does! He has fixed numerous things on our vehicles, water heater, bathroom, you name it. I honestly feel like he has fixed it. Some things with our vehicles are beyond his knowledge, so we bring it to a trusted friend/mechanic. If we do have to call someone, we always go by word of mouth! I don’t think we even have a phone book because we are word of mouth people.
Malls. You will rarely see us in a mall. We really do not see any need to go to a mall – when we know we need to get something, we usually go to ONE store. At this stage in our life, we know what works and what doesn’t. If we have to order it online, we do – and often times get free shipping in the process. Yes, I do enjoy walking through a mall every once in awhile – but this is like 2 times a year. We just aren’t big shoppers and window shopping in a mall is one of the most dangerous places to be! Granted the Mall of America is a few hours from us, but we don’t go there to go on a shopping spree – we go there for the atmosphere.
Hairdressers. Yes, I do get my hair cut by someone – I cut my own hair a few times in college and it worked, but I decided to save myself the hassle! I really never get my hair highlighted, but I did decide to get a few highlights using a cap. Can’t say I’ll do it again. If you would see my hair, you would notice that I really have no need to. I have natural blonde and dark pieces in my hair, so I keep it the way it is. I also cut my husband’s hair (he actually taught ME). So we just do not spend money on hairdressers, except the 2-3 times a year I get my haircut (I know, I should do it more!)
Music. With websites like youtube, pandora, and the ability to listen to almost any radio station online, we rarely buy cds anymore. We don’t even use the i-tune account anymore. We have kept our favorite cds, but we have significantly lessened our inventory because everything is accessible online. I think I have not bought a cd or music in over a year.
ATMs and Finance Charges. Why do I categorize them together? Because they are both completely avoidable. Once in the past how many years, we had to go to an ATM. We had just arrived home from a trip with our youth group and 12 hours later we left for another week long trip and we completely forgot to stop at the bank. Bam. Fee charged. We knew there was a reason why we avoid this as much as we can. When we saw the fee, we thought we were born in the ice age because we had no clue it cost THAT much. Also, finance charges – we have never owed on a credit card and we hope we never will. Since I was 18, I have always paid my bill on time. To me, it is just not worth the extra fees. If we don’t have the money, we don’t buy it. It’s as simple as that!
Gym Memberships. I once had a free trial membership to Curves. I thought why not? Sounded like something new. But then I realized that everything I did there, I could do at home. Even though it was free (and nothing against Curves), I missed going outside and exercising. I have a hard time “paying” to exercise since God has given us such a beautiful creation to exercise in! Though, in the winter, I do use my elliptical that I bought for $50 at a garage sale. It is just too cold to exercise outside when it’s -30 or -40 out! To each their own, but we just do not choose to spend our money on a gym membership at this time.
Dry Cleaners. I don’t think we have any clothes that are dry clean only. If we did, I am sure I would find a way around needing to use their services. I am sure I could find a DIY way! I’ve heard it is just so expensive and I have a hard time paying more for dry cleaning than what I spent for the item itself.
Upgrades. We just aren’t “upgrade” kind of people. I know that some get inspired and motivated by upgrades, but I guess we are boring people. We have the lowest possible wireless internet, I have a tracfone (husband has an i-phone through/for work), we have old-er cars (2000 and 2002), my laptop is one of the cheapest out there and my husbands we bought used. I will be honest that “newer” does sound good sometimes. Like a newer computer, newer car, etc. But we know that comes with a hefty price tag, so what we have works. No need to upgrade. No need to buy something else until the other one goes out!
Scratch-offs. Okay, who doesn’t say “when I win a million dollars…”? Well, that day will probably never come because we do not play the lottery. We simple choose to spend our money elsewhere.
These are NOT right or wrong ways to spend your money. We do not judge anyone who spends their money on these things because I know we spend money on things that others would not. Like a fishing boat. Like a trip to the Florida Keys. Like internet. That is why again, no judging here.
I wanted to share this with you all because so often we talk about the things TO spend money on and not on the things that we don’t.
What DON’T you spend YOUR money on?