- A fancy sports car which I could (barely) afford to lease. Now I need a good, solid car which should last for years and years and most importantly, which I can afford to pay off within a few years.
- An expensive name-brand purse. Someone should have smacked me years ago when I bought dozens of Coach, Dooney & Bourke, and Louis Vuitton purses. What a God-awful waste of money!
- Brand new clothes from the mall. Now I find much much cheaper (and often much cooler, more unique, and much better overall) clothes at the Goodwill.
- Mani/pedis every other week. Again, a frightening waste of money. It's much cheaper (and often healthier) to just neatly trim and buff your nails at home. Even splurging on a bottle of OPI polish is a big money saver over visiting a salon every couple weeks. Note, I often find OPI polish for a few dollars at TJ Maxx.
- Buying birthday and Christmas presents for our extended family. When our immediate family ballooned to nearly 100 people it because ridiculously expensive to buy and send gifts to every sibling/sibling's kids/sibling's grand kids/aunt/uncle/etc. for birthdays and Christmases. Needless to say, gifts now are smaller, more practical, and limited to our kids and grandkids.
- Cable TV with every station known to man. We have very basic cable TV right now because it was cheaper than just cable internet, but there is no way we could even watch many of the stations we used to subscribe to. It was a waste of money (and probably time and brain cells too).
- Over draft/over limit/other bank and credit card fees. For a number of years I was paying fees upon fees due to my lack of money and general irresponsibility when it came to my financial life. Fortunately I've mastered basic checkbook balancing and have pulled myself out of debt so I am not writing checks and crossing my fingers hoping that the checks wouldn't bounce before I somehow got money into my bank account to cover them.
- Couponing myself into debt. When couponing became really popular (remember the Coupon Queens who made the news on a regular basis?) I would cut coupons like a maniac and buy buy buy with them. I wasn't one of those people who actually got cash back from the store so I basically ended up buying a bunch of stuff that we would never use and even though the items were discounted with coupons it was still a waste of money.
- Eating out All. The. Time. While we eat out occasionally now, it is almost all free with hubby's comps. Before we were just busy and tired and put no effort into meal planning or meal prep so when meal time rolled around we often opted for the nearest restaurant which, needless to say, is a very expensive way to eat.
- Water/gas/electricity. Obviously we can't totally go without these basic utilities, but we are way less wasteful with these things now. Years ago we just paid whatever the bill was when it arrived each month (we also lived in a more temperate climate at the time). But when we moved to Las Vegas and our first summer electric bill arrived to the tune of nearly $200 for a small, one bedroom condo, something had to change. We upped the setting on our thermostat then read the electric meter daily for a couple of months to figure out where all of our money was going. This really opened our eyes to how much electricity we were using (we also did this with water and gas and made efforts to conserve these utilities as well).
Friday, July 6, 2018
10 Things I No Longer Need
I've probably made every financial mistake in the book. Fortunately experience (and age) have cured me from "absolutely needing" many things that were considered "absolutely necessary" when I was younger. Among those things...