It’s easy to sit back and not do anything. It’s even easier to not bother trying to change habits.
Inertia can drain your bank account if you let it. And yet, many of the money drains are some of the easiest to cut back on or even stop spending on altogether.
Things You Should Stop Paying For
There are some items we have never paid for, stopped buying or rarely buy. This list of things to stop paying for can save you time, money and storage space.
1. Bank fees
These days, there are far too many bank and credit union options available to have to pay to keep a checking or savings account open. Just say ‘no’ to monthly fees!
If you prefer the brick-and-mortar experience, find out what your local credit unions have to offer. You can find options for no-fee, no-minimum checking accounts online and many also offer high-interest savings accounts.
2. Bottled water
Not only does bottled water cost a lot for what you get, the bottles themselves generate a lot of waste.
It makes more sense to use tap water in a reusable water bottle. Even if you pay for a water filter, you are likely to come out ahead and, as a bonus, reduce waste.
If you have 100+ channels and nothing to watch, you are paying too much.
We haven’t paid for cable in years and still find plenty to watch when we want to watch it.
4. Erroneous charges on receipts
Once in awhile, I manage catch overcharges or incorrect charges as the cashier rings up items. Maybe an advertised sale price wasn’t put into the system or she rings up an item as organic (pricier) rather than non-organic (less expensive).
Take a moment to scan your receipt and you may save some money.
5. Subscriptions you don’t use
Do you subscribe to magazines you don’t read, memberships you don’t use, or subscription boxes that don’t cut it anymore?
Then it is time to unsubscribe. Free up your money and space by getting rid of the things you don’t use anymore.
6. Baby food
Ok, we no longer have babies in the house, so that is why we don’t pay for baby food. BUT, we rarely bought it when the kids were babies.
It’s easy enough to mash or grind your everyday food or frozen foods and you don’t even need to buy special tools to do it.
Once you cook fruits or vegetables enough, just mash them with a fork. For small bits, use a fork and knife or even a food processor that you already have.
7. Extended warranties
In most cases, extended warranties are a waste of money. The credit card used to make the purchase may offer protection and often, the extended warranty is never used.
8. Gym membership
If you are paying for a gym membership you don’t use, drop it.
Also, if all you do at the gym is run on the treadmill, then it’s not worth paying for the privilege because you can get the same workout by going outside.
9. Credit card interest
We don’t pay credit card interest because we pay our balance in full each month. If you are overextending yourself, try working on setting up a budget and a debt payment plan.
10. Dry cleaning
I cannot bring myself to buy anything that needs to be dry cleaned.
It would be an ongoing expense as well as take time out of my day to make trips to and from the cleaners, so then I’d end up never wearing the clothes. It’s a waste of money for us.
11. Manicure or pedicure
It seems relaxing and nice to sit back and let someone else do your nails.
I tried it once, and yes, it was nice. But I can do my own nails, thank-you-very-much.
12. Dryer sheets
Between allergies and aversion to the scents on most dryer sheets, we haven’t bought dryer sheets in ages. Our clothes are still soft and towels actually absorb better without softener or dryer sheets.
13. Tax prep
We have always done our own taxes. In college, it was an easy one-page form. Now, even with more complicated taxes, we find the tax software available handles our situations well.
If we ever run into a more complicated problem, we may then consult a professional. Until then, we’ll continue to do our own taxes.
14. Late fees
Don’t waste your money on late fees!
With the availability of automated payments and reminder apps, there is rarely a good reason to pay late fees for anything. Even our library sends out a reminder when a book is near its due date.
15. Frozen dinners
I remember there was a time we would buy frozen pizzas or other types of frozen microwave dinners. Knowing how much frozen dinners cost (and the lack of nutrition) versus making a large meal on our own, we no longer buy the pre-made frozen dinners and haven’t missed them a bit.
16. Books you’ll read once or twice
I love books, and the kids do as well. But if you want to read a book just to read it, then go to the library. If you love a book or want to use it as a reference, then, by all means, buy the book.
17. Credit report
Want to check your credit report? No need to pay! You can get a copy for free at AnnualCreditReport.com.
18. Minor appliance repair
We try to avoid calling for a service rep to check on our appliances by using appliance repair forums to help diagnose and troubleshoot issues.
We’ve managed to replace a dishwasher timer and a water dispenser lever on our own, easily saving over $100 each time on service fees. Once, we even correctly diagnosed a washer repair that did need a service rep to actually fix it (the whole tub needed replacing and was under warranty).
19. Expensive coffee drinks
I am not going to say you should never buy a coffee drink, as I do on occasion myself.
However, we don’t buy coffee at a coffee shop on a regular basis. Not only is it expensive, but also loaded with sugar and calories we really don’t need. It’s great as a once-in-a-while treat.
For your daily fix, invest in a nice coffee maker, french press, or a stovetop espresso maker. This lets you save money and get quality coffee while maintaining control over the add-ins.
It’s so easy to go out and grab lunch with coworkers on a daily basis. But that gets expensive, fast. Stop paying for those lunches and pack your own.
There are other things we don’t pay for like yard work and housekeeping that, to be honest, I wouldn’t mind paying for if we had the room in our budget to do so.
Switching banks was a little more work, but one of our better decisions as we’ve gotten much higher interest rates on our savings and finding fee-free ATMs has gotten easier as well.
What have you stopped buying that used to be a drain on your wallet?