Here are 10 Things I Refuse to Spend My Money On


Bronze Wordsmith
May 17, 2018
You don’t have to be a financial genius to know some things just aren’t worth spending money on. These things range from bottled water to credit card debt. But most of us fall into the trap of spending money on stuff that isn’t worth it in the first place. I myself spent lots of money on stuff that, in hindsight, I wish I hadn’t. But I self-corrected, and now save more money than ever before. I save by refusing to spend my money on certain things. To help you get your own savings started, I wrote a list of stuff I don’t spend money on. Read on!


1. CDs and DVDs

I absolutely love music and movies. I grew up with people with great taste in art, and there wasn’t a time in my life when didn’t consume great music and movies. What I don’t love is the clutter and cost of maintaining a big music and movie library. Simply put, buying discs costs a lot of money. Plus there’s the cost of shipping and buying cabinets to store your collection. At some point, I decided it wasn’t worth it.

To save money, I opted for streaming services like Spotify and Netflix instead. The savings have been immense. Even if you don’t listen to as much music or watch as many movies as I do, getting Spotify and Netflix accounts will save you tons of money.


2.Physical books

I also love books. And like CDs and DVDs, physical books cost a lot of money. When buying stuff, we also need to consider the amount of room they take up and assign a dollar value to it. For example, let’s say you pay $500 for your monthly rent. Your big shelf of books takes up a tenth of your space. That means you’re paying $50 a month to house your books!

When I looked at it that way, I decided to stop buying physical books, when possible. These days, I use a Kindle. It doesn’t have the nice feel of real paper, but it’s cheaper.


3. Coffee from coffee shop chains

Coffee prices are pretty ridiculous. You aren’t just paying for the ambiance, you’re also paying for the prestige of being spotted in some trendy coffee shop. I can say with a certain amount of authority: when I was a college student, I didn't care about that. I loved coffee because it’s like brain fuel. It kept me up through long nights studying. To this day, I refuse to pay $5 for a cup of coffee, which is why I brew coffee myself in my home.


4. Fast food

Fast food may seem cheap at first, but you’re actually paying for food with little to no nutritional value. In that regard, fast food is actually overpriced! I like grabbing burgers every now and then, but for my regular meals, I prepare my own food. I set aside Saturdays and Sundays to prepare a week’s worth of food. That way, I have more than enough time to work and relax throughout the week.


5. My own car

I have my own car, and I’ve learned by observing and from experience that vehicle ownership is costly and stressful. When you own a car, you’re always fretting about maintenance, repairs, and fuel prices. And then there’s the stress of traffic and finding parking. Not worth it, especially with ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft. With Uber and Lyft, it’s like I have my own car, but without the cost and hassle. And I rarely use those, even. For the most part, I bike everywhere. It’s cheaper, more fun, and I get to reap the health benefits.


6. Credit card debt

Don’t spend money you don’t have! Credit card debt is like quicksand. Easy to fall into, so very hard to get out of. My favorite tip for using credit cards: just don’t. There are times when credit cards are legit useful, like for emergencies, but otherwise, the interest and fees just aren’t worth the perceived convenience. Call me old-fashioned, but I use cash as much as possible.


7. Frivolous pet accessories

Back in college, I was lucky to live in an apartment that allowed pets. A lot of us – including yours truly – are loving furparents. But I get weirded out whenever I see people dressing their dogs up like they were Paris Hilton. It’s costly, and it doesn’t benefit the dogs in any way. I prefer putting that money into a veterinary savings fund instead.


8. Bottled water

You don’t need to drink water taken from some obscure spring or river that looks like it came from Lord of the Rings (hopefully not Mordor!). For starters, it costs a lot of money. Bottled water used to cost me almost $100 a month. That’s insane! Second, tap water is perfectly safe. Modern water treatment facilities pretty much remove all the dangerous particles and germs that bottled water claims to not have.


9. Specialized cleaning products

Here’s another thing I refuse to spend my money on. Don’t get me wrong, most cleaning products are legit. But you don’t need so many of them. And you definitely don’t need specialized cleaning products for every item in your apartment that needs cleaning. For example, you don’t need a separate “phone screen cleaner,” a window cleaner, and a cleaner for your computer monitor. An all-purpose cleaner should be usable for most needs. And since you only get a few bottles, you’re saving lots of money.


10. Fancy appliances

You don’t need some fancy, high-tech equipment for your apartment or dorm. You don’t need a microwave oven that tells you the weather, gives you news, and answers emails for you. You don’t need a vacuum that has a motor inspired by the engine of Stealth Bombers… on second thought, those are pretty cool. But they’re usually unnecessary, are extremely expensive. I’ll pass and make do with my old vacuum and cheap microwave oven, thank you very much.


11. Fluorescent light bulbs

I bet not a lot of people realize that fluorescent bulbs are costing them loads of money. Granted, they’re cheaper than incandescent bulbs, but to be honest, LED bulbs are where it’s at. LEDs may cost a bit more, but they last longer and consume less energy. So you’ll be saving more money by upgrading to LEDs. I did just that, and have never looked back.

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