16 things frugal people don’t spend their money on
Saving has become more popular in recent years as more people seek to spend less and save more money. With the rising costs of housing, health care, education, and other necessities, being smart about spending your hard-earned dollars is more important than ever. Practicing saving prevents you from wasting money on unnecessary things, freeing up more money that you can save or spend carefully.
This article will cover 16 everyday things that frugal people avoid spending their money on. You may be surprised at the daily expenses that are not within the average person’s budget. Becoming more frugal requires changing your mindset and consciously evaluating every purchasing decision. It may take time to break free from the social expectations and marketing persuasion that drive us to overspend. However, with commitment and creativity, living frugally can help you achieve financial goals and build savings.
1. Brand new cars
Frugal people know that new cars lose a significant portion of their value immediately after they are taken off the lot. By buying reliable used cars and driving them for years, frugal people avoid taking the big depreciation hit of buying new cars. For example, Mark found a 3-year-old Honda Accord with low mileage. By going with a lightly used model instead of a brand new one, he saved over $15,000.
2. Latest gadgets and electronics
The latest and greatest tech gadgets usually come at premium prices. Frugal people find ways to get the functionality they need without always buying the most expensive, cutting-edge electronics. For example, Nina resisted upgrading to a $1,000 flagship smartphone and chose a new mid-range phone that met her needs for $300 instead.
3. Luxury vacations
It’s easy to overspend on dream vacations to exotic locations, luxury cruises, and stays at five-star resorts. Frugal travelers find ways to have a good time without spending a lot of money. They use rewards points to purchase airline tickets and hotels, choose affordable destinations, and avoid unnecessary trip expenses. For example, the Smith family prioritized wilderness camping trips over remote excursions. They get unforgettable vacations for a fraction of the cost.
4. Premium coffee drinks
Those lattes, cappuccinos and frappuccinos from coffee shops come at a premium over time. Frugal people save significantly by preparing high-quality coffee at home and carrying it in reusable cups. The simple pleasure of coffee costs just a few cents instead of $5 apiece. Take Jane, who invested in a premium espresso machine and learned how to make specialty drinks. She gets a cappuccino for less than 50 cents every morning.
5. Cable TV
With the dominance of online streaming, cable TV is no longer a required household expense. Frugal people take advantage of low-cost a la carte options. For example, the Roberts family replaced their monthly cable bill of $150 with Netflix and other streaming services totaling just $40.
6. Multiple streaming services
Even streaming services add up, especially if you have subscriptions across multiple platforms. Limiting yourself to one or two affordable services helps frugal people save. The Park family uses Netflix and extensions with free YouTube content, and avoids spending on many paid platforms.
7. Expensive clothes
Frugal fashionistas resist paying total retail prices for clothing when cheaper options exist. The racks of shopping malls, thrift stores, and discount outlets allow them to stay stylish on a limited budget. For example, Amanda stocks her wardrobe each season exclusively from clearance sales and her local thrift store. She gets compliments on her outfits that cost only a fraction of the original prices.
8. Frequent salon visits
Regular appointments for hair, nails, waxing and other beauty services quickly drain the wallet. Frugal people learn DIY techniques, trade favors with friends, or use beauty schools to look good for less. Take Mary, who cuts her friend’s hair, and highlights her hair in exchange for homemade baked goods. She also trims her nails and waxes to avoid going to the salon.
9. High quality alcohol
It’s easy to overspend on luxury liquor brands, but frugal people know that cheap alternatives get the job done. Value spirits, wines and beers offer significant savings. For example, Jim’s friends rave about his great cocktails, without realizing that he uses good liquor bought on sale.
10. Luxury home decor
Home decor can quickly break budgets with all the expensive, trendy items available. To design their spaces, frugal decorators use DIY projects, second-hand finds, repurposed items, and inexpensive accents. For example, the Watsons furnished their home almost entirely from garage sales, thrift stores, and their own recycled creations. They’ve received a lot of compliments on their stylish and budget-friendly space.
11. Eating out constantly
Nothing busts a budget faster than relying on takeout and delivery a few times a week. Cooking at home is much cheaper and often healthier too. Frugal home cooks like Lewis prepare almost all meals themselves. He puts together quick weeknight dinners using inexpensive ingredients like beans, eggs, and seasonal produce.
12. Gym memberships
Gym memberships are often underutilized, meaning money is wasted. Frugal fitness enthusiasts get their sweat sessions going with free outdoor workouts, basic no-contract gyms, and home workouts. For example, Alicia trains for a half marathon using her neighborhood jog and home workout videos on YouTube, avoiding expensive gym fees.
13. Unlimited data phone plans
It’s easy to overpay for unlimited data that you don’t use. Smart and frugal types carefully track data usage and get cheaper limited plans. Monica cut her phone bill in half by assessing her needs, switching to a 3GB plan, and taking advantage of Wi-Fi for big data tasks.
14. Daily Starbucks
Frequent coffee shops like Starbucks can become expensive over time. Brewing your own high-quality coffee is a simple and frugal trade-off. For example, after calculating his annual Starbucks brand value of $1,500, Sam decided to enjoy his daily coffee at home. Now, he gets it fixed for less than $5 a week.
15. Manicures and pedicures
Salon manicures and pedicures cost a lot of money for temporary treatments. Frugal people learn to trim, cut, polish and decorate their nails at home for a fraction of the price. For example, Janet completely avoids salon manicures and pedicures by trimming her nails weekly. Her at-home treatments only cost about $2 each.
16. Lottery tickets
Playing the lottery is basically an expensive form of entertainment with poor odds. While people dream of winning eminent and frugal people, they invest their money wisely instead of wasting it on tickets. Take Fred, who realized he was wasting $500 a year on tickets. He reinvested that money in an index fund instead.
How saving changed Maria’s life
In her late twenties, Maria decided to retire early, leave her expensive city, and pursue her passion. She needed to increase her savings by cutting unnecessary costs to make this dream a reality. Maria reviewed her spending and began implementing changes based on the above economic principles.
I traded my new car payments for a used Honda. Basic tools have replaced expensive technology. She travels during off-peak times, cooks almost all meals at home, limits herself to one streaming service, and avoids salons. Maria furnished her house through the negative results, left the gym to train outdoors, downsized her phone plan, and started getting her nails done.
These simple, consistent shifts have saved Maria over 50% each month. She enthusiastically tracked her progress, using a motivational wall to count down the months until she could retire. Within seven years, Maria had built up the savings she needed to quit her job and move to a coastal city she fell in love with. She filled her days writing fiction books in the paradise of low-cost living. Maria’s story illustrates the power of saving to help you reach goals and build the life you want.
Saving isn’t about depriving yourself, it’s about intentionally spending on the things that are most important to you. You can increase life satisfaction by eliminating expensive excesses because your purchases align with your values. The savings earned through saving will accumulate, allowing you to reach financial goals faster.
Saving leads to financial freedom. You get flexibility, less stress, and more options with extra money. Think deeply about what is most important and how saving can help you achieve those dreams. The simple joys of life are often free or cheap. Fill your days with meaning using your creativity, time, and talents instead of empty excess. Then watch your savings grow.